I like John Dewey ideas because they influenced the renewal of the education systems in a number of ways. Dewey (2007) asserts that education involves continuity, as well as interaction between the learners and the subject matter. Learner-content interaction is important in the learning process. Dunlap, Sobel and Sands (2007) argue that the interaction with the subject matter enables learners to internalise the learning material to achieve outstanding academic results. Thus, the internalisation of the subject matter is important for learners to attain success in academic work. Research shows that students who interact with the course content have high frequency of attaining high grades in their various disciplines (Dunlap, Sobel and Sands, 2007). In this respect, educators should design curriculum in a way that offers maximum learner-content interaction as advocated by John Dewey. The author also proposes that educators have a responsibility of creating a conducive environment that promotes intellectual growth. Conducive environment enhances social and physical interaction. In addition, excellent learning environment prepares the learners to build and live in a democratic society. Thus, Dewey’s ideas encourage the creation of the environment that supports intellectual growth, as well as development of social skills.
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The educators are responsible for directing the learning process, but not for imposing ideas to the learners. Thus, a mere dissemination and expectations of regurgitation of information make the learners lose interest in education. Consequently, it becomes difficult for the educators to gain the learners’ full attention. Dewey’s assertion that school and education should be based on the experiences of the children is significant to the achievement of learning outcomes. Hence, the design of the curriculum should be relevant to the needs of the learners. Therefore, Dewey’s ideas encourage the learning institutions to offer subjects that develop practical skills in learners. Dunlap, Sobel and Sands (2007) argue that educators consider practical learning as the most effective method of learning. In this respect, Dewey offers a platform for learning institutions to instil foundational skills into learners in order to enable them to contribute to the development of the modern society. Dunlap, Sobel and Sands (2007) observe that students feel motivated when they provide solutions to the real-life problems. Therefore, the students should use the school-gained skills to help themselves and the society.
I concur with Dewey’s assertion that experience and education do not have a direct link. Notably, some experiences do not relate to education (Dewey, 2007). In this respect, some experiences are mere passive ideas that do not represent the values of education. Dunlap, Sobel and Sands (2007) contend that educative experience should enrich the learning process. The learners should reflect on the significance of the subject matter in their lives and the world at large. Dunlap, Sobel and Sands (2007) assert that reflective thinking enables learners to find solutions to the problematic issues in their personal lives. In effect, reflection is a crucial factor that facilitates the acquisition of the practical skills during the learning process. Therefore, it is important for educators to implement Dewey’s ideas in the designing of curriculum and methods of instruction. The curriculum material should reflect the needs of the learns. On top of this, the learning institutions ought to give learners insights into the social significance of acquired knowledge (Dunlap, Sobel and Sands, 2007). Importantly, educators should inculcate the values that enable learners to grow intellectually.
Dewey, J. (2007). Experience and Education. London: Simon and Schuster.
Dunlap, J., Sobel, D., & Sands, D. (2007). Designing deep and meaningful student to content interaction. Technological Trends, 52, 20-31.