Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Thoughts on John Dewey's Positive Impact on Education. (Don't you judge me.. )

In 2007 there were more than 1.5 million home-schoolers in the United States alone. Since then the number of parents choosing to educate their children at home has climbed steadily. Why is this? For most there are more reasons than one. My own parents had several motives for choosing to home school. Who should be in charge of their children's education, and what world view they wanted their children to be taught were the key issues of my parents' decision. In fact, these are the deciding issues for a majority of parents who choose to remove their children from the traditional school system. Why this sudden concern for what is being taught to children? Perhaps the parents in America are starting to see the consequences of humanistic teachings. Many parents are just beginning to realize how much impact and control school systems have over their children. Thus the trend of home education has been gaining popularity. 

Who do we, the grateful students, have to thank for this wonderful decision to let us learn at home? 
While, of course, we must thank our parents for making the ultimate choice, I believe it is John Dewy who truly initiated the home-school movement. Had it not been for his influence on the public schools, our parents would not have seen the system's negative effects on children in society! For Mr. Dewy did indeed impact modern public education. He cared very much about education. He considered education as not a preparation for life, but "life itself." As education was so important to him, Mr. Dewy spoke frequently on the subject. Of course, his humanistic viewpoints made Christians want to frequently not listen to him speak. However, his passionate and outwardly logical ideology seemed to appeal to those who were in charge of public education at the time. Before those Christian parents knew it, their children were being turned into sudden skeptics before their eyes. While it may seem John Dewey's philosophical ideas had not merely a negative, but a tragic impact on society, I do not see it this way. Romans 8:28 says "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." During the time of John Dewey the public school system was rapidly gaining popularity. Before the "progressive education" movement began in the 1920's, public schools taught biblical principles and encouraged prayer. However, I do not believe God intended education to be conducted in this manner. I believe He allowed the ideology of Mr. Dewey to make as great an impact as it did to awaken the apathetic Christian parents into action. Without Mr. Dewey's influence on public school teachings, parents who now choose to educate in the home may have been content to leave their children in the traditional school systems. I believe the home school movement would not have become so mainstream as it is today had it not been for John Dewey. 
While my point may be debatable, I feel, in the overall picture, Mr. Dewey did indeed have a greatly positive impact on society.

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