Heeding Dewey in 2016

Dewey Conference 2016

What the normal child continuously needs is not so much isolated moral lessons instilling in him the importance of truthfulness and honesty, or the beneficial results that follow from some particular act of patriotism, etc. It is the formation of habits of social imagination and conception. (1)

What Dewey has to say about culture and enculturation has resonated strongly with me this year, in the run up to the conference. I take heed of Dewey’s view that education needs to start in understanding the mutual dependency of society and children. Children experience and experiment within the social milieu while absorbing the culture and mediated experience of adults. Children acquire a moral sense, through learning in all subjects in which they are actively engaged and from their experience develop dispositions and habits. Education should be a process of developing good habits.

I have been particularly bothered by a UK Home Office…

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