The influence of John Dewey's educational philosophy on the curriculum of the University Laboratory School, 1905-1928
The purpose of this dissertation is to determine the influence of John Dewey's educational philosophy on the curricular practice of the elementary program at the Laboratory School of the University of Chicago in the years immediately following Dewey's departure from Chicago (1905-1928). This is a historical study making use of primary sources from the Laboratory School's archival materials and The Elementary School Teacher. The curricular practice of the Laboratory School was reconstructed from both published and unpublished primary sources. The curricular practice was then examined in light of four key elements in Dewey's educational philosophy. These four elements are the doctrine of interest, the theory of knowledge, the development of subject matter, and the development of democratic education as social learning. The era under discussion is divided into three periods, each characterized by the administrator who had the greatest effect on the elementary program of the Laboratory School during that time: Wilbur Jackman (1905-1907), Charles Hubbard Judd (1909-1919), and Henry Clinton Morrison (1919-1428). The data demonstrated that each administrator had a profound impact upon the curricular practice of the elementary program during their administration. While all three administrators viewed their educational practice as based on progressive ideals, the practice of each successive era moved further away from Dewey's educational philosophy. The primary source documents also show that the Laboratory School faculty and administration were fundamentally united in their philosophical stance, and thus their practice. The first, and most obvious, conclusion was that Dewey's influence on the curriculum of the elementary program at the Laboratory School declined over time. Secondly, the epistemological base of Dewey's educational philosophy was the first casualty in the Laboratory School's negotiation of its educational philosophy. Since Dewey's entire educational philosophy was based upon his epistemology, the other elements of his philosophy eventually became so diluted that they were no longer recognizable.
Anthony J Dosen,
"The influence of John Dewey's educational philosophy on the curriculum of the University Laboratory School, 1905-1928"
(January 1, 1997).
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