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Chapter 6: The Meaning of Purpose

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Meghan Bloxsome

on 26 February 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 6: The Meaning of Purpose

Chapter 6: The Meaning of Purpose
John Dewey

Main Claim
The primary claim that Dewey makes in this chapter is all about finding purpose
He says that education is created though purpose and therefore this is the foundation of education
Purpose is one observation of surronding conditions, knowledge of what has happened in similar situations in the past, judgement which puts together what is observed and what is re-called to see what they signify
Main Terms
Impulse: a sudden strong and un-reflective urge or desire to act. through observation, first step of finding a purpose, leads us to find consequences

Consequence: something that happens as a result of a particular action. helps one become closer to finding prupose, aware of outcomes of past experiences

Purpose: the reason for which something is done or created or which something exists
What is the proper role of the teacher?

Teachers serve as guidelines so that the students can find freedom in education
"The teacher's suggestion is not a mold for a cast-iron result but is a starting point to be developed into a plan through contributions from the experience of all engaged in the learning process." (Dewey 72)
What is the Aim of Education?
Finding purpose and significance of surrounding conditions
Must develop a purpose in order to find freedom
"There is, I think no point in the philosophy of progressive education which is sounder than its emphasis upon the importance of the participation of the learner in the formation of the purposes which direct his activities in the learning process, just as there is no defect in traditional education greater than its failure to secure the active co-operation of the pupil in construction of the purposes involved in his studying."
(Dewey 67)
"It is, then, a sound instinct which identifies freedom with power to frame purposes and to execute or carry into effect purposes so framed. Such freedom is in turn identical with self-control; for the formation of purposes and the organization of means to execute them are the work of intelligence." (Dewey 67)
Discussion Questions
1) Do you think everything we learn schools serves a "purpose", according to Dewey?

2) Do we facilitate finding a "purpose" in today's schools/ does doing so lead to freedom and how so?
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