Dewey and the New Vocationalism - Essay Example

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Dewey and the New Vocationalism

John Dewey argues that workers often become no more than "industrial fodder" in a society controlled by money interests. Denied access to information and accumulated wisdom, workers are disempowered and removed from the realm of decision-making. This reality holds dramatic implications for the health of a democratic society.
One such issue in the early 1900s was the proposal that industrial education be provided for children leaving school at twelve or fourteen. The need for this education was manifest in the glaring unfitness of such boys and girls for the work into which nearly all of them went. Not being able to hold their jobs, they drifted from place to place where they learned nothing and where advance became impossible. Educators, social workers, parents, employers, and organizations such as the National Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education had long advocated vocational education for these children; more recently some state legislatures had taken up the matter. Dewey, having long recognized the need of industrial education, was one of its strongest supporters.
Dewey aligned himself with those who favored a single, integrated system of education. ...Show more

Summary

Dewey raised concerns about education as social reproduction. He argued that education needed to be responsive to new circumstances and requirements, to reflect fresh insights and engage individuals' contributions and divergences, rather than being merely socially reproductive…
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Dewey and the New Vocationalism essay example
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