The John Dewey Society began in 1934 when a group of professors, Henry Harap, Paul Hanna, and Jesse Newlon, called a conference of educational liberals together to respond to the crises in education. The group met in conjunction with the National Education Association annual conference to respond to the conditions in schools resulting from the Great Depression. Originally called the Conference on Education and Economic Reconstruction, the group was later renamed the John Dewey Society because members valued thoughtful work in and for schools that involved practitioners as well as scholars—one reflected in Dewey's pragmatic philosophy.

The original intention of the society has remained through the years: using reflection and critical thought to search for solutions to problems in education and culture. In addition, the group ...

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