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Best known for his contributions to intellectual thought and progressive education, John Dewey (1859–1952) was an influential American philosopher and educational theorist and practitioner whose ideas were grounded in the fields of pragmatism and democracy. Although his writings and academic work span many fields including art, social doctrine, natural science, language, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology, he is most well known and referenced within the field of education. Dewey’s ideas are particularly relevant to the study of childhood as he helped to create a paradigm shift in the field of education and advocated for the need to embrace the uniqueness and active participation of the child in his or her own learning. This entry explores Dewey’s philosophical and psychological ideas as applied to the conception of ...

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