John Dewey quotes

  • To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.
    -- John Dewey

    #Happiness #Work #Opportunity

  • Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.
    -- John Dewey

    #Democracy #Generations #Born

  • Education is not an affair of 'telling' and being told, but an active and constructive process.
    -- John Dewey

    #Affair #Process #Constructive

  • Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.
    -- John Dewey

    #Change #Creativity #Science

  • Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.
    -- John Dewey

    #Inspirational #Motivational #Business

  • Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.
    -- John Dewey

    #Life #Inspiring #Education

  • Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.
    -- John Dewey

    #Education #Future #Learning

  • To me faith means not worrying.
    -- John Dewey

    #Faith #Spiritual #Positive Thinking

  • There's all the difference in the world between having something to say, and having to say something.
    -- John Dewey

    #Differences #World

  • We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on experience.
    -- John Dewey

    #Mistake #Learning From Mistakes #Learning Experience

  • Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.
    -- John Dewey

    #Inspirational #Motivational #Success

  • I believe that the teacher's place and work in the school is to be interpreted from this same basis. The teacher is not in the school to impose certain ideas or to form certain habits in the child, but is there as a member of the community to select the influences which shall affect the child and to assist him in properly responding to these influences.
    -- John Dewey

    #Teacher #Children #Educational

  • The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.
    -- John Dewey

    #Spiritual #Self #Choices

  • a problem well put is half solved.
    -- John Dewey

    #Half #Problem #Wells

  • Skepticism: the mark and even the pose of the educated mind.
    -- John Dewey

    #Mind #Mark #Skepticism

  • Without some goals and some efforts to reach it, no man can live.
    -- John Dewey

    #Love #Inspirational #Life

  • Intellectually religious emotions are not creative but conservative. They attach themselves readily to the current view of the world and consecrate it.
    -- John Dewey

    #Religious #Emotional #Views

  • Anyone who has begun to think, places some portion of the world in jeopardy.
    -- John Dewey

    #Thinking #Progress #World

  • As long as art is the beauty parlor of civilization, neither art nor civilization is secure.
    -- John Dewey

    #Art #Civilization #Long

  • Every one has experienced how learning an appropriate name for what was dim and vague cleared up and crystallized the whole matter. Some meaning seems distinct almost within reach, but is elusive; it refuses to condense into definite form; the attaching of a word somehow (just how, it is almost impossible to say) puts limits around the meaning, draws it out from the void, makes it stand out as an entity on its own account.
    -- John Dewey

    #Names #Matter #Void

  • We only think when we are confronted with problems.
    -- John Dewey

    #Mistake #Failure #Thinking

  • Just as a flower which seems beautiful and has color but no perfume, so are the fruitless words of the man who speaks them but does them not.
    -- John Dewey

    #Beautiful #Flower #Garden

  • I believe that the community's duty to education is, therefore, its paramount moral duty. By law and punishment, by social agitation and discussion, society can regulate and form itself in a more or less haphazard and chance way. But through education society can formulate its own purposes, can organize its own means and resources, and thus shape itself with definiteness and economy in the direction in which it wishes to move.
    -- John Dewey

    #Educational #Moving #Believe

  • I believe that the school is primarily a social institution. Education being a social process, the school is simply that form of community life in which all those agencies are concentrated that will be most effective in bringing the child to share in the inherited resources of the race, and to use his own powers for social ends. I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.
    -- John Dewey

    #Education #Children #Believe

  • The ultimate aim of production is not production of goods but the production of free human beings associated with one another on terms of equality.
    -- John Dewey

    #Equality #Term #Aim

  • Were all instructors to realize that the quality of mental process, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth something hardly less than a revolution in teaching would be worked.
    -- John Dewey

    #Teaching #Growth #Quality

  • The goal of education is to enable individuals to continue their education.
    -- John Dewey

    #Goal #Individual

  • Art is not the possession of the few who are recognized writers, painters, musicians; it is the authentic expression of any and all individuality.
    -- John Dewey

    #Art #Expression #Individuality

  • Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society.
    -- John Dewey

    #Children #Freedom #Thinking

  • The only way to abolish war is to make peace seem heroic.
    -- John Dewey

    #War #Way #Heroic

  • Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.
    -- John Dewey

    #Education #Thinking #Giving

  • The most important attitude that can be formed is that of desire to go on learning.
    -- John Dewey

    #Attitude #Important #Desire

  • There is no such thing as educational value in the abstract. The notion that some subjects and methods and that acquaintance with certain facts and truths possess educational value in and of themselves is the reason why traditional education reduced the material of education so largely to a diet of predigested materials.
    -- John Dewey

    #Educational #Facts #Reason

  • Confidence is directness and courage in meeting the facts of life.
    -- John Dewey

    #Confidence #Facts #Facts Of Life

  • Any genuine teaching will result, if successful, in someone's knowing how to bring about a better condition of things than existed earlier.
    -- John Dewey

    #Teacher #Teaching #Successful

  • If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.
    -- John Dewey

    #Teacher #Powerful #Yesterday

  • For in spite of itself any movement that thinks and acts in terms of an ‘ism becomes so involved in reaction against other ‘isms that it is unwittingly controlled by them. For it then forms its principles by reaction against them instead of by a comprehensive, constructive survey of actual needs, problems, and possibilities.
    -- John Dewey

    #Thinking #Isms #Movement

  • One of the saddest things about US education is that the wisdom of our most successful teachers is lost to the profession when they retire.
    -- John Dewey

    #Teacher #Successful #Vision

  • The intellectual content of religions has always finally adapted itself to scientific and social conditions after they have become clear.... For this reason I do not think that those who are concerned about the future of a religious attitude should trouble themselves about the conflict of science with traditional doctrines.
    -- John Dewey

    #Religious #Attitude #Thinking

  • We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts.
    -- John Dewey

    #Thinking #Facts

  • You cannot teach today the same way you did yesterday to prepare students for tomorrow.
    -- John Dewey

    #Yesterday #Today #Way

  • Human nature exists and operates in an environment. And it is not 'in' that environment as coins are in a box, but as a plant is in the sunlight and soil.
    -- John Dewey

    #Coins #Soil #Human Nature

  • As long as politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance.
    -- John Dewey

    #Long #Shadow #Substance

  • Talk of democracy has little content when big business rules the life of the country through its control of the means of production, exchange, the press and other means of publicity, propaganda and communication.
    -- John Dewey

    #Country #Communication #Mean

  • The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to be a perversion.
    -- John Dewey

    #School #Literature #Slave

  • Education, in its broadest sense, is the means of this social continuity of life.
    -- John Dewey

    #Inspirational #Education #Mean

  • Hunger not to have, but to be
    -- John Dewey

    #Hunger

  • The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs.
    -- John Dewey

    #Path #Resistance #Ruts

  • Education is life itself.
    -- John Dewey

    #Education #Self Education

  • Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates invention. It shocks us out of sheep-like passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving…conflict is a sine qua non of reflection and ingenuity.
    -- John Dewey

    #Memories #Reflection #Sheep

  • Time and memory are true artists; they remould reality nearer to the heart's desire.
    -- John Dewey

    #Inspirational #Time #Memories

  • Scientific principles and laws do not lie on the surface of nature. They are hidden, and must be wrested from nature by an active and elaborate technique of inquiry.
    -- John Dewey

    #Lying #Science #Law

  • It is not a nature cure, a system of faith healing, or a physical culture, or a medical treatment, or a semi-occult philosophy. As to what it is, Dewey's brief but striking description appeals most and has the least chance of being proved incorrect: 'It the Alexander Technique bears the same relation to education that education itself bears to all other human activities.'
    -- John Dewey

    #Philosophy #Healing #Culture

  • Independent self-reliant people would be a counterproductive anachronism in the collective society of the future where people will be defined by their associations.
    -- John Dewey

    #Independent #Self #People

  • Knowledge is no longer an immobile solid; it has been liquefied. it is actively moving in all the currents of society itself
    -- John Dewey

    #Moving #Currents #Moving In

  • When a school introduces and trains each child of society into membership within such a little community, saturating him with the spirit of service, and providing him with the instruments of effective self-direction, we shall have the deepest and best guaranty of a larger society which is worthy, lovely, and harmonious
    -- John Dewey

    #Children #School #Self

  • There is no god and there is no soul. Hence, there is no need for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is dead and buried. There is no room for fixed and natural law or permanent moral absolutes.
    -- John Dewey

    #Education #Law #Soul

  • The moment philosophy supposes it can find a final and comprehensive solution, it ceases to be inquiry and becomes either apologetics or propaganda.
    -- John Dewey

    #Philosophy #Finals #Inquiry

  • Without the English, reason and philosophy would still be in the most despicable infancy in France.
    -- John Dewey

    #Philosophy #France #Reason

  • Thought is impossible without words.
    -- John Dewey

    #Impossible

  • An idea is a method of evading, circumventing or surmounting through reflection, obstacles that otherwise would have to be attacked by brute force.
    -- John Dewey

    #Reflection #Ideas #Imagination

  • The future of religion is connected with the possibility of developing a faith in the possibilities of human experience and human relationships that will create a vital sense of the solidarity of human interests and inspire action to make that sense a reality.
    -- John Dewey

    #Reality #Inspire #Action

  • But the individual butterfly or earthquake remains just the unique existence which it is. We forget in explaining its occurrence that it is only the occurrence that is explained, not the thing itself.
    -- John Dewey

    #Butterfly #Unique #Earthquakes

  • Various epochs of the past have had their own characteristic struggles and interests. Each of these great epochs has left behind itself a kind of cultural deposit, like a geologic stratum. These deposits have found their way into educational institutions in the form of studies, distinct courses of study, distinct types of schools.
    -- John Dewey

    #Educational #Struggle #School

  • The mere absorption of facts and truths is so exclusively an individual affair that it tends very naturally to pass into selfishness. There is no obvious social motive for the acquirement of mere learning, there is no clear social gain in success thereat.
    -- John Dewey

    #Selfishness #Gains #Facts

  • Imposing an alleged uniform general method upon everybody breeds mediocrity in all but the very exceptional. And measuring originality by deviation from the mass breeds eccentricity in them.
    -- John Dewey

    #Mediocrity #Uniforms #Originality

  • To be interested is to be absorbed in, wrapped up in, carried away by, some object. To take an interest is to be on the alert, to care about, to be attentive.
    -- John Dewey

    #Teaching #Learning #Care

  • I do not think that any thorough-going modification of college curriculum would be possible without a modification of the methods of instruction.
    -- John Dewey

    #Teaching #Thinking #College

  • Too rarely is the individual teacher so free from the dictation of authoritative supervisor, textbook on methods, prescribed course of study, etc., that he can let his mind come to close quarters with the pupil's mind and the subject matter.
    -- John Dewey

    #Teacher #Teaching #Mind

  • What, after all, is the public under present conditions? What are the reasons for its eclipse? What hinders it from finding and identifying itself? By what means shall its inchoate and amorphous estate be organized into effective political action relevant to present social needs and opportunities? What has happened to the public in the century and a half since the theory of political democracy was urged with such assurance and hope?
    -- John Dewey

    #Mean #Opportunity #Political

  • No government by experts in which the masses do not have the chance to inform the experts as to their needs can be anything but an oligarchy managed in the interest of the few. And the enlightenment must proceed in ways which force the administrative specialists to take account of the needs. The world has suffered more from leaders and authorities than from the masses. The essential need ... is the improvement of the methods and conditions of debate, discussion and persuasion. That is the problem of the public.
    -- John Dewey

    #Government #Leader #Enlightenment

  • Democracy is a way of life controlled by a working faith in the possibilities of human nature. . . . This faith may be enacted in statutes, but it is only on paper unless it is put in force in the attitudes which human beings display to one another in all the incidents and relations of daily life.
    -- John Dewey

    #Attitude #Democracy #Way

  • Everything which bars freedom and fullness of communication sets up barriers that divide human beings into sets and cliques, into antagonistic sects and factions, and thereby undermines the democratic way of life.
    -- John Dewey

    #Communication #Democracy #Way

  • Since education is not a means to living, but is identical with the operation of living a life which is fruitful and inherently significant, the only ultimate value which can be set up is just the process of living itself. And this is not an end to which studies and activities are subordinate means; it is the whole of which they are ingredients.
    -- John Dewey

    #Mean #Ingredients #Study

  • In the present state of the world, it is evident that the control we have gained of physical energies, heat, light, electricity, etc., without having first secured control of our use of ourselves is a perilous affair. Without the control of our use of ourselves, our use of other things is blind; it may lead to anything.
    -- John Dewey

    #Light #World #May

  • Since a democratic society repudiates the principle of external authority, it must find a substitute in voluntary disposition and interest; these can be created only by education.
    -- John Dewey

    #Education #Authority #Democratic

  • The devotion of democracy to education is a familiar fact. . . . [A] government resting upon popular suffrage cannot be successful unless those who elect . . . their governors are educated.
    -- John Dewey

    #Education #Successful #Government

  • ...the moment of passage from disturbance into harmony is that of intensest life.
    -- John Dewey

    #Music #Moments #Harmony

  • A possibility of continuing progress is opened up by the fact that in learning one act, methods are developed good for use in other situations. Still more important is the fact that the human being acquires a habit of learning. He learns to learn.
    -- John Dewey

    #Progress #Important #Use

  • Democracy means the belief that humanistic culture should prevail.
    -- John Dewey

    #Mean #Democracy #Culture

  • It may be seriously questioned whether the philosophies... which isolate mind and set it over against the world did not have their origin in the fact that the reflective or theoretical class of men elaborated a large stock of ideas which social conditions did not allow them to act upon and test. Consequently men were thrown back into their own thoughts as ends in themselves.
    -- John Dewey

    #Philosophy #Men #Class

  • Legislation is a matter of more or less intelligent improvisation aiming at palliating conditions by means of patchwork policies.
    -- John Dewey

    #Mean #Intelligent #Matter

  • It is a familiar and significant saying that a problem well put is half-solved.
    -- John Dewey

    #Half #Problem #Significant

  • When we consider the close connection between science and industrial development on the one hand, and between literary and aesthetic cultivation and an aristocratic social organization on the other, we get light on the opposition between technical scientific studies and refining literary studies. We have before us the need of overcoming this separation in education if society is to be truly democratic.
    -- John Dewey

    #Light #Hands #Organization

  • Knowledge is humanistic in quality not because it is about human products in the past, but because of what it does in liberating human intelligence and human sympathy. Any subject matter which accomplishes this result is humane, and any subject matter which does not accomplish it is not even educational.
    -- John Dewey

    #Educational #Past #Quality

  • The premium so often put in schools upon external "discipline," and upon marks and rewards, upon promotion and keeping back, are the obverse of the lack of attention given to life situations in which the meaning of facts, ideas, principles, and problems is vitally brought home.
    -- John Dewey

    #Home #School #Ideas

  • The development of science has produced an industrial revolution which has brought different peoples in such close contact with one another through colonization and commerce that no matter how some nations may still look down upon others, no country can harbor the illusion that its career is decided wholly within itself.
    -- John Dewey

    #Country #Careers #Different

  • Every subject at some phase of its development should possess, what is for the individual concerned with it, an aesthetic quality.
    -- John Dewey

    #Quality #Development #Phases

  • While [Plato] affirmed with emphasis that the place of the individual in society should not be determined by birth or wealth or any conventional status, but by his own nature as discovered in the process of education, he had no perception of the uniqueness of individuals. For him they fall by nature into classes, and into a very small number of classes at that.
    -- John Dewey

    #Plato #Fall #Class

  • But progress in knowledge has made us aware of the superficiality of Plato's lumping of individuals and their original powers into a few sharply marked-off classes; it has taught us that original capacities are indefinitely numerous and variable. It is but the other side of this fact to say that in the degree in which society has become democratic, social organization means utilization of the specific and variable qualities of individuals, not stratification by classes.
    -- John Dewey

    #Plato #Mean #Class

  • The breakdown of his(Plato's) philosophy is made apparent in the fact that he could not trust to gradual improvements in education to bring about a better society which should then improve education, and so on indefinitely. Correct education could not come into existence until an ideal state existed, and after that education would be devoted simply to its conservation. For the existence of this state he was obliged to trust to some happy accident by which philosophic wisdom should happen to coincide with possession of ruling power in the state.
    -- John Dewey

    #Plato #Philosophy #Would Be

  • You can teach students to develop the ability to think reflectively, and you can help them understand what this means, but if they are not inclined to do so they never will.
    -- John Dewey

    #Mean #Thinking #Helping

  • We have already noticed the difference in the attitude of a spectator and of an agent or participant. The former is indifferent to what is going on; one result is just as good as another, since each is just something to look at. The latter is bound up with what is going on; its outcome makes a difference to him.
    -- John Dewey

    #Attitude #Differences #Making A Difference

  • The difference between play and what is regarded as serious employment should be not a difference between the presence and absence of imagination, but a difference in the materials with which imagination is occupied.
    -- John Dewey

    #Play #Differences #Imagination

  • The imagination is the medium of appreciation in every field. The engagement of the imagination is the only thing that makes any activity more than mechanical. Unfortunately, it is too customary to identify the imaginative with the imaginary, rather than with a warm and intimate taking in of the full scope of a situation.
    -- John Dewey

    #Appreciation #Imagination #Engagement

  • We sometimes talk as if "original research" were a peculiar prerogative of scientists or at least of advanced students. But all thinking is research, and all research is native, original, with him who carries it on, even if everybody else in the world already is sure of what he is still looking for.
    -- John Dewey

    #Thinking #Peculiar #Research

  • To oscillate between drill exercises that strive to attain efficiency in outward doing without the use of intelligence, and an accumulation of knowledge that is supposed to be an ultimate end in itself, means that education accepts the present social conditions as final, and thereby takes upon itself the responsibility for perpetuating them. A reorganization of education so that learning takes place in connection with the intelligent carrying forward of purposeful activities is a slow work. It can be accomplished only piecemeal, a step at a time.
    -- John Dewey

    #Mean #Responsibility #Exercise

  • The ideal may seem remote of execution, but the democratic ideal of education is a farcical yet tragic delusion except as the ideal more and more dominates our public system of education.
    -- John Dewey

    #May #Execution #Democratic

  • A society which makes provision for participation in its good of all its members on equal terms and which secures flexible readjustment of its institutions through interaction of the different forms of associated life is in so far democratic. Such a society must have a type of education which gives individuals a personal interest in social relationships and control, and the habits of mind which secure social changes without introducing disorder.
    -- John Dewey

    #Giving #Mind #Different

  • In order to have a large number of values in common, all the members of the group must have an equable opportunity, to receive and to take from others. There must be a large variety of shared undertakings and experiences. Otherwise, the influences which educate some into masters, educates others into slaves.
    -- John Dewey

    #Opportunity #Order #Numbers