Method and its Culture – An Historical Approach

Imposing an alleged uniform general method upon everybody breeds mediocrity” – Dewey.

In the above quote, John Dewey, like others such as his contemporary A.N. Whitehead, worries about imposing an uniform general method––much akin to what educators do in “methods courses.”  Whitehead worried about this universalization of practical habits so much that he even railed against “good teaching”;  for such teaching, carrying with it the concept that “this and this are the right things to know,” rigidifies learning and creates “thought [that] is dead”. Building upon the quote already given, Dewey states that “to suppose that students … can be supplied with models of method to be followed … is to fall into a self-deception that has lamentable consequences”. And these consequences are those of “imposing intellectual blinders upon pupils––restricting their vision to the one path the teacher’s mind happens to approve”.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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