Twofish's Blog

August 8, 2006

Education is life – John Dewey and the Chinese-American academic family

Filed under: academia, china, confucianism, wikipedia — twofish @ 11:18 pm

In an earlier article I posted the statement “school is life” in the context of the Chinese-American academic family. What I didn’t realize until wikimania was that I was quoting John Dewey’s statement that “education is life.”
http://www.infed.org/archives/e-texts/e-dew-pc.htm

This is an example of how ideas get bounced back and forth between China and the West and how ones view of the world is often influenced by people that you aren’t consciously aware of. In the case of John Dewey, he made a famous trip to China in the 1920’s, and a lot of the ideas that China absorbed from the West in the 1920’s subsequently took a path that was very different from what happened in the West. The educational ideas of John Dewey and a popular belief in the importance of science are something that are more influential in China than in the West. In the case of science, China didn’t experience the counter-culture anti-science/technology backlash of the 1960’s, and in the case of John Dewey, he didn’t become the target of an anti-liberal educational backlash in the 1980’s.

Also (and no one else has made this connection), I’m sure that Dewey’s philosophy of experimental learning really fit in with the pedagological model of the Evidential school which I’ve talked about here.

This points out something cool, which is a neat experiment. Take a belief, any belief, that you have, and try to trace back to the first person who came up with that idea. This points out something else cool, and that is that when an idea comes from China to the West or the West to China, it doesn’t enter into a vacuum, but rather interacts with all of the other ideas that were already there.

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4 Comments »

  1. […] From “Education Is Life – John Dewey And The Chinese-American Academic Family“: In an earlier article I posted the statement “school is life” in the context of the Chinese-American academic family. What I didn’t realize until wikimania was that I was quoting John Dewey’s statement that “education is life.” […]

    Pingback by Harry Chen Thinks Aloud - Innovation, Personal Finance, Digital Life, Internet, Technology & Current Affairs » Blog Archive » The Ghost of Professor W — October 2, 2006 @ 12:10 pm

  2. wow, look what the Chinese and the Chinese government are doing to the people of Tibet and its spiritual leaders.

    you know, its bad enough to be from a country where beautiful women don’t exist, nor do well-endowed men, you make products of no quality, and are known to be people who don’t bathe nor use deoderant…when is this all going to stop?

    Comment by carson nalasco — April 12, 2008 @ 7:07 am

  3. Great!!!! Another entry into the !!!! Can you post to the “Let’s Bash China Because….”!!!

    I’m in the process of creating a “Let’s Bash China” drinking game. If you can post a dozen or so reasons why China should be bashed, please do so.

    Also one very interesting theme that I’ve noticed when a group talks about another ethnic group that they don’t like is that the subject of personal hygiene always seems to come up. If you look at early 20th century American descriptions of Italians and Irish, the world “dirty” always seems to come up. Also when racist whites talk about Mexicans or Arabs and racist Han talk about Tibetans, personal hygiene is always an issue.

    The other thing that Edward Said noticed in orientalism is that sexuality always seems to come up with talking about the “other”. Either the men are dangerous rapists or are completely impotent. The woman are either exotic seductresses are complete ugly.

    Comment by twofish — April 12, 2008 @ 4:08 pm

  4. carson nalasco ,have you ever seen what the Chinese and the Chinese government are doing to the people of Tibet and its spiritual leaders, then 管好你自己的嘴

    Comment by zhaoqi — August 11, 2009 @ 1:00 am


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