Précis on My Pedagogic Creed by John Dewey

John Dewey begins his pedagogic creed with his idea of education.. He describes it as a process which all people undertake from an age of near infancy and explains that it shapes each human continually. The educational process, according to Dewey, has two equal and related sides: the psychological and the sociological. For an individual to be educated, they must be a social individual whose capabilities, skills and interests have been investigated, interpreted and encouraged. Dewey believes that school is meant to be a social place, where real life is presented and the child’s learning is scaffolded onto the familiar. In doing so, the simplified social relations of the adult world may be experienced and learned by the child in order to lessen his apprehension.  Curricular subjects at Dewey’s ideal social institution are not independent of each other, but interrelated and social. They grow out of each child’s experiences and have no set plan for all. Method in Dewey’s Pedagogic Creed focuses on the child’s interests and development, where the interests of the child are the focus and active development precedes passive. Observational insight into the developmental stage of the child foretells the ensuing stage he will enter, and a focus on developing proper imagery is considered vital to education. Dewey concludes his Pedagogic Creed by describing education as the primary method for social progress and for cultural reform. The ideal school is a place where individual character can be influenced by the community; where the teacher is not just instructing each individual child, but helping to form a proper society.


Dewey, J. (1929). My Pedagogic Creed. In D. Flinders & S. Thornton (Eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader (pp. 34 – 41). New York: Routledge


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