John Dewey's philosophy on adult education

Essay by fmarieUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2004

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Identify a philosopher in adult education whose ideas have had an impact on your professional development in your focus area of adult education. Discuss major ideas in this philosopher's thought and the ways that his or her specific concepts have affected the development of your own philosophy of education.

This essay will explain how the philosophy of John Dewey has impacted my professional development in adult education. I will explore progressive educational ideas such as respect for diversity, the student centered classroom, freedom and experiential learning.

Once I read John Dewey "Experience and Education", I realized that I have been practicing progressive education methods. As I stated in my teaching philosophy, I feel that the learner comes first and their comfort in my 'home' (classroom) is paramount to connecting with that learner. Respect within the classroom environment has multiple aspects. There is an understanding that everyone is valued and expected conduct is the consideration of one another.

Each student in my class is recognized for their own interests, abilities, ideas and cultural identity. It is clear from the beginning that I will not tolerate intolerance.

Contrary to the traditional classroom the environment is open, respectful and inviting, where amazing things are allowed to happen. I can actually sense the students relax when they are with me. How difficult it must be for them to sit and listen, without interjecting for fear of reprimand, when in actuality hidden within the unsolicited joke or comment are the true feelings and questions they have. Many of my lessons have gone adrift when the comments and jokes have been expounded upon rather than passed over. Traditional education would classify this as a disruption and a tangent irrelevant to the subject at hand. This may be true, but if one of my students...