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Social Reconstruction Learning: Dualism, Dewey and Philosophy in Schools
This presentation will be provide a defense of social reconstruction learning, an education ideal that integrates the educational philosophy of John Dewey, Philosophy for Children and a critical, social justice approach to service learning. By themselves, each of these three ideals has weaknesses that can only be overcome if these they are integrated. The integration of these compatible educational ideals gives rise to a pedagogy that involves students engaging in philosophical communities of inquiry in order to reconstruct social problems and shape their environment so that it is more conductive to human flourishing. This educational ideal is able to overcome many of the problems that characterise other dominant educational ideals, which are underpinned by a system of problematic dualistic opposites, such as mind/body, reason/emotion, reason/imagination, reason/experience, individual/community and absolute/relative. In contrast, the proposed social reconstructionist approach to Philosophy for Children integrates Dewey’s anti-dualistic philosophy and, as a consequence, is better able to foster reflective thinking, communal inquiry, democracy and meaningfulness than other dominant educational ideals.
This Faculty research seminar will take place at 11am-12pm in Clayton TLS111/6, Gippsland 2S.120, Berwick 189, and Peninsula A3.03
Dr Jennifer Bleazby is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Her recent publications include "Dewey's Notion of Imagination in Philosophy for Children", Education and Culture 28(2), and "Overcoming Relativism and Absolutism: Dewey's Ideals of Truth and Meaning in Philosophy for Children", Educational Philosophy and Theory 43(5).