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 a 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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