University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

John Dewey (1859-1952)

"Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself."

John Dewey, University of Vermont class of 1879

John Dewey John Dewey Hall is named for John Dewey, an 1879 alumnus of UVM who pursued a career in education, philosophy, and psychology, and was a noted educator and philosopher often known as "the father of progressive education," a movement that flourished in the early 20th century and that continues to influence modern educators.

Dewey was born on Willard St. in Burlington, VT in 1859, and earned his undergraduate degree from UVM. After receiving his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1884 and teaching at various universities, Dewey became professor of philosophy at Columbia University in 1904, continuing in that position until 1931. At the University of Chicago he founded the University Elementary School to train teachers in his methods. During these years he changed the course of modern philosophy and education by his insistence upon taking the whole of human experience for the subject matter of philosophy and upon using experience as a proving ground for theory. Dewey died in 1952 at the age of 92.

Dewey believed that experience was the best way for students to learn how to create the conditions for democracy, solve social problems and engage in moral decision-making.

Last modified December 17 2014 11:08 AM

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