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John Dewey Quotes


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The belief that all genuine education comes about through experience does not mean that all experiences are genuinely or equally educative.
 

The conception of education as a social process and function has no definite meaning until we define the kind of society we have in mind.
 

The difference between play and what is regarded as serious employment should be not a difference between the presence and absence of imagination, but a difference in the materials with which imagination is occupied.
 

The educative value of manual activities and of laboratory exercises, as well as of play, depends upon the extent in which they aid in bringing about a sensing of the meaning of what is going on. In effect, if not in name, they are dramatizations.
 

The future of religion is connected with the possibility of developing a faith in the possibilities of human experience and human relationships that will create a vital sense of the solidarity of human interests and inspire action to make that sense a reality.
[Religion]
 

The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better.
 

The ideal may seem remote of execution, but the democratic ideal of education is a farcical yet tragic delusion except as the ideal more and more dominates our public system of education.
 

The intellect is at home in that which is fixed only because it is done and over with, for intellect is itself just as much a deposit of past life as is the matter to which it is congenial. Intuition alone articulates in the forward thrust of life and alone lays hold of reality.
 

The intellectual content of religions has always finally adapted itself to scientific and social conditions after they have become clear. . . . For this reason I do not think that those who are concerned about the future of a religious attitude should trouble themselves about the conflict of science with traditional doctrines.
[Science]
 

The mystery is that the world is at it is -- a mystery that is the source of all joy and all sorrow, of all hope and fear, and the source of development both creative and degenerative. The contingency of all into which time enters is the source of pathos, comedy, and tragedy.
 

The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs.
 

The premium so often put in schools upon external "discipline," and upon marks and rewards, upon promotion and keeping back, are the obverse of the lack of attention given to life situations in which the meaning of facts, ideas, principles, and problems is vitally brought home.
 

The problem of education in a democratic society is to do away with ... dualism and to construct a course of studies which makes thought a guide of free practice for all and which makes leisure a reward of accepting responsibility for service, rather than a state of exemption from it.
 

The reactionaries are in possession of force, in not only the army and police, but in the press and the schools.
 

The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.
[Action]
 

The utmost possible regarding an individual is a statement as to some order of probability about the future. Heisenberg's principle has been seized upon as a basis for wild statements to the effect that the doctrine of arbitrary free will and totally uncaused activity are now scientifically substantiated. Its actual force and significance is generalization of the idea that the individual is a temporal career whose future cannot logically be deduced from its past.
 

Time and memory are true artists; they remould reality nearer to the heart's desire.
 

To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.
[Happiness]
 

To me, faith means not worrying.
[Faith]
 

To say that education is a social function, securing direction and development in the immature through their participation in the life of the group to which they belong, is to say in effect that education will vary with the quality of life which prevails in a group
 


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