Revisiting The School and Society
James Campbell turns our attention to another classical educational work of Dewey's, The School and Society, first published in 1899 during the period when he and a group of colleagues conducted the famous Laboratory School experiment at the University of Chicago. Campbell's essay explores four core aspects of Dewey's text. The first is the emphasis on reconstruction of and through education to advance social change. The second is the attempt to integrate the “new psychology” of the time that emphasized sociality and problem solving into educational thinking. Thirdly, The School and Society stresses the importance of in-school activities that reflect the larger life of society. Fourthly, Dewey calls for a decrease in the isolation and waste involved in traditional education by linking pupils' education with their out-of-school lives. As Campbell observes, all four issues represented basic challenges of educational reform and reconstruction at the time, and they still appear as relevant and worthy of consideration today.