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ERIC Number: ED355669
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Dewey's Theory of Inquiry and Reflective Administration.
Willower, Donald J.
Pressure on universities to reexamine their educational administration preparation programs has prompted reconsideration of reflective methods. The application of cognitive science to administrative problems as well as philosophical debates found in the literature have also led to this reconsideration. John Dewey's views on reflective methods have much to offer this discussion. Dewey referred to his general philosophical position as "instrumentalism" (as opposed to "pragmatism") in that it was the study of thought as an instrumentality in inquiry. This theory of inquiry, often equated with scientific method, is the centerpiece of Dewey's work. Dewey saw human behavior as relatively automatic, with habit and impulse playing major roles. When habit and impulse are blocked, however, activity becomes disorganized and problematic. Inquiry begins with the recognition of the problematic. Alternative actions can be tried out in thought; this process is what Dewey called reflection. Dewey's theories on inquiry extend to ethics and values as well. He asserts that social ills result from separating morals from common problems of living. In social philosophy, Dewey asserts that reflective methods and growth have practical use as well. These views are prominent in Dewey's concept of democracy and social processes. Although research is presently limited, it is believed that future investigation of decision making in educational administration will demonstrate the usefulness of reflective methods. Internalization of reflective thinking is crucial to its effective use in educational administration and requires institutional support. (Contains 36 references.) (JPT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A