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ERIC Number: ED500776
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-27
Pages: 31
Abstractor: Author
John Dewey's Critique of Scientific Dogmatism in Education with Implications for Current Supervisory Practice within a Standards-Based Environment
Glanz, Jeffrey
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) (New York City, NY, Mar 2008)
Drawing on historical research, this paper draws attention to Dewey's oft-neglected, but no less brilliant work published in 1929, The Sources of a Science of Education. Dewey's critique of efforts in his day to seek "quick-fixes" to practical educational and curricular issues by employing premature scientific investigations and findings has relevance not only from a historical perspective, but can provide a lens from which to understand current supervisory practice common in many schools. The paper examines Dewey's work by examining the rise of efforts towards a "science of supervision" starting in the twenties and thirties, and continuing through the forties. Dewey and some others harshly criticized attempts to emphasize a definitive "science of education," paying little attention to the artistic side of the field, without mindful attention to the exigencies of scientific discovery. Efforts to quantify, categorize teaching practices in dogmatic ways were criticized by Dewey. Supervisors who tried to apply the "science of teaching" to a "science of supervision" were similarly criticized. Current standards-based supervisory practices (e.g., walk-throughs) can be viewed as another historical instance of the proclivity of some educators to apply arbitrary standards and unproven supervisory strategies. Through examination of Dewey's critique of scientific dogmatism in his day and use of oral history testimony from selected retired professors of supervision who can comment on scientific supervision at the time, this paper draws historical parallels to current supervisory practices. Interestingly, examining the state and eventual fate of scientific supervision in the last century may provide insights into the future of supervision.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A