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ERIC Number: EJ1043101
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Aug
Pages: 48
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: EISSN-1740-2743
John Dewey's Dual Theory of Inquiry and Its Value for the Creation of an Alternative Curriculum
Harris, Fred
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v12 n2 p302-349 Aug 2014
Dewey's theory of inquiry cannot be reduced to the pattern of inquiry common to both common-sense inquiry and scientific inquiry, which is grounded in the human life process, since such a reduction ignores Dewey's differentiation of the two forms of inquiry. The difference has to do with the focus of inquiry, with common-sense inquiry concentrating on ends characteristic of everyday life and scientific inquiry concentrating on the perfection of the means to inquiry as an end in itself. By not differentiating the two forms of inquiry, the significance of Dewey's innovations in curriculum construction has been underrated. The curriculum created in the University Laboratory School (the Dewey School), was designed to gradually shift children's and adolescents' concerns for ends typical of common-sense inquiry to a concern for means and their coordination, which thereby approaches more closely scientific inquiry. This curriculum was grounded in the basic economic structure of human life for the production of food, clothing and shelter, with reading, writing and arithmetic, along with the disciplines (physics, chemistry and so forth) emerging as functions of life, initially. This curriculum, with modifications, could function to provide a critical basis of modern capitalist relations of production and exchange and the capitalist state.
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A