According to John Dewey, why is a paradigm shift taking place?

Dewey believes that education is found to be in a much different position than in the time of previous paradigms when approached from the post-modern paradigm: learning is viewed as a process of development, rather than the mere acquisition of facts to refer back to and to remember. According to Dewey, among others, the process is becoming more of a focus point in post-modern education, because the process of developing knowledge from experience and experiential learning, from reflection and generating meaning from information is transforming in nature and contributes immensely to successful learning. Reflection creates a process in which learning takes on a quality of realness and experience is reconstructed in order for it to be of value to learning. Dewey places as much considerable emphasis on experience as on thinking. He argues that a paradigm shift is in order because teaching or basic instruction is by no means sufficient to enable us to learn to think in a critical or reflective way. The most successful way of learning how to adopt the habit of critical and reflective thinking is by being forced to, in situations where normal skills are insufficient. The paradigm shift that this century is experiencing is one from transmission, transaction and transformation to a transcendental paradigm. this simply means that the new paradigm will transcend all that limits learning in the curriculum, the school, and in the way that knowledge is perceived.

Slabbert, J., De Kock, D. M. & Hattingh, A. 2009. The Brave ‘new’ World of Education: Creating a unique professionalism. Juta and Company: Cape Town.


2 thoughts on “According to John Dewey, why is a paradigm shift taking place?

  1. This is a very interesting way of teaching and learning. I would like to see the difference in performance results when both learning techniques are compared. I would also agree that situational learning is a much better way of remembering information than a fact based learning technique.

  2. I also agree that situational learning is the best way to learn and that if you are just studying a lot of facts, you’ll probably forget most of it if you do not apply it practically. It is also more interesting to get experience than to just sit and study all the facts.

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