Apply humanities and social science perspectives to the speculation and practice of education. And apparently, there now’s slightly more curiosity in Dewey on the part of philosophers of education within the UK than there was in earlier years, and there may be rising curiosity by philosophers from the Continent (see, for instance, Biesta and Burbules 2003).
Nevertheless, some works on this genre are among the many classics of academic thought”—a more felicitous label than philosophy of education”; circumstances in point would be the essays, pamphlets and letters of Thomas Arnold (headmaster of Rugby college), John Wesley (the founding father of Methodism), J.H. (Cardinal) Newman, T.H. Huxley, and the writings on progressive education by A.S. Neill (of Summerhill school).
Dewey’s work was of central importance for the American progressive schooling movement in its early life, though there was a fair degree of misunderstanding of his ideas as progressives interpreted his often extremely dense prose to be saying what they personally happened to imagine.
Though Rousseau never supposed these educational particulars to be taken actually as a blueprint (he saw himself as growing and illustrating the essential ideas), over the ages there have been attempts to implement them, one being the famous British free faculty”, A.S. Neill’s Summerhill (cf.
The general image that emerges from even a sampling of this collective will not be pretty; the sector lacks mental cohesion, and (from the angle taken in this essay) there’s a widespread problem regarding the rigor of the work and the depth of scholarship—though undoubtedly there are islands, but not continents, of competent philosophical discussion of inauspicious and socially essential issues of the sort listed earlier.