Departmental Bulletin Paper J. Dewey’s educational philosophy and physical education

JINNO, Shutaro  ,  INOUE, Seiji

17pp.1 - 12 , 2017-03-01 , 国士舘大学体育・スポーツ科学学会
 The purpose of this study was to discuss Dewey’s educational philosophy in connection with physical education. His educational philosophy is considered in this study as part of his social theory. Dewey’s social theory is a discussion of the concept of freedom based on criticism of liberalism and a discussion of gaining intelligence to achieve liberty. In his philosophy, the concept of liberty consists of three elements : ”power,” ”relativity,” and ”control.” That is, liberty involves social problems, and one must gain intelligence to solve them. Therefore, one of Dewey’s educational aims, based on his social theory, is to gain intelligence to achieve liberty. The process of gaining intelligence is the process of a continuing reconfiguring of experience. This is why Dewey focused on the constitution of experience in his own philosophy. He specifically focused on the physical activity of children as a reflection of their spirit(mindset),i.e. ”spiritual” activities in the form of play or sports. Such a situation produces mutual cooperation and emulation and, then, the experience that occurs as a result of that situation has some ”meaning.” According to Dewey’s theory, amassing meaning is what constitutes intelligence. The process of gaining experience in settings where others are present is the process of gaining intelligence, and that process is predicated on the presence of others. Thus, intelligence is the key to the achievement of liberty. Accordingly, Dewey’s educational philosophy was connected to physical education. In other words, the potential for the concept of physical education to develop is a recognition that intelligence is gained through physical activity in a setting where others are present. Actively identifying the meaning of physical activity by children leads to opportunities to foster their intelligence so that they can achieve freedom. Doing so will lead to their growth and the growth of society itself. Such a stance is a pragmatic one, and it represents the progressivism in Dewey’s philosophy.

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