John Dewey and Museum Education


Although John Dewey’s educational concepts have been discussed previously in relation to museums, his own writing about museums has received little attention. Dewey, who visited museums frequently throughout his life, recognized the powerful educational value of museums. He assigned a central role to museums as integrative components of raw experiences in his educational theory, and he made extensive use of student visits to museums at the Chicago Laboratory School. Early twentieth-century museum educators and directors applied Dewey’s ideas, and advocated a museum education philosophy, based on the progressive education movement, that hassignificance for current exhibition and educational practice.