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Thursday, June 23 • 16:10 - 17:00
CON09.06 - Can John Dewey speak Chinese?

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John Dewey visited China from 1919 to 1921. Regarded as a celebrity, his lectures were printed in daily newspapers. The following century in China his ideas about education as growth through reflection on active experience were discounted more often than propounded. In North America, however, Dewey's philosophy led to major curriculum changes; though here, too, his ideas have been threatened in recent years by an accountability agenda that often seems to favour memorization over exploration and reflection. Our central question is whether either China or Canada is ripe for projects encouraging the application of Dewey's philosophy to university teaching. We interviewed native Chinese students attending either a Chinese university or a Canadian university about their experience, if any, with instruction consistent with Deweyan principles; and we asked about their openness to such instruction. We discuss the implications of our interviews for supporting international Chinese students in adapting to Canadian classrooms.


Grace Zhang

Grace Xinfu Zhang is an Honours Psychology major at York University in Toronto. She is from Shenzhen, China.

Additional Authors

Ron Sheese

Ron Sheese teaches Psychology and Writing at York University, where he chairs the Writing Department. He was the recipient of a 3M Fellowship award in 1986.

Thursday June 23, 2016 16:10 - 17:00 EDT
UCC 59

Attendees (3)