Graziano and Raulin (8th ed)Graziano & Raulin
Research Methods (8th edition)

John Dewey (1859-1955) was an American psychologist, philosopher, and educator. Dewey published the first psychology textbook in America (Dewey, 1886) and became President of the American Psychological Association in 1898. 

In 1896, Dewey published a significant article, The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology. This was a major criticism of both behaviorism and structuralism. Dewey argued that behavior and consciousness cannot be reduced to discreet or basic sensorimotor elements. Rather, the psychological study of behavior must focus on the behavior of organisms as they adapt to their environments--that is, the total organism functioning in its environment. This article is considered by many historians to be the most influential opening statement for the development of functionalism. Dewey was one of the founders of the functionalist movement, in the tradition created largely by James and Hall.

Dewey’s ideas led to the development of his innovative laboratory school at the University of Chicago. He was critical of the educational approaches of his day as being adult-oriented, rather than being responsive to the needs of children. Adults are called upon to use already-formed habits and skills in formal ways to meet their personal and occupational responsibilities. But, he wrote, “The child is primarily one whose calling is growth” (Dewey, 1900, p. 105). This adult-child distinction is critical in education. Schools, according to Dewey, need to understand the special nature of children and facilitate their general growth and development. The major error made by educators, he believed, was in presenting too formalized learning too early. His educational approach evolved into the progressive education movement. Dewey’s work was a major part of the development of functionalism, in which the hallmark was the study of consciousness and behavior in its adaptive context.

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