John Dewey’s Vision(s) for Interdisciplinary Social Studies
Thomas D. Fallace
William Paterson University of New Jersey
For over a century, social studies educators have drawn upon the works of philosopher John Dewey to justify an interdisciplinary vision for the field. This manuscript explores the intellectual context that engendered Dewey’s pedagogical vision, outlines how and why Dewey organized his interdisciplinary curriculum at the University of Chicago Laboratory School, and traces how Dewey expanded his pedagogy in the 1920s and 1930s to include the interdisciplinary study of social and political issues in the classroom. The author argues that Dewey’s interdisciplinary pedagogy is best appreciated through a developmental and contingent framework.
Key words: curriculum, democratic, John Dewey, child-centered, interdisciplinary, Lab School, social issues