Abstract 1- Volume 2, Number 3, Winter 2007

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 2, Number 3, Winter 2007



Dewey and Standardization: A Philosophical Look at the Implications for Social Studies

Wayne Journell
University of Illinois


The work of John Dewey and his beliefs regarding student-centered learning are discussed in an effort to analyze the standardization of public education with a focus on social studies instruction. Using the Virginia Standards of Learning as a model, state standards are critiqued using Dewey’s views on habits and choice regarding teaching and learning. These discussions fit within Dewey’s broader view that historically situates schools as an integral part of perpetuating a democratic society by providing the necessary skills that citizenship requires. As a discipline aimed at shaping future citizens by relying on critical thinking and public deliberation of issues, social studies provides an ideal medium to compare the practices of standardization to that of student-centered instruction.

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About the Author(s)…

Wayne Journell is a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to entering graduate work, Wayne taught high school social studies in Virginia. His research interests deal with social studies instruction and citizenship education with an emphasis on technology integration and e-learning. Contact information: ajourne2@uiuc.edu, Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois