John Deweys interest and effort in education
This scholarly work of John Dewey proves its significance from the time it’s conceived until this era more enhanced by technology. As a proponent of pragmatism (which means the realistic way to solving problems rather than obeying fixed rules) in the field of pedagogy, he is famous for the line: “Learning by doing.” In this book, Interest and Effort in Education, the main tenets that this author expresses are: the arguments between interest and effort, unified and divided activity,good teaching defined as “teaching of the future will make school life vital to youth, the provision of school experience wherein the child is wholeheartedly active in acquiring the ideas and skill needed to
deal with the problems of his expanding life.” On the other hand “genuine interest is the accompaniment of identification, through action, of the self with some object or idea for the maintenance of self-initiated activity. Effort, as opposed to interest, implies a separation between the self and the fact to be mastered or task to be performed and sets up a habitual division of activities.” (Dewey, 1913, p. 14).Dewey describes in vivid and comprehensive detail of the educational setting of his time: its weaknesses and how his tenet could be of significance in the change that he hopes to develop. Moreover, his discussion on the strengths of the theory of interest and effort are equally well-compared contrasted….
It is an impressively structured work that is confident of its impact to the administrators and
learners both. It discourages the society’s continuous adherence to the already educational
theories despite their weaknesses.
He expresses the failure of most schools in maintaining student-motivation. Many
students leave school for lack of interest. There are a lot of cases of school drop-outs that
became successful in their chosen fields, most of them land in different business industries.
Insufficient interesting training earned due to the goal of merely acquiring a
certification or diploma, labeling them as "those who emerge from the schools, duly certified,
too many are skillful merely in an outer show of information and manners which gives no surety
that the major part of their inner impulses are capable of rational and easy self-direction."
Dewey points out the true cause for student boredom and blames the unappealing method of
teaching that stops students from continuing their education.
The weakness of the schools rest on their inability to establish creative methods wherein
students’ personality , level and interest are well gauged. As Dewey puts it, "A child’s character,
knowledge and skill are not reconstructed by sitting in a room where events happen. Events must
happen to him , in a way to bring a full and interested response. The teacher is only successful if
there is a student response where change is visible.
One of the striking points that Dewey stresses is "It is absurd to suppose that a child gets
more intellectual or mental discipline when he goes at a matter unwillingly than when he goes at
it out of the fullness of his heart." (Dewey, 1919,