Journal of East China Normal University(Educationa ›› 2019, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (2): 18-28.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2019.02.002

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On John Dewey and China's Educational Reform

Zhang Hua   

  1. Graduate School of Educational Studies, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 311121, China
  • Online:2019-03-20 Published:2019-03-21

Abstract: John Dewey's historic visit to China during the period of May Fourth Movement in 1919 greatly promoted the democratization of Chinese society and education. He himself participated in the reform of new school system and new curriculum, and the New Education Movement. When China encountered the key moment of two historic themes Enlightenment and Salvation, Dewey's choices were:laying Enlightenment as the eternal aim, striving for Salvation, thinking like the Chinese people, and seeking eastern democracy of education. Confronting the fierce conflicts between conservatism and radicalism, Dewey chose "the third philosophy", which phenomenally promoted the development of Chinese liberalism. Dewey's thought of democracy and educational philosophy has inherent connection to the 100 years' historic development of Chinese educational reform. Dewey is still "alive" in today's China. The significance of creative interpretation of Dewey is to realize the ideals of eastern Enlightenment and eastern democracy of education in China of the information age.

Key words: John Dewey, China's educational reform, Enlightenment, salvation, Chinese liberalism, eastern democracy of education