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Leonard J. WaksThe John Dewey Society is a space for building and sustaining the networks of students and scholars of Deweyan philosophy.  The John Dewey Society grew out of a series of discussions held in 1934 and early 1935.  Originally called “The Association for the Study of Education in its Social Aspects,” the name was changed to the John Dewey Society in early 1936.

Please join us as we continue the legacy of John Dewey. Click the “Follow” button in the lower right-hand corner of the page to keep track of JDS events and news, as well as upcoming conferences and meetings where pragmatist scholars and educators are convening. If you would like to join or volunteer with JDS, please click on the “Membership” link on the top of the page.

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Leonard Waks, President

Have a question for Leonard Waks? Send a message here: Contact the President

“What Can We Teach When We Teach (about) Religion”

Dr. Larry Hickman was the 2015 John Dewey Lecture in Chicago, IL


Call for Papers

In 1916, Dewey published “Democracy and Education”. This book was without doubt his most seminal contribution. Hence, in 2016, to celebrate the centenary of this significant occasion, Espacio, Tiempo y Educación is pleased to invite the academic community to take a fresh look at Dewey’s philosophy.

The ultimate aim is to shed light on how Dewey’s ideas (specifically those published in Democracy and Education) were received in various countries and times, thereby highlighting the metamorphosis that this educational masterwork has undergone throughout the century since its publication.

Monograph Edition: John Dewey’s reception and influence in Europe and America Coordinator: Luciana Bellatalla (University of Ferrara, Italy)

Call for Papers Deadline: 2 Oct. 2016

“Espacio, Tiempo y Educación”(v. 3, n. 2, 2016, July/December):

International Conference: Dewey’s “Democracy And Education”: 100 Years On: Past, Present, And Future Relevance

The Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and Homerton College are hosting a major 3-day international conference marking the publication centenary of Dewey’s most popular, influential and controversial book. We welcome submissions from History of Education, Philosophy of Education, educational policy, and also more practically focused papers from educators seeking to integrate Deweyan perspectives and principles in their work. The conference will consist of keynotes, parallel sessions, panel sessions with a policy focus, interactive presentations from educators and students, and a trip to the new University of Cambridge Primary School.

The call for papers is open until DECEMBER 22, 2015. 1000 word abstracts should be submitted via the website. Conference registration is also open to those not presenting.

Conference dates: 28 Sept. to 1 Oct. 2016
View website:

Download conference flyer: International Conference: Dewey’s “Democracy and Education” 100 Years On

New England Pragmatist Inaugural Conference

Dewey posterPlease join us for the upcoming conference on Dewey’s philosophy, which will also be the inaugural gathering of the New England Pragmatist Forum.  JDS president Leonard Waks and Education and Culture editor David Granger will be among the 15 presenters.

Inaugural conference: October 15-17, 2015

Twitter:  #newenglandpragmatistforum2015

For additional information: Conference Poster

Call for Papers

Please consider submitting a paper to the joint meeting of the Southeast Philosophy of Education Society (SEPES) and the South Atlantic Philosophy of Education Society (SAPES) in Asheville, North Carolina, February 4-6, 2016. Given the substantial challenges facing educational institutions in general, and philosophical inquiry within and about them in particular, we believe it is increasingly important to create a space in which current and emerging scholars and practitioners can engage in meaningful dialogue and discussion. To that end, and building upon the long traditions of each organization in providing a friendly forum for conversations concerning philosophical ideas related to a broad variety of educational topics, SEPES and SAPES invite you to submit proposals for our first joint meeting.

Deadline: November 1, 2015

For more information: Call for Papers

Call for Abstracts

JDS is pleased to announce a call for abstracts for the second annual Dewey Through Generations Panel. The Panel is part of the JDS annual meeting, to be held this coming April in Washington, DC. The Panel is meant to support emerging Dewey inspired scholars and practitioners by bringing them into a dialogue with eminent scholars who reflect the best of Dewey’s philosophical practice.  JDS graduate students should consider submitting abstracts. In addition, JDS also encourages all JDS members to share this call widely with graduate students with whom they work.

Panel Theme: The Aims of the Public Intellectual: Grassroots Movements and Organization

Submissions Due: Sunday, November 15, 2015

For additional information: Call for Abstracts: Dewey Through Generations Panel

NEW Book: John Dewey and the Future of Community College Education

John Dewey and the Future of Community College Education Cliff Harbour’s John Dewey and the Future of Community College Education,
explains how faculty and staff at American community colleges can develop a new normative vision for their institution based on the work of John Dewey. More than other postsecondary institutions, community colleges are under increasing pressure to vocationalize their curricula and substantially increase graduation rates. Often the consequence of these “reforms” is to deny community college students the opportunity to learn from their experience and prepare for a full life in democratic communities. Harbour’s text provides concise parallel histories of the community college and John Dewey and shows how the philosopher is much more relevant to public two-year institutions than previously

For more information: John Dewey and the Future of Community College Education

NEW Book: International Handbook of Progressive Education

International Handbook of Progressive Education

The International Handbook of Progressive Education (New York: Peter Lang, 2015) has just been published. This handbook includes contributions from many John Dewey Society members.

The handbook is a large collection representing many historical periods and regions of the world. Chapters include, but are not limited to the Progressive Education period in the early 20th century US. The editors involved with the project hope that it will become an essential resource for anyone interested in progressive possibilities in education.

For more information: International Handbook of Progressive Education

Call for Proposals

The year 2016 marks the centennial of the publication of John Dewey’s magisterial Democracy and Education. As part of the celebration, the John Dewey Society (JDS) is sponsoring a conference on April 7th, 2016 and the morning of April 8th, 2016, immediately prior to its own regular annual meeting, held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), April 8-13. The centennial conference is largely invitational, but there are opportunities for roundtable discussions and for posters.

To be considered, please submit your proposal to the JDS Centennial Conference program chair, Dr. AG Rud, Distinguished Professor, Washington State University, by November 15, 2015. In the subject line of your email state: JDS Centennial Conference Proposal.

For more information, download the JDS Centennial Conference Proposal.

Join the New Forum with JDS

john-dewey-forumOn 9 August 2015, the JDS officially launched its forum as a medium to enhance communication with those interested in discussing the scholarship of John Dewey.

Those interested in joining the forum will first need to register and create a user account. The forum is located on the menu bar located on the homepage of the JDS.

Join the online forum by click here:


“A visit to Dewey’s grave site in Burlington, Vermont” by David Hansen

john-dewey-graveRecently, David Hansen, Director of the Program in Philosophy and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, had the opportunity to visit Dewey’s grave site located in Burlington, Vermont.

In regard to the visit, Professor Hansen noted:
The site is beautifully tucked into a corner of Allen Chapel on the campus of the University of Vermont, where Dewey received his undergraduate degree in 1879.  I found the occasion quite moving, and as Elaine and I stood for awhile in the quiet of birdsong and insects humming, I read to her a few of Dewey’s poems memorably collected by Jo Ann Boydston.

To see more photos kindly provided by Professor Hansen click here.

In memory of Philip W. Jackson

Philip W. JacksonThe JDS would like to recognize the passing of Philip W. Jackson. Long time friend and leader of both the John Dewey Society and the American Educational Research Association, Philip Jackson, has passed away. Bringing inspiration to current JDS Board Member, Craig Cunningham, recalls, “His work inspired me when I was an undergraduate and has continued to inspire me. He had an impressive knack for finding the right problems to investigate. He invented his own ways of investigating them. A unique intellectual leader.”

Along with serving a term as the JDS President, Philip was also the Dewey Lecturer in 1999 (from which his book, John Dewey and the Philosopher’s Task was published), and along with his recently passed colleague, Herbert Kliebard, the 1999 recipient of the JDS Outstanding Career Achievement Award.

Please view a beautiful tribute to Philip, written by his student and current JDS Board Member, Craig Cunningham here: Tribute to Philip W. Jackson

Call for Proposals

JDS would like to announce a call for proposals for the Dewey and Philosophy Panel (formerly the Past President’s Panel), to be held at the John Dewey Society, 2016 Centennial Conference on Democracy and Education. The topic for the Dewey and Philosophy Panel will be: Revisiting Democracy and Education.

Proposals due: Monday, November 2, 2015

For more information: Dewey and Philosophy Panel – Call for Proposals

In memory of Herbert Kliebard

Photo of Herbert KliebardThe JDS would like to recognize the passing of curriculum historian and Dewey scholar, Herbert Kliebard.  Professor Herbert was a highly respected scholar, a Dewey expert, the 1999 JDS Outstanding Achievement Award recipient, and the 2005 Annual John Dewey Society Lecturer.  JDS President, Leonard Waks‘ noted that Herb “joined my dissertation committee fifty years ago, and was a steady, diligent and caring teacher and guide for me and his many other advisees.”

Please read the obituary here:

Conference – New England Pragmatist Inaugural Forum

The New England Pragmatist Inaugural Conference will take place at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont from October 15-17, 2015.  The focus of the inaugural conference is “The Philosophy of John Dewey.”

For more information about the conference, including the conference schedule, conference presenters, and lodging/food information, please download the Conference Information Handout.

2016 Centennial Conference on Democracy and Education

The Centennial Conference on Democracy and Education (1916-2016)

Take out your calendars and mark these dates: April 7 and 8, 2016. The John Dewey Society will be celebrating the Centennial of the publication of John Dewey’s magisterial Democracy and Education in Washington DC. We want every one interested in advancing democratic education to participate.

The meeting will take place in the historic Thurgood Marshall Center – in the very rooms in which Marshall and his colleagues developed the legal strategy that resulted in the Brown v. Board decision. It will be free and open to the public, taking place immediately prior to the annual meeting of the Dewey Society and the American Educational Research Association on April 8-12, 2016

But space is limited: reserve your spot today! (Click here to see how to reserve your spot!)

New Website and New Call for Reviewers for the Journal of Educational Controversy

Working with the Berkeley Electronic Press, the Journal of Educational Controversy now offers more flexibility and options for both authors and readers. In particular, authors can now open an account, submit their manuscripts, make revisions, and complete the peer-review process through the online system. Please view the new website here: Journal of Educational Controversy

In addition, the journal’s 10th Year Anniversary Issue will be published this coming fall. The journal has grown significantly as a voice in education. As the journal continues to grow, there is an increased need for more reviewers. If you are interested in reviewing for the journal, please send an e-mail with areas of expertise and interests to:

Call for Papers: Dewey-theme at OVPES

The John Dewey Society invites scholars to present a Dewey-themed paper at the Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Conference annual meeting on September 11-13, 2015 at the Bergamo Center in Dayton, Ohio.  A special Dewey Society-sponsored panel will be on the conference program. The OVPES conference theme this year is “Teaching as Labor, Learning as Work: Educational Ideals and the Factory of Knowledge.”

Those interested in being part of this special Dewey Society panel at OVPES can send inquiries, including name, affiliation, and paper summary to Kathleen Knight Abowitz at knightk2[at] by July 6, 2015.

For more information: Call for Papers: Dewey-theme at OVPES