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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 by clicking 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 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: Uniting Mississippi: Democracy and Leadership in the South

Uniting Mississippi: Democracy and Leadership in the SouthEric Thomas Weber’s Uniting Mississippi: Democracy and Leadership in the South applies a new, philosophically informed theory of democratic leadership to Mississippi’s challenges. Governor William F. Winter has written a foreword for the book, supporting its proposals.

The book draws on insights from classical and contemporary philosophical outlooks on leadership, which highlight four key social virtues: wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice. Within this framework, the author approaches Mississippi’s problems of poverty and educational frustration in a novel way that is applicable in and beyond the rural South. Weber brings to bear each of the virtues of democratic leadership on particular problems, with some overarching lessons and values to advance. The author’s editorial essays are included in the appendix as examples of engaging in public inquiry for the sake of democratic leadership.

For more information: Uniting Mississippi: Democracy and Leadership in the South

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

Join JDS today!

Along with your new membership, you will receive two classic books: John Dewey’s The Sources of a Science of Education and Dan Tanner’s book on the history of the John Dewey Society, Crusade for Democracy: Progressive Education at the Crossroads. The Society thanks the Tanner Foundation for making this offer possible.

Visit the Membership page to join today!

Assistant or Associate Dean of Teacher Education

The School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder announces an Assistant or Associate Dean of Teacher Education position. The Assistant or Associate Dean level will be determined based on experience. An academic appointment of instructor or research professor is also possible for this position. Candidates qualified for tenure may be considered for tenure only if an appropriate faculty FTE is available.

Please see click here for more information about the Dean of Teacher Education position open at the University of Colorado.

JDS Recruitment: Editorial Leadership and Communications Director

The Society is recruiting for editorial leadership and a communications director. We are recruiting among members and potential members to fill three current vacancies.

 Click below to learn more about each position:

Please strongly consider applying or recommending qualified colleagues or former students to apply for any of these positions.

Call for Papers

Dewey’s Democracy and Education a Century Later: A Source of and a Resource for European Educational Theory and Practice

On the centennial anniversary of the publication of Dewey’s Democracy and Education (New York: Macmillan, 1916), a symposium of the European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy intends to explore both the epoch-making significance and the topicality of the (ideas advocated in the) book for the development of European educational reflection. It is in light of this permanent and deep influence that we invite scholars to contribute to the call for papers to this special issue.

Deadline: Tuesday, December 1, 2015

For more information: EJPAP Call for Papers