Pragmatism in the Americas

By Gregory Fernando Pappas | Go to book overview

SEVENTEEN
DEWEY AND MARTÍ
Culture in Education

Alejandro Strong

This chapter is a first step toward developing a theoretical framework for a culturally sensitive, experience-based pedagogy for the United States. Toward this aim, a comparison of José Martí and John Dewey is both useful and important. Dewey’s works on education are primary reading in education programs around the country, and innovators in alternative experience-based teaching are applying Dewey’s ideas today. José Martí shares many similarities with Dewey. Although Martí was Cuban, he spent a large portion of his life exiled in the United States. During this period he wrote extensively on social issues in the United States; U.S. education was one of his central concerns. Martí’s writing offers a unique view on education within the states.

Both Dewey and Martí espoused teaching methods that centered on optimizing the experience of students. Both were interested in the impact of education on free nations. The mapping of these common links will be important, but for now I wish to focus on a key difference between the two. Martí and Dewey took different positions on

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