The centrality of the learners in the light of John Dewey’s philosophy of education


  • Ester P. Canillo
  • Alan A. Bendanillo


John Dewey, education, centrality of the learner, learning by doing, experience


John Dewey is the most significant philosopher of education. This article provides a thorough analysis of John Dewey’s philosophy of education and his theory on experiential learning in the educational process. It also offers a closer look of the speculative case suggesting the visionary child-centered education underlying Dewey’s educational philosophy. The article consists of two sections: (1) John Dewey’s philosophy of education and the centrality of the learner (child), and (2) the term ‘experience’ through the lens of Dewey’s philosophy of education. The method used in this research is a library study, in the form of research whose objects are literature works, namely scientific journals, books, articles in the mass media, and other net from different websites. While John Dewey who was considered as an exemplar proponent in education and philosophy of his time, the researchers conclude that still today Dewey’s ideologies have a place in educational curriculums across the globe for sheer reason that John Dewey elucidates the idea that students learn from human experiences, in which it simply boils down to a certain idea of “putting ideas into action” or, it simply means “learning-by-doing.”


Acampado, A. G. (2019). Understanding experience: Dewey’s philosophy. International Journal of Educational Research and Studies, 1(1), 1-6.

Aliya Sikandar. (2020). John Dewey and His Philosophy of Education. Journal of Education and Educational Development, 2(2). Retrieved from

Bantock, G.H. (1963). Education in an industrial society. London: Faber.

Bendanillo, A. (2022). Education in Immanuel Kant and John Dewey: A Comparative Analysis. Available at SSRN 4249493.

Bradshaw, P., Cartwright, M., & Wise, C. (2012). Leading professional practice in education. Leading Professional Practice in Education, 1-304.

Cahn, Steven. Classic and Contemporary Readings in the Philosophy of Education. New York: McGraw Hill Companies, 1997.

Craig, C. J., You, J., Zou, Y., Verma, R., Stokes, D., Evans, P., & Curtis, G. (2018). The embodied nature of narrative knowledge: A cross-study analysis of embodied knowledge in teaching, learning, and life. Teaching and Teacher Education, 71, 329-340.

Crick Nathan. (2004). John Dewey’s aesthetics of communication: The Southern Communication Journal; Memphis. 2004; 69(4):303-319.

Dar, R. A. (2021). Educational Philosophy of John Dewey and His Main Contribution to Education.

Darling, J. (1994). Child centered education and its critics. London: Paul Chapman

Dewey, J. (1944), Democracy and Education (Original Work Published 1916), Myers Education Press,Gorham, Maine, Reprinted in 2018.

Dewey, J. (1910). How we think. New York: Prometheus Books.

Dewey, J. (2000). My pedagogic creed (1897). Philosophical documents in education, 2, 92-100.

Dewey, John. The Child and The Curriculum. London: The University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Dewey, John. The School and Society. Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 1900.

Dewey, J. (1987). The psychology of effort. The Philosophical Review, 6(1), 43-56.

Entwhistle, H. (1970). Child centered education. London: Methuen.

Freedman, B., Fuks, A., & Weijer, C. (1993). In loco parentis minimal risk as an ethical threshold for research upon children. The Hastings Center Report, 23(2), 13-19.

Joseph Ratner, Intelligence in the Modern World (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1939), 527.

John S. Brubacher, John Dewey: His Thoughts and Influence, ed. John Blewett, S.J. New York: Fordham University Press, 1970, p. 102.

Hassen, M. Z. (2021). John Dewey’s Philosophy of Education: A Critical Reflections.

Haynes, J. D., Sakai, K., Rees, G., Gilbert, S., Frith, C., & Passingham, R. E. (2007). Reading hidden intentions in the human brain. Current Biology, 17(4), 323-328.

Hohr, H. (2013). The concept of experience by John Dewey revisited: Conceiving, feeling and “enliving”. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 32, 25-38.

Kalande, W. M. (2006). The influence of science teacher preparation programs on instructional practices of beginning primary school teachers in Malawi (Doctoral dissertation, Virginia Tech).

Kant, Immanuel. On Education. Translated by Annette Churton. Boston: D. C. Health & Co., Publishers, 1900.

Mangila, Benjamin (2022. Teaching Effectiveness and Work Performance of General Education Instructors in a Higher Education Institution in the Philippines. Akademika DO - 10.17576/akad-2022-9203-07.

Nowell, L. (2015). Pragmatism and integrated knowledge translation: exploring the compatabilities and tensions. Nursing open, 2(3), 141-148.

Peirce C. (1905) Review of Nichols’ A treatise on cosmology.In Meaning and Action: A Critical History of Pragmatism (Thayer H.S., ed.), Hackett, Indianapolis, IN, pp. 493–495.

Pocock, S. J., Smith, M., & Baghurst, P. (1994). Environmental lead and children's intelligence: a systematic review of the epidemiological evidence. Bmj, 309(6963), 1189-1197.

Pring, R. (2007). John Dewey: Continuum library of educational thought. London: Continuum.

Ryan, f. Primary experience as settled meaning: Dewey's conception o. Philosophy Today, 1994; 38(1):29. Retrieved from accountid=33262.

Shwartz, Y., Ben‐Zvi, R., & Hofstein, A. (2005). The importance of involving high‐school chemistry teachers in the process of defining the operational meaning of ‘chemical literacy’. International Journal of Science Education, 27(3), 323-344.

Sikandar, A. (2015). John Dewey and his philosophy of education. Journal of Education and Educational Development, 2(2).

Sthur J. Pragmatism and Classical American Philosophy: Essential Readings and Interpretative essays. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 437-491.

Tung, K. Y. (2013). Philosophy of christian education. Yogyakarta: ANDI.

Votava, Pavel (2018). The Development and Understanding of the Concept of 'Experience' in John Dewey's Theory of Experiential Learning. Available at Caritas et Veritas. DOI: 10.32725/cetv.2018.040.

Woenardi, T. N., Supratno, H., Mudjito, M., & Putri, I. O. R. (2022). The Concept of Education According to John Dewey and Cornelius Van Til and Its Implications in The Design of Early Childhood Character Curriculum. IJORER: International Journal of Recent Educational Research, 3(3), 269-287.

Woods, R.G. & Barrow, R. (2006). An introduction to the philosophy of education. London: Methuen.Vol. 2 No. 2 (December 2015)Vol. 2 No. 2 (JDecember 2015) 200 201.




How to Cite

Ester P. Canillo, & Alan A. Bendanillo. (2023). The centrality of the learners in the light of John Dewey’s philosophy of education. Science and Education, 4(4), 725–735. Retrieved from



Pedagogical Sciences