Theory Application John Dewey Nursing Term Paper

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IV. What Might be Suggested by John Dewey

John Dewey would heartily approve of the teaching practice of Ms. Thompson. She is teaching in the 'present moment' utilizing that which is available for use instead of lamenting that which is not present. The students feel cared for by Ms. Thompson, they are thriving under her instruction. John Dewey would challenge Ms. Thompson to always keep in focus in terms of her educational practice, the fact that she must always be open to the learning experience.

Ms. Thompson demonstrated the application of 'inquiry based' learning for not only herself but leading the students and thereby having simultaneously opened learning's door allowing the students to make a cognitive and conscious decision to utilize inquiry-based learning to the benefit of their own learning experience. Ms. Thompson further would have the approval of John Dewey in her classroom environment that allowed self-governance to develop in and among the students while in her classroom. A comfortable and fertile learning environment is that which characterizes Ms. Thompson's classroom, for herself and the students alike.

In view of a critique John Dewey would likely call the attention of Ms. Thompson to varied possibility in terms of the future and the implications to her teaching practice so that the needs of the students would be anticipated and hopefully met.

Dewey as well would probably remind Ms. Thompson that learning is a lifelong process, and that sharing that in the teaching practice is important for the knowledge of the student in relation to their own individual learning perspective.

Summary and Conclusion

While this story is simple it is yet a good example of the theoretical beliefs of John Dewey and the theoretical framework in this story may easily be applied to the field of Nursing. This scenario is one in which the learning environment of the individual along with the individuals commitment to the process become key in terms of successful implementation. Certainly, a subject matter that is learned through the methodology of 'asking questions, exploring, observing, and reflection may be integrated into a scenario of 'inquiry' or 'inquiry-based' learning. Those who intend to apply their teaching practice in a practical methodology must first consider how they would respond to a specific method of instructional practice. The learning experience when too structured, too strict and adherent in regulatory capacity often serve to stifle the learning experience affecting greatly the learning environment and thereto the products of that environment, and ultimately the students as well. The 'inquiry-based' learning and the lifelong learning process are critical in the field of medicine, or in this instance Nursing. Without inquiry medical learning would not exist, without learning that is lifelong in its' nature then how soon would the individual, through repetitive day-to-day life experience forget how wonderful the experience in learning is and soon forget to ask questions, to explore and indeed to learn.


Dewey, John (1916) "Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education (1966 edn.) New York: Free Press

Dewey, John (1932) Moral Judgment and Knowledge -Ethics (LW.7.262-83) 1932 Revision.

Dewey, John (1933) "How We Think: A Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process" (Revised edn.) Boston D.C. Health.

Dewey, John, "The School and Society:" Lectures & Supplement Statement of University Elementary School. Chicago, Univeristy of Chicago Press. (1907)

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Hickman, Larry A. (2005) A Pragmatic View of Concepts - Presented at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association SIG-Education, Science and Technology cosponsored with SIG-Advanced Technologies for Learning "Differing Conceptualization of Concepts: An International Society of the Learning Sciences Panel" Center for Dewey Studies Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Online available at

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