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Posted by on Mar 1, 2011 in General | One Comment

Reading for class tomorrow — one of the best parts of teaching is meeting old friends again and again — and found this gem:

There is a certain disorder in any busy workshop; there is not silence; persons are not engaged in maintaining certain physical positions; their arms are not folded; they are not holding their books thus and so. They are doing a variety of things and there is the confusion, the bustle, that results from activity. But out of the occupation, out of doing things that are to produce results, and out of doing things in a social and cooperative way, there is born a discipline of its own kind and type. In critical moments we all realize that the only discipline that stands by us, the only training that becomes intuition, is that got through life itself.

(Dewey, John. The School and Society; being three lectures. Chicago,IL : The University of Chicago Press, 1899.)

Dewey is contrasting the discipline/ethos/life of the workshop with the vision of discipline enforced in most early twentieth century schools, but it’s hard not to see this quote through present eyes…