Interest and Effort in Education/Outline

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1398152Interest and Effort in Education — Outline1913John Dewey


1. The educational lawsuit of interest versus effort 1
2. The case against the current theory of effort 2
3. The case against the current theory of interest 3
4. Each is strong in its attacks upon the opposite theory 6
5. Both fail to recognize the identity of facts and actions with the self 7
6. Both are intellectually and morally harmful 7
7. The child's demand for realization of his own impulses cannot be suppressed 8
8. Emphasizing outward habits of action leaves the child's inner nature to its caprices 10
9. Making things interesting substitutes the pleasure of excitation for that of activity 12
10. The result is division of energies 13
(a) In disagreeable effort it is simultaneous
(b) In adventitious interest it is successive
11. When properly conceived, interest and effort are vitally related 14
1. A brief descriptive account of interest 16
2. The active or propulsive phase 17
3. The objective phase 19
4. The emotional phase 20
5. Interest is primarily a form of self-expressive activity 21
6. Direct or immediated interest 21
7. Indirect, transferred or mediated interest 22
8. Two thoroughgoing errors 23
(a) Selecting subject-matter regardless of interest
(b) Making method a device for dressing up unrelated materials
9. The criterion for judging cases of transferred interest 25
(a) Are means and ends intrinsically connected?
(b) Two illustrative cases
10. Means and end are stages of a single developing activity 28
(a) Three illustrations
11. Failure follows the appeal to adventitious or substituted interests 33
12. The true relation of subject-matter and the child's activities 34
13. Consequences of this view for pleasure and happiness 35
14. There is no rigid line between direct and indirect interests 36
15. Indirect interests are symptomatic of the expansion of simple activities into more complex ones 38
16. Indirect values become direct 39
17. Interest is legitimate only when it fosters development 41
18. Genuine interest indicates personal identification with a course of action 43
1. The demand for effort is a demand for continuity in the face of difficulties 46
2. It has no significance apart from an end to be reached 47
3. Persistent but obstructed activity creates conflicting tendencies; dislike and longing 49
4. The emotion of effort or stress is a warning to reflect 50
(a) On the worth of the end
(b) On the provision of new means
5. The experience of difficulty may have a double effect
(a) To weaken the impetus in a forward direction 51
(b) To increase consciousness of the end 52
6. A conscious aim inspirits and guides in two ways
(a) It makes the individual more conscious of his purpose 53
(b) It turns his energy from thoughtless struggle to reflective judgment 53
7. The difference between educative and uneducative tasks 55
8. The criteria to be borne in mind 56
(a) Is it so easy that it fails to stimulate thought?
(b) Is it so difficult that it discourages activity?
9. Some specific consequences of violating these criteria 57
10. Good teaching must stimulate initiative 58
11. Difficulties and effort occur normally with increased depth and scope of thinking 59
12. Motive is a name for end in its active or dynamic capacity 60
13. Personal motivation cannot be thought of apart from an object or end in view 61
14. The problem is not to find a motive, but materials and conditions for the exercise of activities 62
15. The use and function of subject-matter is to promote the growth of personal powers 63
1. Genuine interest is always marked by the absorption of powers in an occupation or pursuit 65
2. Activity includes all the expressions that involve growth of power 66
(a) It specially includes: Power to realize the meaning of what is done
(b) It excludes action under external constraint, random reaction, and habitual action
3. True educative interests or activities vary indefinitely 67
4. Physical activity 67
(a) In so far as physical activity has to be learned it is intellectual in value 68
(b) The importance of school occupations which involves the exercise of senses and movements 69
(c) Sense organs are simply the pathways of stimuli to motor responses 70
(d) Growth of knowledge occurs In adapting sense-stimulus and motor response 71
(e) The great value of a wide range of play games, and occupations 72
5. Constructive activity 74
(a) The use of tools and appliances makes possible development through complicated activities of long duration 75
(b) The use of intervening tools distinguishes games and work from play 76
(c) Work is distinguished from play only by the presence of an intellectual quality 79
(d) Children need both work and play 80
6. Intellectual activity 81
(a) The intellectual phases previously subordinate, develop and become dominant 82
(b) Interest in the theoretical becomes direct 83
7. Social activity
(a) The child early identifies his concerns with those of others 84
(b) His social interest also suffuses his interest in things 86
(c) Impersonal material should be presented in the rôle it actually plays in life 87
(d) There is a close connection between social and moral interests 88
(e) Interest itself is not selfish; its character depends upon its objects 88
1. All interests mark an identification of self with ends and means 90
2. All misconceptions of interest come from ignoring its moving, developing nature 91
3. The idea of interest protects pedagogical theory
(a) From a merely internal conception of mind 92
(b) From a merely external conception of subject-matter 94
4. Interest is obtained by considering and aiming at the conditions that lie back of it 95