Printer Friendly

Discovering a route to revitalize the foundations of education: reflective thinking from theory to practice.


If the Foundations of Education are in danger of becoming extinct, then we are long overdue in critically reexamining how the ideological foundations of American education impact the development and growth of democratic ideals. I suggest that it is possible for educators, as individuals, to initiate and sustain a process of analyzing and revitalizing teaching and learning using the Foundations of Education as a guide. In addition to reconstituting Foundations of Education, the aim is to solidify the commitment to our ideals of equal opportunity and democracy in schooling within an overarching concern for social justice.

In considering issues of social justice and educational equity, Linda Darling-Hammond (2006) examines teachers who make a serious commitment to their students as individuals and also as a collective. Importantly, she found that the teachers who shared this commitment had a wide ranging and extensive knowledge base from which to draw upon in this process. Not only were such teachers aware of the needs of their students, both from an individual and group perspective, but also these teachers were able to provide for such needs due to the fact that the teachers understood the teaching and learning process as an extremely complex and multifaceted approach that embodies extensive knowledge of methods, cultural understandings, and developmentally appropriate strategies. Darling-Hammond indicates that teachers who possess this dedication are more likely to be prepared to teach all learners, including students in a low-income socioeconomic status. Thus, Darling-Hammond highlights teaching and learning in a very real sense.

Reflecting on Darling-Hammond's premise calling for a serious teacher commitment to diverse learners, the key question is how do individual educators, or groups of educators, start? I suggest that it would benefit educators to first look back to ideas and ideals of teaching that emanated from noted scholars in the early part of the 20th century. In particular, I believe a good starting point is an examination of the merger of John Dewey's philosophy of education as translated into teaching practices by H. Gordon Hullfish, a renowned educator who taught at The Ohio State University from the early 1920s to 1961. The reason is that both of these noted individuals promoted and developed concepts of reflective thinking practices in the classroom--an essential educational process from which the Foundations of Education evolve. Indeed, Dewey (1927) held, "To learn in a human way and to human effect is not just to acquire added skill through refinement of original capacities" (p. 154).


Some scholars of the early 1900s initiated notions of a democratic classroom in public schools that fostered H. Gordon Hullfish's ideas surrounding reflective thinking teaching (Stern, 2013). In this article, I will examine Hullfish's teaching and learning methodology involving reflective thinking. Primary to this discussion are the questions: How did H. Gordon Hullfish arrive at these ideas and ideals, and, how can his approach become applicable to contemporary issues of Educational Foundations?

I contend that education for social problems--a platform from which to initiate teaching and learning in reflective thinking--began with the birth of social studies as a subject in 1916. At that time, John Dewey's ideas for democracy and education were imbedded in the third and final report recommendations of the 1916 Committee on Social Studies. This Report was created at the direction of the Commission for the Reorganization of Secondary Education under the auspices of the National Education Association. Dewey's primary teaching principle for solving issues and problems that became the central tenet of the 1916 Report formed a foundation to enable educators and their students to address social, economic, and political issues in education (Jorgensen, 2012).

The basis for my discussion will be Dewey's ideas for teaching reflective thinking as a cornerstone for promoting and preserving democratic ideals--the very core of Educational Foundations in America. However, I will primarily address the influence of Dewey's educational philosophy on H. Gordon Hullfish. The significance of this examination is that reflective thinking--now often described in related notions of critical inquiry and issues-centered education--became the primary focus of H. Gordon Hullfish's work at The Ohio State University. Hullfish's career in education was a journey in discovering and walking down Dewey's path to achieving democratic ideals, if not actually tracing Dewey's footsteps.

It should be noted that terms such as critical inquiry and issues-centered education did not generally enter into the world of education or even the public's lexicon until the latter stages of the 20th century--quite some time after the publication of most of the writings of both Dewey and Hullfish. I suggest that the Dewey and Hullfish advocacy for teaching reflective thinking should be embraced by Foundation of Education scholars so as to revitalize the discipline during the 21 st century. Let us examine the possibilities of Dewey, then Hullfish, setting the educational path to reflective thinking teaching and how this approach can be applied in today's classroom.

Background: Recognizing a Need in Education

John Dewey formulated his ideas for education within the social context of the early 1900s. The United States was growing as an industrialized society and there was an increasing concentration of immigrants largely in urban areas. The pressures of rapid industrialization brought about the need to educate workers in a manner that caused business leaders to advocate training workers to perform new jobs (Callahan, 1962; Kliebard, 2004). However, Dewey's (1910) "training of the mind" (p. 53) was not designed for rote learning of the job oriented skills desired in the industrial era. Dewey strongly believed that training as defined by the industrialists represented a significant barrier against reflective thinking when teachers acquiesced to "the domination of their minds by the idea that the chief thing is to get pupils to recite their lessons correctly" (p. 53). Thus, in Dewey's context, the training of reflective thinking developed thought processes that led to formulating judgments--including the moral and ethical judgments involved in Educational Foundations.

In Democracy and Education, Dewey (1916) extensively used the idea that "While all thinking results in knowledge, ultimately the value of knowledge is subordinate to its use in thinking" (pp. 177-178). In the same year, 1916, Dewey's primary teaching principle was wholly adopted by the 1916 Committee and consistently presented throughout their seminal document the 1916 Report on Social Studies that created the newly created subject of social studies. Dewey's principle, namely, meeting needs of present growth and immediate interests, resulted in a creative and innovative set of recommendations for the teaching and learning of social studies (Evans, 2004; Hertzberg, 1981; Jorgensen, 2012; Saxe, 1991). Pertinent to this discussion, Dewey's primary teaching principle represents a template for reflective inquiry.

The Influence of Mentors

Did John Dewey have a mentor? H. Gordon Hullfish did--Boyd H. Bode, a professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois who later joined the College of Education faculty at OSU. Bode introduced Hullfish to Deweyan ideas and ideals. Prior to his time at the University of Illinois, Hullfish was more or less a self-made man--a high school drop-out who exemplified the need for Dewey's philosophy to be applied in schools. That is, Hullfish believed schools should meet the present interest and needs of students to give them life experiences that add value to learning at school. In lieu of school providing experience through instruction, Hullfish acquired life experiences at various jobs after leaving high school. Recognizing his aptitude and potential, mentors sponsored his entrance to the University of Illinois (Webeck, Robertson, & Field, 2007; Wirth, 1963).

Archival research from The Ohio State University reveals the uncommon circumstance underlying Bode, a philosopher, and Hullfish, a philosophy student, transferring to the College of Education at OSU. The story centers on Hullfish's mentor, Bode, and is detailed in a July 6, 2001, recorded conversation and related transcript made as part of the Oral History Project at OSU. At that time, Robert Butche, historian of The Ohio State University College of Education, spoke with Paul Klohr, who first came to Ohio State in 1940, was the director of the Ohio State University Laboratory School between 1952 and 1957, and was Emeritus Professor of The Ohio State University College of Education at the time of the interview. Klohr (2001) not only indicated that "Hullfish was a student of Bode when Bode was at the University of Illinois" but that "Bode was in the Philosophy Department at Illinois. So it was rather unusual to have a professional philosopher join a college of education faculty, but he came over to Ohio State and Hullfish came with him as an assistant" (p. 6).

It is important to note that Hullfish did not move to OSU simply to assist Bode. His intention was to complete his dissertation under Bode's continued mentorship. However, as will be shown in this discussion, the theories and ideas of John Dewey became a substantive influence on Hullfish during his graduate studies at OSU and throughout his career. In fact, Klohr stated that "Bode's thinking" (p. 7) became Hullfish's thinking, which was rooted in the educational philosophy of John Dewey. This indicates that the story of John Dewey's influence on Bode and Hullfish is much more illuminating for purposes of Foundations of Education than simply acknowledging that Hullfish, as a doctoral student, followed his dissertation sponsor, Bode, to The Ohio State University, where he remained for his entire career.

Brickman (1963) verifies that it was Bode who introduced Hullfish to John Dewey in the 1920s. While Hullfish referred to Bode as his sponsor and mentor, his adoption and utilization of John Dewey's educational philosophy is evidenced throughout his career both in his writing and in his teaching practice. As early as the completion of his dissertation, Hullfish acknowledged both Bode as his sponsor and John Dewey's writings. In a review of Hullfish's 1926 dissertation, Brickman states: "The content, in fact, revealed Dewey as a source of Hullfish's thought" (p. 181). He highlights a statement in the dissertation: '"the thing we need to be concerned about is the establishment of habits that possess a flexible nature' is an echo of Dewey's Human Nature and Conduct" (p. 181). Hullfish, in large part, expanded his teaching practices as well as scholarship on the practical application of Dewey's educational principles--especially involving the concept of reflective thinking.

Hullfish: The Education Professor

Similar to John Dewey, who at various times acquired the label of progressive, Hullfish was assigned the same designation. Yet, he was not an advocate for education reform in the vein of contemporaries such as Harold Rugg, whose work focused on social reconstruction (Evans, 2007; Riley & Stern 2011). Hullfish's stance in the classroom concerning social issues was focused on his belief and practice that educators recognize the potential talents of all students to aim toward the betterment of society and democracy.

Hullfish's commitment to education is best brought to light through the eyes of some of his doctoral students at The Ohio State University. For instance, Bernard Mehl (1963) relates Hullfish's decision in 1937 to resign from the American Federation of Teachers. At that time, Hullfish doubted that the goals of the teacher's union were dedicated to increasing the knowledge and independent critical thinking of students. Mehl shares that Hullfish applied a similar view to the social reconstructionist group that included Rugg. Mehl states that Hullfish "never allowed the function of critical intelligence to be stilled by a definite program of social and political action" (p. 202). However, when the College of Education students at Ohio State invited Rugg to speak on campus, their out-reach action drew criticisms from some factions. Hullfish, based on his belief in freedom of a democratic classroom, defended Rugg's right to deliver his address to students on campus. Hullfish was a dedicated educator, not an education activist in the manner of Rugg.

As a former Hullfish doctoral student, William Brickman (1963) points out that Hullfish taught at Ohio State for approximately forty years. His writings, which included numerous essays on ideas of morals, critical thinking, democratic ideals, and freedom, reflected his emphasis on teaching practices that further emphasize the importance of Educational Foundations for practicing teachers and students in the classroom. Hullfish was thoroughly grounded in Dewey's ideas and thoughts for education. However, Hullfish stepped beyond the educational philosophy as exemplified by John Dewey and entered into the classroom and into curriculum teaching approaches. Brickman observes that in comparison to other professors, Hullfish was unique in his belief in the teacher's responsibility to inspire and encourage interest--to motivate students in the classroom to stretch the limits of their ability. In Brickman's opinion, "Hullfish did expect the student to do something for himself, even if he [Hullfish] did not express it directly" (p. 179).

George W. Axtelle (1963), as president of the John Dewey Society in 1963, exuberantly writes that Hullfish's entire career was an "embodiment of the philosophy of the man whose name our society carries" (p. 220). On a personal note, Axtelle relays to the reader that the "H" in H. Gordon Hullfish translated into Hank in his social contacts. He highlights Hullfish's long-term association with the John Dewey Society and his service on its board, which concluded with his election as Honorary President. In reflecting on knowing Hullfish as a graduate student, Axtelle writes that he consistently "raised questions relating to values, most especially reflective thinking" and that he was "at his best in smaller groups rather than on the lecture platform" (p. 220).

William Van Til's (1963) association with Gordon Hullfish began in 1935 as a graduate student and expanded over the years to become colleague and co-author as well as involvement in mutual endeavors with the Progressive Education Association and the John Dewey Society. Initially Hullfish joined Van Til's fledgling Ohio State University teachers' union. Then Hullfish abruptly resigned. Strong discussions led to Van Til's recognition that Hullfish "decided that affiliation with one segment of the total American society was contrary to his interpretation of democracy as widening the area of shared interests" (p. 213). Hullfish steadfastly fought for the democratic way of life and remain consonant in his efforts in the development of reflective thinking teaching. Referencing a democratic classroom, Van Til stated: "He [Hullfish] never stopped helping others in their struggles toward clarification of guiding principles" (p. 219).

Former graduate student, Harry Armogida (1963), began his association with Hullfish in 1940. His recounting of class time with Hullfish reveals a professor persona that was much in tune with casual society, not unprofessional in manner, but certainly an approachable consultant and mentor. In fact, Armogida states "despite the strenuous intellectual effort that one might engage in with him" (p. 215), Hullfish preferred to apply practical, unsophisticated terms in getting to the bottom of issues. Armogida uses the term "permissive atmosphere" for Hullfish's classroom, which the graduate student declares defied conclusive definition. Even Hullfish avoided a definition of his classroom climate over a concern that it was extremely important to develop respect--respect for individuals, ideas, and democracy in order to maintain a "permissive atmosphere." From this viewpoint, Armogida notes that frequently "the headline of the current newspaper seemed to have been written for his [Hullfish] purposes" (p. 215). Armogida's personable summary of his student experiences with Hullfish continuously reiterates Hullfish's teaching practices. In particular, he noted the importance that Hullfish placed on creating a classroom atmosphere that encouraged, welcomed, and embraced ideas.

Arthur G. Wirth (1963), in reminiscing about his days as a student of Hullfish, clearly paints a picture of an educator who fostered an open forum classroom. That is, Hullfish believed that a teacher "needs to make the class a place where relevant ideas of each student get serious attention" (p. 209). Thus, Hullfish's vision of a democratic classroom is one where students can form ideas that are different from the teacher.

At Ohio State, Katherine M. Carroll (1963), a former graduate student, relates witnessing Hullfish in action in campus seminars demonstrating his loyalty to the pursuit of exploring issues. She points out that Hullfish strongly defended academic freedom. Hullfish sustained a consistent defensive effort reiterating his various arguments. In fact, the John Dewey Society commissioned Hullfish to "address the attacks on academic freedom" as editor of the 1953 yearbook (Wirth, 1996). Carroll's view of Hullfish, who she describes as a liberal, translates into her observation that "Hullfish and Dewey viewed education as an agency to free man's intelligence for problem-solving activities related to all aspects of life" (p. 217).

John Dewey and H. Gordon Hullfish were both educational philosophers who were devoted to education and democratic ideals. Their individual careers overlapped for several decades. In the eyes of the public, then and now, Dewey was exceptional in the philosophy of education field. On the other hand, Hullfish firmly established his role in taking theory direct to the classroom where he was held in high regard by his colleagues and many students over the years. Next, I turn to an examination of the potential influence of Dewey's and Hullfish's ideas for reflective thinking in 21st century education.

Dewey and Hullfish: Parallels of Reflective Thinking

Today, reflective thinking as used by Dewey and Hullfish is considered a term that now often translates into notions of critical inquiry. Both of these scholars advocated and promoted the concept of reflective thinking teaching from a parallel viewpoint. Dewey established reflective thinking as a mainstay of his educational philosophy. Hullfish not only adopted the same position, but also took his ideas into practice in the classroom.


It was Dewey, in characteristic fashion, who deftly devised a new meaning for the term reflection. In How We Think (1910), Dewey clearly delineates reflective thinking as an organizational technique to identify problems or issues and to develop solution methodologies. Dewey was specific in outlining his series of five steps to follow in adapting reflective thinking as a teaching methodology. He detailed that the reflective process began with a situation of question, skepticism, or reservation and then entered a search for identifying additional facts to either substantiate or quash the suggested situation or idea. The individual would then outline solution possibilities, and in the next step would further develop these possibilities through reason. The final step included continuing experimenting and observing to be able to either accept or reject the possible solutions--in Dewey's words "the conclusion of belief or disbelief" (p. 72). Throughout the reflective thinking process the individual judiciously avoids forming any conclusions until the inquiry and investigation is completed. He was also very clear in pointing out that not all problems are similar. There could be varying potential solutions. His five reflective steps translated into an individual's method to address the present day problems that arise in life. Dewey's goal was to encourage students to use his reflective thinking process as a way to identify choices and differences that could lead to changes and improvements for society.

For Dewey, reflective thinking as a tool created meaning or understanding of experiences in order to be able to make sense of and add value to events or to life circumstances. He consistently advocated that the role of education was to provide moral, intellectual, and emotional growth in order to contribute to the expansion of democratic ideals (Dewey, 1916). Thus, reflective thinking education allows examination of experiences to occur, which may or may not be planned or intended occurrences, so that determining the meaning and value of the experiences lies within one's control (Rogers, 2002). In Dewey's (1938) own reflections on society's view of what was considered by many to be the successful teaching of subjects such as history, geography, and literacy skills, he cautioned the approach was not beneficial when:
   the individual loses his own soul; loses his appreciation of things
   worthwhile, of the values to which these things are relative; if he
   loses desire to apply what he has learned and, above all, loses the
   ability to extract meaning from his future experiences as they
   occur. (p. 49)

It is clear that Dewey believed reflective thinking teaching represented a critical foundation for education.


In the Forward to the twelfth yearbook of the John Dewey Society (1953), Hullfish, the volume's editor, together with Vivian T. Thayer and William Van Til, stated: "Free men are tasked with encountering problems needling [needing] solution or resolution--a task that should stir the imagination, not hold it back" (p. xii). In Chapter 11 of the volume, Hullfish (1953) consistently turns to analogies and references to Deweyan ideas on critical thinking and the teaching of inquiry-based reflection. An important focus for Hullfish was educational freedom and developing value-based methods of education for teachers. According to Wirth (1996), Hullfish and the majority of his OSU colleagues strongly opposed "what they saw as an abandonment of inquiry for an indoctrination platform for schools" (p. 90).

Hullfish (1961) expanded on this discussion to a greater extent in his book, Reflective Thinking: The Method of Education, as well as other writings. Hullfish and his co-author, Philip G. Smith, reached far beyond 1916's Democracy and Education and drew upon Dewey's later writings focusing on freedom in education. For Hullfish, gaining a good level of understanding required "individuals who have gained the ability to think--however awesome the problem--and who, equally, have gained courage to deal with ideas--however strange they seem" (p. 15). In a Deweyan manner, Hullfish stated, "The key to wisdom and the good life, however, resides in the recognition and selection of worthy problems and purposes" (p. 37). Drawing upon Dewey's ideas of reflective thinking, Hullfish described his concern that the typical educators' methodology actually controlled or restricted reflective activities in the classroom. Apparently he believed that reflective intellectual activity was valued only by a few. The challenge, therefore, was "to enlarge progressively the small group of individuals who value intellectual activity for its own sake, doing so because we know how dependent wholesome social growth is upon the free use of intelligence" (p. 62).

Also, Hullfish (1961) turned to Dewey's ideas of human experience and recognized that individuals inherently came with their gained experience. Specifically, Hullfish stated "one cannot think about thinking until he is already a thinking individual" (p. 71). He expanded this idea by describing a pre-school age child as already being "a thinking, knowing, individual person" (p. 72). Once such a thinking child entered school, Hullfish asked if the emphasis should be on learning facts, which he described as learning conclusions prepared by teachers and written in textbooks. He provided his own answer by establishing that advocating "engaging teachers in an analysis of thinking" would encourage them to rely on texts and scheduled activities as well as allow them "to gain control of a set of conceptual tools for an understanding of reflective thinking as the method of education" (p. 88). Hullfish steadfastly believed that the goal for value-based education lies in developing knowledge in students by encouraging, guiding, and increasing their ability to think.

Expanding on this idea, Hullfish (1961) advocated that teachers should change from their existing method of teaching values by basically handing down value statements to all students at once. Instead teachers needed to initiate "the reflective involvement of students in acts of valuing in order that they may discover what should be valued in each situation confronted" (p. 167). Hullfish (1961) advised teachers to carefully consider and absorb John Dewey's ideas in How We Think by noting that Dewey pointed out "that proper learning is a matter of learning the meaning of things, never a matter of learning things" (p. 144). Therefore, a positive consequence of teachers' initiative and leadership in encouraging thinking is that both teachers and students gain the opportunity to learn together.

In their discussion on Hullfish, Webeck, Robertson, and Field (2007) were quick to point out that "The evidence of Dewey's influence on Hullfish can be found throughout his many publications" (p. 74). According to the authors, Hullfish was entrenched in Dewey's reflective thinking philosophy and that Hullfish stayed faithful to his beliefs throughout his career. The authors believe that Hullfish, similar to Dewey, "dedicated himself to the belief that schools are the basis of democracy and social reform" (p. 79). Directly related to this foundational idea, they indicate that Hullfish "steadfastly maintained that the role of the teacher was not to indoctrinate"; instead, teachers need to "promote and develop acts of inquiry and reflective thinking to prepare individuals for a free world" (p. 79).

Conclusions on Dewey and Hullfish

John Dewey carefully laid the foundation for reflective thinking teaching in public schools in order to continue to strive toward democracy and democratic ideals. Dewey wrote volumes on his ideas and ideals that continue to be held in high esteem by scholars, educators, and researchers (Evans, 2004,2007; Ochoa-Becker, 2007; Oliver & Shaver, 1966). Dewey's teaching principles were adopted to form the basis for the newly created subject of social studies, which initiated the idea for a school course in problems of democracy. Dewey's legacy for reflective teaching remains in his extensive writings.

When reviewing the literature involving the "connection between democratic practice and reflective thinking," Hostetler (2012) finds that "reflective practice ... shares some common characteristics with common democratic ideas and values" (p. 69) by citing Hullfish and Smith (1961) for this assertion. In addressing the specific role that the process reflective thinking played in the Hullfish and Smith 1961 research, Fernekes (2012) is more direct. He concludes: "John Dewey's legacy emerges as very powerful ... in the further elaboration of his ideas about reflective thought" (p. 116).

This brings the discussion back to H. Gordon Hullfish and his legacy stemming from his decades long effort to bring Dewey's ideas into the classroom. His teaching practices were designed to provide students with the ability to apply Deweyan theories to solve societal issues and problems. His aim was to enable students to continue to support democratic ideals throughout their own lives and careers. Recognizing the critical importance of supporting democracy and democratic ideals, Hullfish consistently advocated the practice of acquiring and utilizing critical thinking skills. His students document in their own words that Hullfish not only opened their eyes and thoughts to social issues and problem solutions but also fostered the creative and innovative thinking that he believed was necessary to sustain and enhance democratic ideals within a myriad of often conflicting economic, societal, and political influences. The "permissive atmosphere" of the Hullfish classroom created the "classroom community" that Dewey envisioned and advocated in his writings and speeches.

Does the Work of Dewey and Hullfish Matter in 21st Century Educational Foundations?

The issues and constraints on educators in the era of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the new implementation of Common Core are problematic. Under these current policies, reflective thinking theory is often mentioned, yet not necessarily presented either in definitional or explicit terms. Rodgers (2002) clearly points out the extensive consistency that Dewey's ideas are referred to in articles and books covering teacher education, student learning, and reflective thinking. At the same time, she admonishes that "an extensive examination of what he actually meant by reflection is missing from the contemporary literature" (p. 843). She laments that reflective thinking has continued to lose meaning and that "In becoming everything to everybody, it has lost its ability to be seen" (p. 843).

Rodgers (2002) takes a firm stand by concluding that teachers and proponents of education benefit in several aspects by rigorously adapting Dewey's ideas of reflective thinking. Following Dewey's reflective process requires teachers to meet head-on "the complexity of students and their learning, of themselves and their teaching, their subject matter, and the contexts in which all these operate" (p. 864). In addition, the actual process of reflective thinking requires practice, evaluation, and refinement. Then, at this point, the issues examined or considered can be definitively discussed by the students and teachers, as well as others. This reflective thinking process creates the opportunities for growth in learning how we think, to borrow Dewey's words, and transposes those experiences into how to teach and how to learn. John Dewey, Rodgers states, "would urge us to reflect carefully upon this theory of reflection in light of our collective experience, changing that theory as our experience and accumulated knowledge dictate--thinking to learn" (p. 864). This is especially true, when one considers the role critical inquiry plays in learning, and especially the way in which critical inquiry stems from human experience. Shermis (1992) argues: "From the standpoint of critical inquiry ... the knowledge that we humans possess is knowledge constituted by, found in, or--to use Dewey's phrase--wrought from human experience (p. 34). This is precisely what Hullfish brought into his practice of teaching.

Most importantly for educators, the legacy of Hullfish is a design for practical application of Dewey's concepts. He provides a guide for teachers in methods to continue to be enriched through a practical reexamination of teaching and learning from Hullfish's point-of-view using the process of reflective thinking inside and outside of the classroom. If 21st century Foundations of Education instructors follow Hullfish's lead, their students would benefit from the experience of a reflective classroom environment that supports individual knowledge and democratic ideals.

As Shook (2000) points out: "Knowledge, for Dewey, arises when things are reconstructed by reflective thinking with new meaning and then verified as capable of directing us to our goals" (p. 4). Which, when the goal is to examine concepts, issues or problems through a critical lens in education for instance, means to extend the term "Critical ... to a broad band of disciplined questioning of the ways in which power works through the discursive practices and performances of schooling" (Popkewitz & Brennan, 1998, p. 4). For those examining issues through the critical lens of Paulo Freire, such as Michael Apple, Peter McLaren, Henry Giroux, and Stanley Aronowitz, or from the perspective of Michel Foucault such as Thomas Popkewitz, or even from a social justice point-of-view, such as William Ayers, the pursuit of critical inquiry continues. One reason is that in the push back against social control, "Critical education prepares students to be their own agents for social change, their own creators of democratic culture (Shor, 1987, p. 48).

Thus, it is reasonable to consider that educators could breathe life and meaning back into Educational Foundations through the reflective thinking philosophy of John Dewey as exemplified by the teaching and learning practices of H. Gordon Hullfish. This is an avenue paving the way for the pursuit of critical inquiry needed to meet the challenges facing Educational Foundations educators as well as administrators in the 21st century.


Armogida, H. (1963). Make your teaching count. Educational Theory, 13(3), 214-234. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5446.1963.tb00133.x

Axtelle, G. E. (1963). H. Gordon Hullfish and the John Dewey Society. Educational Theory, 13(3), 220-221. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5446.1963.tb00136.x

Brickman, W. W. (1963). H. Gordon Hullfish and educational freedom. Educational Theory, 13(3), 176-182. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5446.1963.tb00125.x

Callahan, R. B. (1962). Education and the cult of efficiency. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Carroll, K. M. (1963). Gordon Hullfish: Liberal. Educational Theory, 13(3), 216-217. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5446.1963.tb00134.x

Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Powerful teacher education: Lessons from exemplary programs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Dewey, J. (1910). How we think. Boston: D. C. Health.

Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education. New York: Macmillan.

Dewey, J. (1927). The public and its problems. New York: Holt.

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: MacMillan.

Evans, R. W. (2004). The social studies wars: What should we teach the children? New York: Teachers College Press.

Evans, R. W. (2007). This happened in America: Harold Rugg and the censure of social studies. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Fernekes, W. R. (2012). The Hunt and Metcalf model of reflective study of social problems. In S. Totten & J. E. Pederson (Eds.), Educating about social issues in the 20th and 21st centuries: A critical annotated bibliography, Volume One (pp. 115-134). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Hertzberg, H. (1981). Social studies reform: 1880-1980. Boulder, CO: Social Science Education Consortium.

Hostetler, A. (2012). In pursuit of democratic practice: Self-study as a democratic approach to teaching social studies. Journal of Inquiry and Action in Education, 5(1), 63-82.

Hullfish, H. G. (1926). Aspects of Thorndike's psychology in their relation to educational theory and practice. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.

Hullfish, H. G. (1953). Education in the age of anxiety. In H. G. Hullfish (Ed.), Educational freedom in an age of anxiety: Twelfth yearbook of the John Dewey Society (pp. 206-224). New York: Harper & Brothers.

Hullfish, H. G. (1953). Education in an age of anxiety. In H. G. Hullfish (Ed.), Educational freedom in an age of anxiety (pp. 206-224). New York: Harper & Brothers.

Hullfish, H. G., & Smith, P. G. (1961). Reflective thinking: The method of education. New York: Dodd, Mead.

Jorgensen, C. G. (2012). John Dewey and the dawn of social studies: Unraveling conflicting interpretations of the 1916 Report. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Kliebard, H. (2004). The struggle for the American curriculum: 1893-1958 (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Klohr, P. (2001). Interview of Paul R. Klohrby Robert W. Butche, July 2,2001. Oral History Program at The Ohio State University. Transcript and tape in possession of The Ohio State University Archives.

Mehl, B. (1963). H. Gordon Hullfish and the liberal tradition. Educational Theory, 13(3), 200-206. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5446.1963.tb00130.x

Ochoa-Becker, A. S. (2007). Democratic education for social studies: An issues-centered decision-making curriculum. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Oliver, D. W., & Shaver, J. P. (1966). Teaching public issues in the high school. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Popkewitz, T. S., & Brennan, M. (1998). Restructuring of social and political theory in education: Foucault and a social epistemology of school practices. In T. S. Popkewitz & M. Brennan (Eds.), Foucault's challenge: Discourse, knowledge, and power in education (pp. 3-35). New York: Teachers College Press.

Riley, K. L., & Stern, B. S. (2011). From vision to vilification to rehabilitation: Harold Rugg, a journey. In S. Totten & J. E. Pederson (Eds.), Teaching and studying social issues: Major programs and approaches (pp. 1-30). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Rodgers, C. (2002). Defining reflection: Another look at John Dewey and reflective thinking. Teachers College Record, 104(4), 842-866. doi: 10.1111/1467-9620.00181

Saxe, D. W. (1991). Social studies in schools: A history of the early years. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Shermis, S. S. (1992). Critical thinking: Helping students learn reflectively. Bloomington, IN: EDINFO Press.

Shook, J. R. (2000). Dewey's empirical theory of knowledge and reality. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.

Shor, I. (1987). Critical teaching and everyday life. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Stern, B. S. (2013). H. Gordon Hullfish: Practitioner, promulgator, and protector of democracy. In S. Totten & J. E. Pederson (Eds.), Educating about social issues in the 20th and 21st centuries: A critical annotated biography, Volume Two. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

U.S. Bureau of Education (1916). The social studies in secondary education. Washington: Government Printing Office, Bulletin No. 28.

Van Til, W. (1963). H. Gordon Hullfish. Educational Theory, 13(3), 212-219. doi: 10.1111/ j.1741-5446.1963tb00132.x

Webeck, M. L., Robertson, S., & Field, S. L. (2007). H. Gordon Hullfish: Teacher, reflective thinker, democratic defender. In S. Totten & J. E. Pederson (Eds.), Addressing social issues in the classroom and beyond: The pedagogical efforts of pioneers in the field (pp. 71-80). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Wirth, A. G. (1963). Gordon Hullfish and a vision of teaching. Educational Theory, 13(3), 207-211. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5446.1963.tb00131.x

Wirth, A. G. (1996). H. Gordon Hullfish: Teaching from the fire inside. In C. Kridel, R. V Bullough, Jr., & P. Shaker (Eds.), Teachers and mentors: Profiles of distinguished twentieth-century professors of education (pp. 81-94). New York: Garland.

C. Gregg Jorgensen is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction of the College of Education and Human Services at Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois.
COPYRIGHT 2015 Caddo Gap Press
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Jorgensen, C. Gregg
Publication:Educational Foundations
Article Type:Essay
Date:Jan 1, 2015
Previous Article:Racism 2.0 and the death of social and cultural foundations of education: a critical conversation.
Next Article:What we stand for, not against: presenting our teacher education colleagues with the case for social foundations in PK-12 teacher preparation...

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters