Implementing practical, and problem-solving based education. Teacher

Implementing Pragmatism and John Dewey’s Educational

Philosophy in Public Higher Secondary Schools of Lahore.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now


Abstract: in this study the Implementing Pragmatism and John Dewey’s Educational

Philosophy in Public Higher Secondary Schools of Lahore was measured. Pragmatism and John Dewey’ Educational Philosophy defined in this study as experience based, practical, and problem-solving based education. Teacher are taken in this study as equivalent participant and guider of students. They are considered model problem solvers and appropriate. Sample comprised of SS and SSS teachers of Higher Secondary male female Schools of Lahore (n=20). The questionnaire on five-point Likert type was used to collect data. Cronbach alpha was computed and was found equals to 0.833. In literature review briefly explained the nature of the e users of scientific method. In literature review briefly explained the philosophical Educational thoughts of John Dewey. Quantitative data were analyzed with the help of SPSS. ……..

Keywords: Pragmatism, John Dewey, practical-based education, problem-solving based education, Public Higher Secondary Schools.



 Education and philosophy are closely inter-related. Philosophy is the corner stone of the foundation of the education. John Dewey (1859-1952) becomes its leading and most influential promoter. He practised it in his laboratory school set up in Chicago in 1896.His purpose was to train pupils in co-operation and mutually useful living.

            John Dewey (1859-1952) established a theory of education that required justification and explanation. This theory of learning was involved to a strategy of teaching and, most importantly, his personal philosophy. He highlighted that the nature of wisdom, understanding, and intelligence is fundamentally moral.

             Dewey was a writer, professor, theorist, and philosopher whose ideas have had an impact on community and modern education throughout the twentieth century, particularly in the USA. He is mostly recognized and known as the pragmatist educationalist of that century (Field, 2007).

            He wrote on subjects such as philosophy, religion, politics, and art.  He provided his nation a philosophy through which its citizens may exercise a more knowledgeable path in their lives for educational scholastic history.

               The term Pragmatism is sometimes called “Progressivism”. “Progress implies Change. Change further implies novelty”. So education cannot be convenience of as acquired once for all. Life has become as complex as is subject to rapid modifications that the child has to face new problems and education should enable the child to learn new techniques and problematic situations. Problem solving is at the core of all the education. The educative process becomes empirical, experimental and piecemeal: in a word Pragmatism.

                In pragmatic view the function of education is to bring about certain changes in the behaviour of the individual. According to (FEFFER, 1993). Dewey introduced a new element into James’s theory agreeing with that evolution select actions, not ideas or feeling, he interpreted activity in entirely different manner Ideas and act as an incentive it change the behaviour. These changes relate to the physical, intellectual, and the moral development of the human beings.

                They reflect the growth of the individual, as the process of education goes on and the individual continues growing physically, mentally, and morally. Since this process starts from birth and continues throughout life. Education is broadly conceived as a life-long process. Educational aims are not at the end of process of education. They are rather within the process and as the individual go on achieving some educational objectives.

                Pragmatism stresses experience based curriculum (activity based curriculum).In pragmatism, there is no place for rewards and punishments. It stresses social discipline. Pragmatism believes that discipline comes through purposive and cooperative activities. According to John Dewey, discipline is the proper use of one’s energy and power.

               It advocates self-discipline. Activity is the central point in the whole educative process. In all creative learning two agencies are evolved-the educator and educing. No real learning is conceived without the co-operation between the two to achieve their common purposes and goals.

                Co-operation of the two in pursuing an activity gives rise to the process of education. Action is the primordial; unless there is any action, there is no thinking. Real education is not mere imparting of bookish information; real education means pled up in many continues experience or activities. The basis of all teaching is the activity of the child.

Curriculum of Pragmatism

Mainly focus on problem solving and ‘how to’ knowledge of things. Analysis of problems and seeking solution is important. They focus mainly on skillset rather on the presentation of curriculum.  Manual and practical arts, Problem solving, Living skills, Language arts. Human problems, Citizenship, and Consumer skills.

Role of Teacher

The pragmatist teacher is a fellow participant, experiences student, guide and facilitator of the learning process. They are considered model problem solvers and appropriate users of scientific method (Gutek, 2009, p. 77). Real knowledge can be gained only be activity, experiments and real life experience.  Thus in order to develop the child fully that he should be provided opportunities to participate more in activities and experiments so that he creates his own values and lead better, richer and happiest life.

            In the words of Dewey “Education is the social continuity of life”. To pragmatist education is life itself and not preparation for life. For pragmatists educational process has no end beyond itself. In addition to the individual it is continuous, reorganising, reconstructing and integrating the experiences and the activities of the race (Beauvoir).  

               Education is the birth right of each individual, so the state should shoulder the responsibility. There is no place for spirit or essence. Humanities and cultural activities find no place in the pragmatic scheme of education. It ignores the past as well as the experience of the past. It lays emphasis on the present and the future. It does not provide regular and systematic instructions. Being a practical and utilitarian school of philosophy, pragmatism has influenced education to the maximum extent (soraj, 2013).

The theoretical framework for this study is based on the pragmatist philosophical approach. According to this perspective, ‘truth’ is a “tentative assertion based on human experience” (Gutek, 2009, p. 74), and it challenged “traditional philosophical assumptions that a completed and perfect universe could be approached.

            It is necessary, according to Dewey, that the classroom teacher has the mental propensity to overcome the demand and stressors placed on her because the students can sense when their teacher is not genuinely invested in encouraging their learning (Talbi, 2015).

Purpose of this Current Study

The purpose of this study is dual. First, it presents the degree to which Pragmatism, or the philosophical thought of John Dewey. Second, it investigates which degree of pragmatic implementation in public secondary schools of District Lahore.

Statement of the Problem

 In current situation of public school of Lahore there is not one significant philosophy adopted to promote the practical learning in our schools. The school of Pakistan are known as the slow contributors in generating learning by doing education. It is extremely need that education should be productive and progressive this study will be helpful in paving the path for practical education.

 Dewey believed that object of knowledge are created by process of knowing. Further he argued that reality is created by human knowing knowledge is the only relationship

            Dewey’s contributions in education and it is essential to come back to his work firstly to der to promote practical education to highlight and improve human capabilities. It is possible to study Dewey’s contributions and it is crucial to revisit his work in order to strong understanding. In public schools, there is lack of learning by doing or lack of child preference. The function of Dewey’s work has been known as fundamental pathway to promote an individual not only but also increase the positive social productivity.

            The views on education may possibly be very relevant to contemporary questions about schooling and education. Therefore, the problem that this study addresses is the fact that there has been little research on the implementation of John Dewey’s educational philosophical thought in public schools of Lahore.

             Accordingly, in order to implement the pragmatic educational approach in the public educational system, this study provides insight into possible teaching methods in classrooms. These methods provide students with opportunities to take ownership over their learning.

Objective of the Study

To examined the awareness of SS (subject specialist) and SSS (senior school teacher) about John Dewey’ practical-based, problem-solving and learning by experience.
To find out the extent of implementation of philosophical educational thought of John Dewey in public higher secondary schools of Lahore.


This study addresses the following research questions:

1. To what degree do public Higher Secondary schools of Lahore teachers believe that the philosophy of John Dewey is implemented in public schools?

2. Is there any significant statistical difference between male and female teachers’ responses in terms of their gender and teaching experience?


The Significance

 The earlier studies, mostly represented European schools and not representing the developing countries especially like Pakistan. As this Era is globalizing and academic achievements are being consider to eliminate the poverty of this world so there is extremely need to introduce imperial methods in school to reduce disabilities of learner.

             The current study about Dewey provides information to educators in public schools of Lahore, in particular. This study also builds valuable bridges between the ideas of John Dewey and teachers’ of public schools of Lahore. On one hand, this paper helps international educators understand the degree to which this pragmatic philosophy is implemented in public schools of Lahore. As John Dewey talked a lot about education, democracy, and the interrelations between these concepts. This study boosts public teachers to learn more about this philosophy and John Dewey’s ideas about learning by doing.

Assumption of the Study

It was supposed to carry out the study that participants give their opinion on an instrument without any bias.

Delimitation of the Study

Total 25 Public Higher secondary schools male and female of Lahore was taken as papulation. Private Schools are not included in this study.






Procedure of the Study



Conceptual Framework of this Study





















John Dewey is one of the most believable theorists in the history of modern educational theory (Gouinlock, 2017). He served as a major stimulus for serval allied philosophical movement that designed the thought development of 20th century, including empiricism, naturalism, conceptualism and humanism. The main theme under Dewey’s philosophy was his belief that a democratic society of informed and engaged inquirers was the best means of promoting human interests (Talebi, 2015). Dewey emerges from this debate with a “pre-curricular” view of education for young children and with powerful arguments for continuity between informal and formal education. In this pre-curricular view, education starts with everyday concrete life experiences.

John Dewey is reflected not only as one of the founders of pragmatism, but also as an educational classic whose approaches to education and learning still exercise great influence on current discourses and practices worldwide (Garrison, 2012). Dewey focused student-center and practical based-education where student should let their choices. He argued growth can happen in an undesirable direction (Wicipedia, 2014).

John Dewey is nothing less than a tower of strength star of modern education. His ideas and methods to schooling were revolutionary ideas during his lifetime and remain fundamentally important to modern schooling today. For Dewey, a democratic society must be transportable and dynamic; it is a society in which teachers know that what works for one student might not work for another.

He believed that experience is not an emotional state. For Dewey, a democratic society is not one that makes provisions for equal participation in its good for all its members. Dewey was a curious visionary because he did not speak about long-term goals or cities not built with hands. He was a visionary about the present and the potential of the modern world, modern society, and modern man (Abdullhakeem, et al 2014).

In Dewey’s word s “Every child has the ability to learn complex subjects and I was able to see that philosophy in action when I analyzed the mathematical abilities of kindergarteners in the Chicago Public School (CPS) system” (ROSEVELT, 2015). Dewey’s contribution in problem-solving education is a fundamental practicable process. According to Martin He was able to show how educative experience can be improved by teaching student how to engage meaning fully in problem-solving activities (Rich, 2010).

According to (Burke-Walsh, 1996b). The child-centered method, which is shared by the three educational models, put in front individualization as a basic principle in the society of teaching and school life. It means respect for the exclusivity of each student and creating conditions for their optimal and general development. Dewey’s thoughts are strongly helpful and appropriate for this new Era. This Era is Era of Globalization which has changed the shape of education by marketization of education, as the increase in digital technologies facilitating connections between teachers and students. These and other issues present us with new challenges to how we think about education. The contributors to this special issue attempt in various ways to make sense of how Dewey would have interpreted and responded to the phenomenon of globalization (English, 2016).







Nature of the study

This chapter deals with the methods and procedures of this study and it includes nature of the study, design, population, sample, and tool. The second part of this study includes the information about tool, validity of the tool, reliability of the tool. The nature of this study was descriptive. A quantitative approach was used for this study. For data collection survey was conducted regarding Implementing Pragmatism and John Dewey’s Educational Philosophy in Public Schools of Lahore.


All public 25 higher secondary schools male, female of district Lahore have included whereas there is extreme variation Tehsil wise concerning number of Schools. Example is in City there are ten Schools two for male and eight for female whereas in Tehsil Raiwind there are only two Schools one for male and one for female.


This study represents the SS teachers and SSS Higher of secondary schools who represents long time period of their teaching experience. In this study SS and SSS assumed to have better understanding of practical education. In this convenience sample has used for these reasons. Due to lack of time, low cost, and ready to available.


For this study questionnaire was used on 5 point Likert scale which is already used in many studies miner changings has made according to requirement.

Procedures of the study

In this study as Convenient Sample was used two Public Higher Secondary Schools of Jallo more were selected due to their high number of students (more than 2000) and SS/SSS teachers. Researcher personally visited the schools and delivered the Questionnaires.The return rate of questionnaire was hundred percent.  

Source of Data

Sources of the Data were SS and SSS of public secondary male-female schools Heigher Secondary Schools of district Lahore.

Reliability of the Tool

For reliability of the asked questions from Q1 to Q20 Cronbach alpha was computed and was found equals to 0.833 which is greater than 0.7. This means that the asked questions are consistent and are reliable.

Reliability Statistics

Cronbach’s Alpha

N of Items




Analysis of the Data

Quantitative data were analyzed with the help of SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) was measured with mean response values, t-test was used to measure the implementing Pragmatism and John Dewey’s Educational Philosophy in Public Higher Schools of District Lahore.





This chapter takes into account the data analysis and discussion the consequences of the study of parental involvement and students’ academic activities at elementary level in district Lahore. Questionnaire was used to gather the data and collected data were analyzed, interpreted, and presented in tables and figures accordingly.

This study was carried out to explore the parental involvement in students’ academic activities and its effect on academic activities at elementary level in district Lahore. The returned rate of questionnaire was 100% 240 questionnaires were delivered to the respondents and received back 240 forty from both female and male public elementary schools.

The data was gathered through the questionnaire. By using SPSS the collected data was analyzed. For interpretation of data, frequency tables and figures were prepared to present the responses. In this chapter the demographics profile of the participants, analysis of the collected data to find out the relationships between variables academic activities dependent and independent variable parental involvement.

Data Analysis and Reporting Strategy

Numerous features need to be taken into account when investigating and interpreting the collected data. A systematic approach was adopted by the researcher following steps were taken into consideration for this reason:

Data organization and appraisal

1. Data cleaning and coding

2. Data entry in SPSS

3. Data analysis

4. Data presentation/tabulation

5. Interpretation; discussion of results/findings and conclusions

6. Recommendation

Brief Description of Data Analysis

By using different statistical techniques the analysis of the gathered data was formulated and presented in figures and tables followed by their explanations. These results of the study were presented, arranged, and showed in a chronological order in the following manner:

Demographic Information, Elementary school students’ Gender Distribution

Data analysis of demographic information that was frequency based i.e. Tehsil wise, Gender wise. Academic activities, and parental involvement. The results of demographic data were presented in percentages in graphs and tables.



 John Dewey’s Democracy The article reveals how such elements operate in one of Dewey’s educational policy writings and in his related travel narratives. The main aim of the article is to indicate that we often require a ‘learning by undoing’ to obtain a heightened view on the stakes and challenges of old and current progressive pedagogies (Papastephanou, 2017)


The table 2 shows that

Male were significantly different on response “The public schools of Lahore provides its students with sufficient opportunities to learn through practical activities” (t=4.899, df=18, p=0.000).

Male were significantly different on response “The teaching methods utilized in public school of Lahore are based on dialogue, problem-solving, and self-learning” (t=2.307, df=18, p=0.033).

Male were significantly different on response “The public schools of Lahore provides various opportunities for students to acquire intellectual and social skills.” (t=5.245, df=18, p=0.000).

Male were significantly different on response “Teaching in public schools of Lahore provides students with activities to practice learning through projects.” (t=3.818, df=18, p=0.001).

Male were significantly different on response “The public schools of Lahore provide their students with an atmosphere that helps create democratic citizens.” (t=2.588, df=18, p=0.019).

Male were significantly different on response “The public schools of Lahore provide each learner with different opportunities to become an active person.” (t=2.324, df=18, p=0.032).

Male were significantly different on response “The public schools of Lahore do not neglect the interest or the needs of the students n.” (t=3.098, df=18, p=0.006).