A society which is mobile, which is full of channels for the distribution of a change occurring anywhere, must see to it that its members are educated to personal initiative and adaptability. Otherwise, they will be overwhelmed by the changes in which they are caught and whose significance or connections they do not perceive.
--John Dewey, philosopher and educational reformer (1859-1952)
(71:2.7) Education of public opinion is the only safe and true method of accelerating civilization;
(81:6.29-31) Co-ordination of specialists. Civilization has been enormously advanced by the early division of labor and by its later corollary of specialization. Civilization is now dependent on the effective co-ordination of specialists. As society expands, some method of drawing together the various specialists must be found.
Social, artistic, technical, and industrial specialists will continue to multiply and increase in skill and dexterity. And this diversification of ability and dissimilarity of employment will eventually weaken and disintegrate human society if effective means of co-ordination and co-operation are not developed. But the intelligence which is capable of such inventiveness and such specialization should be wholly competent to devise adequate methods of control and adjustment for all problems resulting from the rapid growth of invention and the accelerated pace of cultural expansion.
Place-finding devices. The next age of social development will be embodied in a better and more effective co-operation and co-ordination of ever-increasing and expanding specialization. And as labor more and more diversifies, some technique for directing individuals to suitable employment must be devised. Machinery is not the only cause for unemployment among the civilized peoples of Urantia. Economic complexity and the steady increase of industrial and professional specialism add to the problems of labor placement.
John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He is regarded as one of the most prominent American scholars in the first half of the twentieth century.
The overriding theme of Dewey's works was his profound belief in democracy, be it in politics, education, or communication and journalism. As Dewey himself stated in 1888, while still at the University of Michigan, "Democracy and the one, ultimate, ethical ideal of humanity are to my mind synonymous." Known for his advocacy of democracy, Dewey considered two fundamental elements—schools and civil society—to be major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality. Dewey asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but also by ensuring that there exists a fully formed public opinion, accomplished by communication among citizens, experts, and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt.
Dewey was one of the primary figures associated with the philosophy of pragmatism and is considered one of the fathers of functional psychology. His paper "The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology," published in 1896, is regarded as the first major work in the (Chicago) functionalist school. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Dewey as the 93rd most cited psychologist of the 20th century.
Dewey was also a major educational reformer for the 20th century. A well-known public intellectual, he was a major voice of progressive education and liberalism. While a professor at the University of Chicago, he founded the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where he was able to apply and test his progressive ideas on pedagogical method. Although Dewey is known best for his publications about education, he also wrote about many other topics, including epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, art, logic, social theory, and ethics.