Harvey Shapiro Boston – An Insight into John Dewey’s Philosophy in Education

Harvey Shapiro is a clinical professor of education at the College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University in Boston. His areas of specialization are literary theory, politics, Hebrew literature, and philosophy. He has written a book called “Educational Theory and Jewish Studies in Conversation: From Volozhim to Buczacz,” and it is here where he has applied the theories of educators and philosophers like John Dewey when it comes to the exploration of Jewish Education.


Harvey Shapiro Boston – Exploring the theory of John Dewey and Jewish education

Harvey Shapiro Boston studies Jewish history and Political Science from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He completed his BA in History from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. He subsequently completed his graduate work in Jewish Education from the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Region and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles at CA. He completed his Ph.D. in Jewish Literature from the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion.

Besides being an experienced educator and esteemed academician, he practices Iyengar Yoga and likes physical activities like basketball and hiking. He loves spending quality time with his three sons, their wives, and two grandsons. His academic interests lie in education, literary theory, politics, philosophy, and Hebrew literature. Besides, English he is very fluent in the Hebrew language as well.

Valuable insights into Jewish education by John Dewey and how it is relevant today

He says in his book that eminent theorists that belonged to Jewish education have applied the progressive and practical educational theory of John Dewey since the beginning of the 20th century. This scholar from the USA has laid down a lot of views on progressive education and pragmatism. This approach has permitted educators from diverse backgrounds to change from the student as an object to the learner as a subject approach and from normative certainty to the qualities of uncertainty inherent in the modern world.

Unique theory of education to follow

In the above theory, John Dewey lays down a framework that permits students and educators to undertake different perspectives in education. He says that in the field of learning, they assume roles as the problem framers and solvers that can see both internal and external results as they go through the learning process. This, in turn, results in both social and personal growth.

The need to immerse deeper for the student

Harvey Shapiro states that in his theory, John Dewey had the goal for the student to go deeper into multiple contexts that are important to his community and environments like traditions, religion, and modern democracy. In order to apply the same in Jewish culture, the above refers to using his systematic and methodological concept in the teaching of religion via education that is centered around experience as well as democracy.

Harvey Shapiro Boston says that educators should consider crucial questions like obligation, value, and spirituality. This is a pragmatic approach that will help students apply them in the present moment while being immersed in the history and culture of their religion.