By Professor Emeritus Lawrence J. Dennis Ph.D.
Lawrence J. Dennis’s highbrow biography of John L. Childs, a number one determine in twentieth-century American academic philosophy among 1930 and 1960, strains Childs’s effect not just on schooling but in addition on midcentury politics, economics, and social matters. A disciple of John Dewey and an affiliate of William Heard Kilpatrick, George S. Counts, Boyd Bode, and different key figures in smooth American schooling, Childs laid the philosophic foundation for social reconstruction and have become a massive contributor to and interpreter of pragmatism as a philosophy of education.Dennis describes how the Christian ideals so critical to Childs as a adolescence led him as a tender guy right into a decade of YMCA missionary paintings in China. whilst he back to the us, Childs studied with John Dewey, later coauthoring chapters of a e-book with him. notwithstanding Childs grew to become a well-known specialist on Dewey’s academic conception, he ultimately turned extra of a reconstructionist than his mentor.Dennis rigorously recounts Childs’s lengthy organization with Dewey in addition to his political actions within the American hard work occasion, the Liberal occasion, and the yankee Federation of lecturers. He likewise lines the talk approximately metaphysics, democracy, and indoctrination that ensued one of the most advantageous pragmatists of the day.
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Extra resources for From prayer to pragmatism: a biography of John L. Childs
62 The committee that sponsored Childs included F. O. Leiser, secretary of the YMCA who was himself a Madison graduate and a missionary to China from 1905 until 1914. Childs' former English teacher, Frederick W. Roe, was on the Faculty Committee; and Childs' brother Marshall, who attended the University of Wisconsin for a while, served in the United States Army in World War I, and died in the Page 27 1920s, was a member of one of the fifteen Student Campaign teams. From an examination of the accounts of the Madison YMCA, it does not appear that much was actually paid to Childs' work in China, and Professor Ross probably exaggerated the receipts to date.
Thus I had little reason to examine Childs' work and none at all to seek him out to ask questions. But things rarely work out entirely as planned, and I was shortly back in Carbondale teaching philosophy of education to undergraduate students Page 2 and working more generally in the field of cultural foundations of education. In the early 1980s, I found myself chair of the George S. Counts Committee, and one of the first things I did was to see if we might be able to obtain for the university archives any papers that John Childs might still have.
He was the first doctoral student there to major in education and minor in sociology. He had studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, but his orientation was predominantly, and remained, sociohistorical. John Childs had taken only three courses in philosophy as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin. He showed no evident interest in the study of education. He became a missionary and went to China. His graduate work in the 1920s, done jointly at Union Theological Seminary and Teachers College, was a different matter.
From prayer to pragmatism: a biography of John L. Childs by Professor Emeritus Lawrence J. Dennis Ph.D.