John Dewey on Play, Education, and Democracy

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Rainier A. Ibana


From the moment children come into this world, their main activity is constituted by playing. They are introduced to the world around them through play. Even parents and guardians interact with them in a playful manner. It is no surprise that children learn by playing. However, the relevance of learning through play continues to be debatable. For adolescents and adults, learning through play is less evident. The act of learning no longer goes through playing but is relegated to the private sphere and finds no space in the school system: Playing is seen as a mere distraction. Through John Dewey, this study presents that setting aside playing in education is regrettable. Not only is playing an effective way to learn but it is also a major tool that socializes children and adolescents into the world of others and prepares them to become productive members of society.

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