Further, a host of feminist pragmatists had a direct and sustainedinfluenced on Dewey’s educational philosophy: from Jane Addamsand Alice Chipman Dewey, to Ella Flagg Young, Elsie Ripley Clapp, andLucy Sprague Mitchell. Indeed, Dewey had not published in philosophyof education, or worked on educational issues, before he came toChicago where he experienced Jane Addams’s Hull House, andworked with individuals like Ella Flagg Young. This pragmatistphilosophy of education continues to have a global influence. Dewey isoften cited as the catalyst for experiential learning and civicengagement practices. For instance, David Kolb utilizes Dewey’sphilosophy to advocate for a move away from narrowly framed andabstract specialization towards experiential learning (2003). Kolb,like many others, extends this philosophy of education, emphasizinglearning as a spiral cycle of reflective action and engagement (Brownand Lambert 2013; Norton 2005).
Ella Lyman Cabot (1866–1934) struggled to be aphilosopher in the male-dominated philosophies of early20th century. She took classes at Harvard and Radcliff withJames and Royce. Long after her coursework, she continued to be partof the Harvard philosophical community and as such was also aformative influence on other’s writings. She was also a longtimeadvocate of women’s rights. She wrote seven books on ethics andeducation. Her work was mostly forgotten until John Kaag’s 2013book Pragmatism, Feminism, and Idealism in the Philosophy of EllaLyman Cabot.
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Elsie Ripley Clapp (1882–1965) was a student ofclassical pragmatists, taking over fourteen courses from Dewey atColumbia, working as his graduate assistant, and collaborating onresearch projects with him for years (see Seigfried 2001:89–90). Clapp commented on drafts of Dewey’s work, andcontributed original ideas (Seigfried 1996: 92). Dewey publiclyacknowledged Clapp for her contributions to Democracy andEducation, but only in the introduction, not attributing to herany particular ideas in the body of the text. At his retirement in1927, Dewey suggested that Clapp should be appointed to teach hiscourses at the Teachers College, but she was not offered the positionby the college. She went on to collaborate with Eleanor Roosevelt onsignificant rural education projects of her time.
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DuBois’s Thoughts on Education The Souls of Black Folk, written by W.E.B DuBois is a collection of autobiographical and historical essays containing many themes.
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Contemporary feminists are also implementing and extending pragmatistphilosophies as a foundation for feminist theory. These feministphilosophers working in the pragmatist tradition point out thatpragmatism offers a valuable, although often unrecognized, resourcefor feminist thinkers, especially as it is developed in the work ofwomen pragmatists and activists. We see this particularly in feministpragmatist writings on experience, epistemology, education and socialaction.