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A lot of people think John Dewey invented the Dewey Decimal System. No, that was Melville Dewey.
John Dewey is America's premier educator. He is often called the Father of American Education. He was the guy, about a century ago, who started all the liberal/collectivist/progressive/experiential/socialist/cooperative stuff.
He wanted children to work together in an harmonious group. He didn't want anybody learning too much, because that would create social divisions in the classroom. And the whole point for Dewey was to have one homogeneous blob.
And right there you see why John Dewey took us off the tracks.
To hang onto homogeneity when humans are born in so many intellectual shapes and sizes, John Dewey had to resort to all kinds of tricks. Discourage literacy. Discourage knowledge. Discourage excellence...Now you see the problem.
All the things he wanted may have been good for socialism. But if you want smart independent people who can build and maintain a democracy, then Dewey is your worst nightmare.
A metaphor for explaining all this is to say that Dewey was in effect a hacker of our school system. He planted viruses and malware in the schools, i.e., ideas that he thought were quite wonderful but which work to undermine the primary purpose of the school. Almost everything wrong with our k-12 system you can trace to these viruses.