Pioneers: Chris Athey and John Dewey

Written by: Estelle Martin
28 November 2017

Here, we look at two progressive educators whose work exerts a major influence on current early years thinking and practice: Chris Athey and John Dewey.

Key points

  • During the 1970s, Athey set up the Froebel Early Education Project (1973-78). The project included research associates, such as Tina Bruce and Professor Cathy Nutbrown
  • Athey promoted schemas and the constructivist approach to children’s learning and development
  • Dewey is associated with ‘progressive’ education in America
  • He promoted the view that children learn through experience and that education should be based on real-life situations

Note: This article was first published in the August 2008 issue of eye


ALTHOUGH THIS month’s pioneers, Chris Athey and John Dewey, lived many years apart, both have had, and continue to have, a marked influence on the development of early years practice, both in the UK and abroad.

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