Implications of the Laboratory School Experiment

  • Anne Durst


In 1949, John Dewey’s many friends and admirers organized a celebration of his ninetieth birthday, which followed similar events when he turned seventy and eighty. (He missed his eightieth birthday commemoration, sending a note instead; Newsweek reported that Dewey told a friend: “I was canonized once, but I won’t be canonized again.”1) Nevertheless, he attended the 1949 dinner and festivities, as did Anna Camp Edwards and Mary Hill Swope. Neither Althea Harmer Bardeen nor Katherine Camp Mayhew were still alive—Bardeen died in 1920, when her four children were still quite young, and Mayhew died in 1946, after some years of illness. Dewey missed seeing Edwards at his ninetieth birthday celebration—her response to the invitation was apparently lost, and so Dewey was not aware that she was in attendance until afterwards, when she informed him by letter. He wrote fondly in response: “Among all from whom I heard this past week, there was no one from whom it gave greater pleasure to hear than from you.” He lamented that he had “made a mistake at the outset in telling the Committee in charge of the celebration” that “I was to have nothing to do with it. My working hours are limited and I thought to save myself. I suppose it was natural that the Committee did not know my older friends.


Prospective Teacher Experimental School Teacher Candidate Vacation School Laboratory School 
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© Anne Durst 2010

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  • Anne Durst

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