This exploratory paper examines the antecedents of community schools within eminent educator John Dewey’s web of life concept, where life and pedagogical practice are viewed in terms of their interrelations. As Founder of The Laboratory School, completed in 1903 on the University of Chicago campus, he proposed distinctive facilities in keeping with his educational vision. The paper examines both contemporary and historic interpretations of community schools with respect to Dewey’s ideas. Chicago Public School’s Community School Initiative, the largest community schools’ system in the United States, is discussed as an example, with Nettelhorst School presented to illustrate the district’s mission. A circumscribed historical timeline provides context. The paper closes by assessing associations between curriculum, society, and the built environment, appraising a contemporary community education system in terms of ideas proposed more than a century ago.
Keywords: John Dewey, community, web of life, schools, architecture
Originally from California, Cindi studied fine arts at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles where she earned a BFA degree, and later at California College of Art in Oakland, where she earned an MFA. Her work seeks to encompass the social and cultural history of landscape and place, which has served as a catalyst for her many drawings, sculptures, and public projects. Her more recent venture into landscape architecture has led to an MLA degree from Penn State University.Linkedin Portfolio