Digital Debris

Embodiment, digital games and technology in ELT

Dewey 1916

I've just been re-reading Democracy and Education, one of the books that first inspired me to start thinking about pervasive games as a possible approach to second language development. This section, which is essentially a criticism of mind/body dualism, stood out to me. It's from chapter 11 entitled "Experience and Thinking".

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"…In schools, those under instruction are too customarily looked upon as acquiring knowledge as theoretical spectators, minds which appropriate knowledge by direct energy of intellect. The very word pupil has almost come to mean one who is engaged not in having fruitful experiences but in absorbing knowledge directly. Something which is called mind or consciousness is severed from the physical organs of activity. The former is then thought to be purely intellectual and cognitive; the latter to be an irrelevant and intruding physical factor. The intimate union of activity and undergoing its consequences which leads to recognition of meaning is broken; instead we have two fragments: mere bodily action on one side, and meaning directly grasped by "spiritual" activity on the other."