In 1929, the time of this Movietone News story, Dewey was at the height of his popularity. Just one month before, at his 70th birthday banquet, 2500 were in attendance and, if not limited, the numbers would have swelled to 10,000. His book, Public and Its Problems, had been released to great acclaim and, in this footage, he discusses the differences between a college degree and real education, suggesting that “workers gain education through contact with the realities of life, not just through books.” Dewey takes on the role of public spokesperson, acknowledging that education need not occur solely in college—some consolation to the 83% of college age youth who had ended their formal studies. The following Movietone News footage "displays" John Dewey with his uncomfortableness and goodnaturedness at being filmed.
Fox Movietone News Story 4-326: “Dewey on Education,”
November 23, 1929 B&W, Sound, 3.19 minutes New York, New York, United States
Interior: medium shot, Dr. John Dewey, seated; medium closeup same; filmed in studio; NYC.
The Museum of Education wishes to thank
Dr. Dan Streible, a member of the New York University
Cinema Studies faculty and director of the Orphan Film Symposium,
for his encouragement and assistance with this project.
35 mm print preserved by Colorlab in 2010
with a grant made possible by
The Daniel Tanner Foundation