El Dewey Chino: Amigo, demonio y buque insignia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article analyzes how the American philosopher and educator John Dewey was received, adapted, and transformed in four different time periods in China: during the Republican era (1912–1949), after the Communist take-over in 1949, after Deng Xiaoping's launch of the 'Four Modernizations' (in the 1980s), and in present-day
China. Dewey is generally seen to have exerted an immense influence on Chinese education. The article scrutinizes how this influence unfolded both through Dewey himself and through his mediators, propagators, and critics between the time of his visit in 1919 and today. Particular attention is paid to how certain of his ideas were
taken up – and others were ignored or twisted – to fit the intellectuals' agenda of each time period. By tracing the changes that central concepts like 'pragmatism' or 'child-centered pedagogy' underwent over the course of nine decades, the article reveals how Dewey was successfully transformed into the Chinese 'Duwei' – into a friend of the Chinese people, a fiend of China and Marxism, and a flagship of modernization.


External organisations
  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Social Sciences


  • John Dewey, educational transfer, reception processes, Chinese educational history
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)67-101
JournalEncounters on Education
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Total downloads

No data available