Process Not Product (Dewey Post #2)


“Were all instructors to realize that the quality of mental process, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth something hardly less than a revolution in teaching would be worked.” – John Dewey

For many years, we have focused on products in our schools. We reward correct answers, while giving “partial credit” for demonstrating process. Dewey knew that a revolution would result from focusing on process rather than product.

The key is recognizing growth in students. Focusing on process will allow all students to grow regardless of their starting point. Even though we know that fact memorization, correct answers, and general knowledge are becoming less and less important, we still emphasize correct answers too much in our schools.

Asking the right questions becomes a more important skill than simply seeking the correct answer. Process leads to growth when we instead focus on questions.