Bertrand Russell's History of Philosophy refers to Dewey as 'generally admitted to be the leading living philosopher of America'. This honourable mention lay partly in his pragmatic theory of meaning, through which so many baffling philosophical problems were claimed to have been solved - as well as educational ones. It is in connection with his educational ideas, however, that Dewey became either famous or infamous. In the United States he had been seen both as saviour of American education by those who welcomed a more child-centred curriculum, and yet as 'worse than Hitler' by those who saw his ideas as undermining traditional education - an accusation shared by his detractors in Britain. This account seeks to bring together Dewey's educational thinking and its frequently forgotten foundations in a pragmatic theory of meaning. In so doing, the book seeks to show that John Dewey is 'a philosopher of education for our time'.
Richard Pring retired from being the first Professor of Educational Studies, and Director of the Department, at the University of Oxford, UK, in 2003 after 14 years. After retirement he was Lead Director of the Â£1 million Nuffield Foundation review, whose report
Education for All: the future of education and training for 14-19 year olds was published in 2009. His most recent book,
Life and Death of Secondary Education for All, has followed up the review.