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John Dewey (1859–1952), a US philosopher and educator, lectured in China from 1919 to 1921 about democracy, his philosophy of pragmatism, and educational reform. His idea of associated living, based on the freedom of social groups to communicate and interact to further their common interest, was of particular relevance to China during these years. Dewey’s former student, Hu Shi, became a leading figure in Chinese education reform, and several experimental schools furthered Dewey’s methods.