Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education
by John Dewey
"Democracy and Education," a classic work by John Dewey, provides a cogent and landmark exposition of progressive educational theory. Democracy for ... Show synopsis "Democracy and Education," a classic work by John Dewey, provides a cogent and landmark exposition of progressive educational theory. Democracy for Dewey was both a means and an end to the building of a good and just society. In this regard he sought to develop strategies and methods for training students through learning and discipline to become socially responsible adults and conscientious citizens concerned with the rights of others and the common good and to be equipped with the knowledge and technical skills to be productive members of society in the context of our modern industrial world. In "Democracy and Education" Dewey sought to at once synthesize, criticize, and expand upon the democratic (or proto-democratic) educational philosophies of Rousseau and Plato. He saw Rousseau's philosophy as overemphasizing the individual and Plato's philosophy as overemphasizing the society in which the individual lived. For Dewey, this distinction was by and large a false one; like Vygotsky, he viewed the mind and its formation as a communal process. Thus the individual is only a meaningful concept when regarded as an inextricable part of his or her society, and the society has no meaning apart from its realization in the lives of its individual members. Dewey's educational theories, as explained in "Democracy and Education," have enjoyed a broad popularity during his lifetime and after. Today Dewey is regarded a giant of both modern educational theory and progressive humanitarian thought, one of the great Americans of the last century of which all people of good will can be proud.