ERIC Number: ED184932
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Democracy in American Education: Research Implications.
Avery, Robin D.
The works of John Dewey and John Childs are reviewed with reference to the implications for research inherent in society's moral choice to provide a democratic education for its children. The selectivity of the educational system represents a moral choice in that it is a deliberate structuring of learning tasks, formulated by adults, for the "good" of children, but excluding some alternative forms of education. According to Dewey, in order to provide a framework for the democratic philosophy of education, educators must adhere to the principles that education provide an experience in which a genuine problem is presented as a stimulus to thought and in which students are provided with sufficient information to deal with the problem, suggested solutions, and the opportunity to test their ideas. Childs' interpretation of Dewey's democratic tenets is that the cultivation of thinking is central both to the means and the end of education. He states that according to Dewey's tenets, the scientific method is the only adequate means to achieve the moral end of democratic education. Thus, if a system voluntarily assumes the label of "democratic education," it would follow that any such system would be actively engaged in educational research according to the scientific method. The commitment to educational research becomes a crucial issue. The final question is: how can educators in good conscience call our educational system democratic when many professionals rely on dogmatic, teacher-based authority rather than scientifically tested techniques, criteria, and content? (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Childs (John); Dewey (John)
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Michigan Educational Research Association (7th, Dearborn, MI, March 26-28, 1980).