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ERIC Number: EJ1109854
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1857
Not "Democratic Education" but "Democracy and Education": Reconsidering Dewey's Oft Misunderstood Introduction to the Philosophy of Education
Quay, John
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v48 n10 p1013-1028 2016
Of enduring interest to philosophers of education is the intimate connection Dewey draws between "Democracy and Education" in this now century-old seminal work. At first glance the connection may appear quite simple, with the two terms commonly combined today as "democratic education". But there is significantly more to Dewey's connection between democracy and education than "democratic education" suggests. Evidence for this greater depth can be seen in Dewey's choice of subtitle for his text: "an introduction to the philosophy of education". In this article I illuminate some of the further riches Dewey offered to understanding democracy and education, central to which is his theorization of "occupations" as this aligns with his attempts to articulate a "coherent theory of experience". As with democracy and education, the educational import of occupations cannot be captured with a mere combination of terms as in "vocational education". In both cases we are simply appending an adjective to education, which Dewey found problematic. What we need, he argued, is a sense of education "pure and simple" with "no qualifying adjectives prefixed". An existential consideration of occupations enables just that, wherein occupations define the functional unities of life, the character of social groupings, the ways in which growth is arranged. As such they provide us with new ways of conceptualizing the structure of schools and the nature of learning. Here, democracy and education come together in a much more fundamental sense as expressions of life.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
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