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Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education
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Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,364 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
[A]s long as men kept a sharp disjunction between knowledge and ignorance, science made only slow and accidental advance. Systematic advance in invention and discovery began when men recognized that they could utilize doubt for purposes of inquiry by forming conjectures to guide action in tentative explorations... -from "Experience and Thinking" One of the most influential ...more
Paperback, 452 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Cosimo Classics (first published 1916)
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Nov 24, 2012 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, education

If we were to pretend for a moment that we wanted to live in a democracy – that is, a democracy in deed rather than merely in word – what actually would that mean? The word, of course, has become so abused as to effectively mean nothing. Is there a nation on earth now that doesn’t call itself a democracy? There was a joke once that the easiest way to tell if a country was a democracy or not was to see if it had 'democracy' in its name and if it did that was a s
David Schaafsma
I have read and taught this book several times. I first read it in 1974 (! True! I know! I look so youthful for my age!) when I was myself preparing to become an English teacher. It was work I read in a Philosophy of Education class, where Dewey's progressivism/experimentalism was opposed to essentialism (a more conservative approach to the classroom). And here we still see Dewey read by millions of future teachers to help them envision a classroom connected to student experience, to local commu ...more
Aaron Crofut
Mar 09, 2013 Aaron Crofut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
Dewey has a great deal of practical advise for educators who wish to form functioning adults capable of enjoying their lives. As a history teacher, I particularly like his comments on the necessity of teaching material with actual purpose to the students now rather than trying to convince them this stuff will be important later down the road. Let them learn the stuff that's important later, well, later. Use their interests natural to their age to push education forward rather than trying to damp ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Aug 02, 2016 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis marked it as i-want-money  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
"In praise of Dewey: He knew how to protect democracy – not by rote and rules but by growing independent-minded kids. Let us not forget it" by Nicholas Tampio ::

Let's not forget what it is that makes America great. Or how to.
Aug 30, 2007 Corey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: educators
A philosophical text on the relationship between democracy and education written at the turn of the last century. Dewey discusses the role of industrialization in forming our educational system, and how this cannot hold up in a democracy. We cannot build cogs for a machine if we want a real democracy, he argues, we must have thinking participants.

Also, what he says applies even more today as tech moves so fast it is impossible to train children for it. What we need to teach, he agues is thinkin
Jun 17, 2014 Vladimir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most accessible of Dewey's books I have so far had the chance to read. His ideas are usually fascinating, but his writing style extremely boring. For example, Experience and Nature is filled with brilliant ideas, and I consider it a very important book in my personal hierarchy, but I managed to fall asleep reading it... more than once. Democracy and Education is significantly different in this respect. Highly recommended for those who want to start studying Dewey.
Juka Pakatsoshvili
There were some very well argued ideas in this book. J. Dewey not only argues that the things we take for granted need to be released, but also he does that in the book. it fascinated me when there was it goes without saying kind of idea and he started arguing against it and he developed pretty sound argument. well, i don't agree with some ideas, but still this book helped me understand few things i haven't even thought about before
Jul 11, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every educator in primary and secondary education should read this. Dewey was clearly ahead of his time. If education would implement more of his notions of educating for the whole person and connecting learning to life all students would likely be better prepared for navigating the world's complexities and solving complicated social problems.
Sep 23, 2013 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Early in my presidential career, a colleague intent on giving me a finer appreciation of higher education recommended I read some of John Dewey's works. I dutifully purchased a couple his books. They sat on my dresser, unread, reproaching me, until this weekend, when I picked up "Democracy and Education." Written in 1916, Dewey's thesis speaks to the issues of career and liberal education.

There is a tension between the wish to prepare students for careers and educating them in the liberal arts.
May 17, 2012 Rhonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I first read this book for a graduate course on Pragmatism. While we used two other of Dewey's books for texts, the Logic and Experience and Nature, I chose this one to read for my oral presentation. I chose this because I was sure that I could certainly poke holes in the great man's views on something as apparently subjective as education. AS it turned out, I was once again wrong.
Dewey expounds on a theory of society and education which explores the possibility of searching after the perfect me
Erik Akre
Oct 24, 2015 Erik Akre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who considers education thoughtfully and seriously (at least sometimes)
Shelves: education, america
This is a great way to get to know John Dewey as an educational philosopher. What is school? What is education? What is democracy? For that matter, what is Life?

School: A formal educational situation; an intentional environment that simplifies and purifies cultural transmission and creates a broad context in which diverse groups have equal opportunity to "receive" transmission. Public school is a place where people from differing communities can look at and experience a common ground.

Christine Cordula Dantas

This book, written in 1916, is rich, insightful, and yet completely alive today. It is not only a book on pedagody, but also on philosophy and social science. Well written, objective, offering the fundamentals of the construction and maintanance of a democratic society based of the free sharing of knowledge (as a continuous process) and thought. Not only educators and parents are strongly recommended for reading, but in fact everyone.
Aug 05, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I've read on education. I think Dewey is absolutely brilliant. The only reason I wouldn't recommend this book for everyone is that it is very difficult to get through. Sometimes Dewey writes in a circular way, and the book being written 100 years ago doesn't help. Luckily at the end of each chapter Dewey writes a summary so you can use that to clarify his main ideas. The fundamental lesson of this book is that education is inherently social and experiential. Below is a link ...more
Jun 17, 2007 annette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: favorites, nonfiction
about MUCH more than democracy and education. still incredibly relevant and insightful, despite having been written in the early 20th century. arguably dewey's best and most sweeping work. one of the most satisfying reads i've had, fiction and nonfiction. seriously, seriously good. seriously.

dewey would be at my dream dinner party, no doubt.
Jun 24, 2012 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The summaries at the end were pretty helpful, as I thought the text somewhat dense and meandering. Great ideas overall, though.
Loránd Szakács
I keep hearing that the modern education system is inspired by the works of John Dewey. But speaking from my own experience very little of his thought, his substantial insights are visible in modern education. Just because some classes now have some equipment to help study, is nowhere near close enough to the spirit of what Dewey advocates in this book.

The author makes a damning case against the blind regurgitation of information—both from the side of the teacher, and the side of the student—tha
Apr 21, 2015 Zell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There have been many instances where I find myself realizing that I have learned many of the ideas and concepts being discussed in this book during my years of undergraduate studies. However, by reading this I have looked into the ideas and concepts more deeply by relating them to the present system of education that my country is currently adopting. The sad thing is, the more I looked into it, the more I found the aspects of our education system that are lacking.

I find that the system that we
Oct 05, 2015 Lyazat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great understanding of philosophy as a means to devise the sucessful educational practices. THought-provoking and brilliant, though there are still some propositions which I found questionable and contoversial. Dewey was a great thinker, and thought ahead of his time. Worth reading with a pencil - almost each page has remarkable ideas worth remembering.
Mark Read: 18 July-22 Sep. My 1st long nonfiction work read on the Touch. It went OK but this, for me, would have been better in print.
Theresa Leone Davidson
I first read Dewey's book at Hunter College, in the program from which I got my Master's in education. I still think he was way ahead of his time, and it is STILL a shame that we do not implement more of his ideas. GREAT book!
My booksense gave me an uneasy feeling when I thought of entering the classroom as a paid educator in the USA without reading this book, and, then when I read that some people — very proud of their negative assessments of books — voted this in their top 25 worst books ever written, well, I felt impelled to read this book.

After finishing it, I feel pretty certain that (almost) none of the teachers, professors, or tutors that I have encountered have read this book with any efficacy — And more than
John Gronau
Sep 05, 2015 John Gronau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliant piece that demonstrates the necessity and use of encyclopedic knowledge to particular and personal aims. It is a must read for any scholar whose desires and ambitions are more than intellectual.
Abdullah Almuslem
Jan 22, 2014 Abdullah Almuslem rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am giving only one star because of the poor style . The style of writing is half the book and if the style is poor you will never enjoy reading ! Although there were many good points in the book i could not follow the logic of the book. Too much scattered information making the book very boring . That's just my opinion
Essaadi Taibi
Mar 15, 2014 Essaadi Taibi is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
اريد كتاب الديمقراطية و التبية لجون ديوي باللغة العربية
Ben O'mara
Mar 02, 2014 Ben O'mara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating may change over the course of the next few months.
Michael Powe
Aug 31, 2013 Michael Powe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would be hard-pressed to think of a more thoroughly wronged philosopher than John Dewey. A teacher himself, he clearly and engagingly makes the critical connections between education and democratic government. In his own lifetime and following decades, his ideas for education and schools were turned inside out by his "disciples." Reading this book can seem like a long succession of "Duh!" moments. It can help the interested reader solidify a personal undestanding of education and how it really ...more
Aug 21, 2008 Crystal marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents & educators
Recommended to Crystal by: College professor
I've lately pondered my choice of career, and realized I'm not sure if I ever want to be a classroom teacher again. I think I've been disenchanted by the state legislature and the lack of anyone really being able to ease the pressure on teachers. It is just a TOUGH job. But I do love teaching. It is among my favorite things to do. So I'm reading this book to help motivate me to not only continue teaching, but to try and raise my voice about the concerns I have with public education.
Without question one of the most important works on education, development, democracy, liberalism, and humanity in the 20th and 21st centuries. Fantastic, clear, easy to read.
Luis Francisco Contreras
I really wanted to like this book. I have long been a fan of educational progressivism and have encountered Dewey's ideas before. However, actually reading him was physically painful. Dewey is one of those university lecturers that believes that the relevance of his content somehow sanctions his monotonous and verbose delivery. Form *is* important, Mr. Dewey. Your ideas might have been revolutionary, but your writing style was mediocre.
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John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey, along with Charles Sanders Peirce and William James, is recognized as one of the founders of the philosophy of pragmatism and of functional psychology. He was a major representative of the progressive and progressive populist philosophies of schooli ...more
More about John Dewey...

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“Were all instructors to realize that the quality of mental process, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth something hardly less than a revolution in teaching would be worked.” 54 likes
“Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.” 21 likes
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