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Paper Topic:

Focues of John Dewey: Democracy and education; An introduction to the philosophy of education

Focus on John Dewey 's Democracy and Education 1 . The Three Foundations of an Enlightened Society

One of the major themes that comes up throughout John Dewey 's classic book on the philosophy of education is that the survival of an alive and vibrant democracy depends upon the educational development of its people . As Abraham Lincoln called it in his Gettysburg speech , democracy is a government of the people , by the people , and for the people . For Dewey , though , it is more than a form of government democracy is (or

should be ) interwoven into the whole complex social fabric that is needed to sustain progress and civilization . In short , democracy is a way of living . But people can rule themselves and guide the next generation on the path of progress only when they possess a mature degree of intelligence , which in turn can only be shaped by means of right education

Education , of course , is not to be associated with merely the formal academic part of education . Education implies continuous growth and mental development throughout one 's life , both before and after the normal school and university phase . The object and reward of learning is continued capacity for growth ' asserts John Dewey

Now this idea cannot be applied to all the members of a society except . where there is adequate provision for the reconstruction of social habits and institutions by means of wide stimulation arising from equitably distributed interests . And this means a democratic society (Dewey , 1916 ,

.129

The ideal form of social system that can be envisaged in the cause of education is of course a full-fledged democracy , in the true sense of the word . Education promotes higher human values , and the freedom engendered by democracy safeguards the continued existence of such enlightened values . Life in a truly democratic society would therefore be fully conducive to the optimal expression of the potential and the possibilities of people that constitute such society

For Dewey , democracy cannot be taken as an empty word , as it is today in some Third World countries and philosophy cannot be empty talk , as it has been down the ages . Philosophy should take up the challenge and the responsibility to help us deal with the major issues and problems of contemporary social life . The search for meaning that philosophy is becomes the means to the realization of the of social progress Educational institutions should foster "love of wisdom " in the children from an early age on . Authentic philosophical quest cannot to be equated with passion for any subject area in particular , rather it translates into a proclivity for broad , deep and free thinking in general , which also encourages discussion and debate among people 2 . Education and Growth

According to Dewey , the dominant vocation of all human beings at all times is ' meaning , should be , living-intellectual and moral growth (p .364 ' It is through the concept of growth that Dewey links the meaning and purpose of both education and democracy . In that all people may...

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