John Dewey is regarded as the champion of progressive education. This seminal work sought to deconstruct education and its relationship with the individual and society.
Acknowledging an intellectual debt to previous philosophers such as Plato and Rousseau, Dewey combines philosophical pragmatism with progressive pedagogical ideas to outline the social role of education, both formal and informal, as the transmitter and bearer of a society's identity through the preparation of youth for adult society.
The final section of the book examines the intellectual roots of social divisions that impede the application of democratic education in the contemporary society, and argues for a philosophy of education that negates the impact of these divisions. At the heart of democracy, he argues, are social and communal activities. Dewey believed that conscious, directed education is necessary to establish the conditions to help form democratic character in children.
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