Dewey versus ‘Dewey’ on democracy and education

van der Ploeg, P., Jul-2016, In : Education, citizenship and social justice. 11, 2, p. 145-159 15 p.

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  • Dewey versus ‘Dewey’

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In the literature on citizenship education, frequent references are made to Dewey. However, educationalists do not always interpret him correctly. To provide some counterbalance, I explain Dewey’s views on education and democracy. I base this, not only on ‘Democracy and Education’, but also on 17 articles that Dewey wrote after 'Democracy and Education’, and on his ‘Ethics’ and two earlier works, frequently cited by educationalists: ‘Ethical Principles Underlying Education’ and ‘School and Society’. According to Dewey, democracy and education are two sides of the same coin. Both involve and foster self-determination, self-development and participating in the common good, enlightened by intelligent understanding and scientific spirit. At the present, it is customary to define democratic citizenship education primarily in terms of social and moral learning, sometimes as though it can be distinguished from academic learning, as something extra besides learning subject matter. When such an approach is attributed to Dewey, as it often is, this is unwarranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-159
Number of pages15
JournalEducation, citizenship and social justice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2016


  • citizenship education, deliberative democracy, Dewey, moral education, service learning, PARTICIPATION

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