A Call to Return to… What, Exactly?

Here’s an essay arguing for the need to return to Dewey’s pedagogy:

For those who think that democracy ought to be a way of life rather than merely a means to select leaders, and that schools serve a vital civic function of teaching children to become autonomous adults, now is the time to recover the vision Dewey outlined in Democracy and Education.

The essay touches on many of my critiques of the American education system, but even I don’t think schools were ever set up to teach people much of anything, let alone how to become autonomous; autonomy is about the last thing a “high-performing” workforce needs. If a school does succeed in teaching someone how to be something other than a good worker—in the narrowist sense—than it has done so despite of, and not according to, its real goal.

Yes, all schools are different, and teachers are doing their best, and there are good examples everywhere. But it’s still true—and can be easily and clearly shown—that schools were never created to be engines of education, and that, indeed, they have more in common with prisons than they do with any idealized, overintellectualized visions of scholasticism dancing in people’s heads.


2 thoughts on “A Call to Return to… What, Exactly?

  1. yeah. For every person who works against the system trying to truly help people the fact is the system remains sharing far too much in common with prisons and factories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s