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Book review: Democracy and Education, by John Dewey John Dewey

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  1. Introduction
  2. John Dewey and his times
  3. ?Democracy and education? in its time
  4. Main thesis of ?democracy and education?
  5. Conclusion

John Dewey was a philosopher, psychologist, and political commentator and activist, who also wrote about a whole host of other topics: art, nature, logic, ethics, and democracy, amongst others. However, most of all, he is perhaps known as an educational thinker. His ideas on education are laid out in his seminal work ?Democracy and Education?, which first deals with the various educational philosophies that existed up to his day, and then proceeds to critique and expand upon them in the context of a democratic society. Perhaps the best word that could be used to describe his venture with regards to these educational philosophies is ?synthesis?; in a way, he viewed these preceding philosophies as extreme in their respective ways, and sought to find a middle ground where these extremes could be reconciled. My essay will be divided into three parts: (I) John Dewey and His Times, in which I will locate the author in his era; (II) ?Democracy and Education? in its Time, in which I will situate his work in the context of its age and amongst other philosophical currents at that time; and, finally, (III) Main Thesis of ?Democracy and Education?, in which I will outline the main ideas set out in Dewey's book.

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