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Democracy and Education

John Dewey

Book Overview: 

An important, controversial, and often cited work on public education. Dewey discusses the role of public education in a democracy and the different methods for achieving quality in education. After its initial publication, this book began a revolution in educational thinking; one that emphasized growth, experience, and activity as key elements in promoting democratic qualities in students and educators alike.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .It is rather the formation of mind by setting up certain associations or connections of content by means of a subject matter presented from without. Education proceeds by instruction taken in a strictly literal sense, a building into the mind from without. That education is formative of mind is not questioned; it is the conception already propounded. But formation here has a technical meaning dependent upon the idea of something operating from without. Herbart is the best historical representative of this type of theory. He denies absolutely the existence of innate faculties. The mind is simply endowed with the power of producing various qualities in reaction to the various realities which act upon it. These qualitatively different reactions are called presentations (Vorstellungen). Every presentation once called into being persists; it may be driven below the "threshold" of consciousness by new and stronger presentations, produced by the reaction of the soul to new mater. . . Read More