Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory

2017 Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Dewey on Public Education and Democracy

  • Tove Österman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-588-4_485



The American philosopher John Dewey influenced the educational sector of many countries around the world apart from the USA, notably Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Austria, both pre- and postrevolutionary Russia, and Turkey. In Sweden, which will be discussed as an example below, his influence is still palpable in the national curricula. An important part of Dewey’s work concerns the role of education in societal reform and progress: more specifically, in the progress toward a more democratic society. Thus, the formation of democratic character lay at the heart of Dewey’s philosophy of education. For Dewey, this is far more important than teaching children how a democracy works, since the development of a democratic character entails more than knowing a set of facts or rules; it is rather about fostering a sociable and intelligent (receptive and open-minded) individual,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Uppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden