The Paramount Importance of Experience and Situations in Dewey's Democracy and Education

Educational Theory 66 (1-2):73-88 (2016)
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In this essay, David Hildebrand connects Democracy and Education to Dewey's wider corpus. Hildebrand argues that Democracy and Education's central objective is to offer a practical and philosophical answer to the question, What is needed to live a meaningful life, and how can education contribute? He argues, further, that this work is still plausible as “summing up” Dewey's overall philosophy due to its focus upon “experience” and “situation,” crucial concepts connecting Dewey's philosophical ideas to one another, to education, and to democracy. He opens the essay with a brief synoptic analysis of Democracy and Education's major philosophical ideas, moves on to sections devoted to experience and situation, and then offers a brief conclusion. Some mention is made throughout about the surprisingly significant role art and aesthetics can play in education.

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David L. Hildebrand
University of Colorado Denver


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