There Are No Schools in Utopia: John Dewey's Democratic Education

Education and Culture 31 (2):69-80 (2015)


A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realization of Utopias. “The most utopian thing in Utopia is that there are no schools,” writes John Dewey. With these words, Dewey opened his talk to kindergarten teachers on April 21, 1933 at Teachers College, Columbia University. Published a couple days later in the New York Times under the title, “Dewey Outlines Utopian Schools,” we find Dewey in this little-discussed talk fancifully imagining himself among the Utopians—somehow..

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Ian Deweese-Boyd
Gordon College

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