The Significance of Dewey's Democracy and Education for 21st-Century Education

Education and Culture 33 (1):41-57 (2017)


This paper explores Dewey's landmark book Democracy and Education1 and the insights it holds for 21st-century education. Regarding the term "21st-century education," Alfie Kohn aptly notes that "we can take whatever objectives of teaching strategies we happen to favor and, merely by attaching a label that designates a future time period, endow them and ourselves with an aura of novelty and significance."2 The intention of this paper is to re-appropriate this term from two groups that tend to employ it. The first of these is the standardization movement, which includes proponents of high-stakes testing and the concomitant narrowing of curricula. The second group is advocates for digital ubiquity in K–12 classrooms...

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