Larry A. Hickman, Meike Kricke, Stefan Neubert


Living in an age of immense social, cultural, economic, and political changes and momentous processes of modernization, John Dewey (1859-1952) was a philosopher of reconstruction who reinvented himself and his approaches many times over his long lifespan. He emphasized the need for continual reinvention on many diverse levels. As a philosopher of democracy and education, he clearly saw that renewal and reconstruction are at the heart of democratic living together and educational growth. Dewey’s philosophy and educational approach was pioneering in his elaborate reflections on the interrelations between democracy and education, especially in the contexts of modern societies. In his 1938 essay “Democracy and Education in the World of Today” he claimed it “is obvious that the relation between democracy and education is a reciprocal one, a mutual one, and vitally so. Democracy is itself and educational principle, and educational measure and policy.” (LW 13: 294) He further observed

“… every generation has to accomplish democracy over again for itself; … its very nature, its essence, is something that cannot be handed on from one person or one generation to another, but has to be worked out in terms of needs, problems and conditions of the social life of which, as the years go by, we are a part, a social life that is changing with extreme rapidity from year to year.” (LW 13: 299)

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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