For this philosopher it is clear that the educational task is a program of both personal development and social progress. We will therefore have to worry about clarifying the kind of society which is consistent with the ideal of educating for a project that will allow the human being to evolve toward a better civilizational environment. We cannot just postulate the social character of knowledge and learning, the need to always - and necessarily - be included in a well-equipped linguistic program, in a situation of communication to establish the conditions for the possibility of meaningful knowledge.
All this was defended by the author before the linguistic and communicative shift caused by some later philosophical movements. These points are essential to a pragmatic conception of intelligence, social life and knowledge. The purpose of introducing the intelligence dimension into the life of the community enables, within the pragmatic perspective, the development of human potential. To this end, there must be a project of controlled evolution.
This is the purpose of education. This dependent relationship of the virtues of democracy and rationality in relation to education was repeatedly treated by Dewey.
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It is in his Democracy and Education that this issue is better and more systematically addressed:. The idea of democracy the author argues is more than just a political regime. The process of teaching - and learning - is a form of communication, in the sense of mutual understanding, of sharing the same code and language system, have in common specific knowledge, share the space of a community.
The apprehension of meaning is an act of intelligence, and the way meanings are worked structure the way we manipulate the concepts. They give us the impression of rationality, control over the determination of the meanings of behaviors. To make sense, to have a meaning is therefore a prerequisite for an intentional and controlled action. Within a pragmatic perspective, the educational models to be adopted should be in harmony with the fundamental substratum of knowledge, namely experience or rather the experimental method. This becomes clear in the association of the idea of knowledge to an activity that produces sensitive effects, i.
Thus, knowledge abandons the fixist approach and is postulated as a process of exploring the meanings our intelligence works on. By recognizing the importance of habits in the formation of the scientific mind, Dewey has to clarify to what extent they do not conflict with the desired critical mindset.
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From a pragmatic understanding of habit, we can understand its function as a structuring element of the ideals of rationality applied to education. Moreover, with regard to a full citizenship, rationality emerges as an educational value. The issues of everyday life and political participation go hand in hand with the skills to learn how to criticize. We should ponder on the importance that habits have in the characterization of rationality, whether for the various forms of education or for the rational skills themselves.
Dewey himself, in A Escola e a Sociedade 9 , clarified that the aforementioned was not what was intended, but the need to create intelligent learning habits linked to real problems and to a problem-solving environment developed based on a community of inquiry. The justification of a model such as this lies, in our point of view, in understanding the nature of rationality or, to use a word dear to Dewey, intelligence.
In A Escola e Sociedade and How we think DEWEY, , a learning program is established in which students should basically be placed in practical situations involving them in problem-solving strategies. Another key aspect of promoting sound education lies in the idea and in the educational program of critical thinking. If there is no anchoring in concrete situations in which we are interested and in problems, we hardly escape the traditional scheme of content transmission.
All this should support an education that contributes to a democratic society, while promoting the development of intelligence. He intends to clarify the ideas, similar to Charles Peirce, and more specifically the merit of placing education at the center of human development. For Dewey the notion of democracy is an ideal that suits the perspective of a pragmatic conception of man, society and civilization.
It enables the conception of knowledge that is constantly evolving, dependent on a community that provides meaning and certifies knowledge. And intelligence, as ability to act in an intentional, controlled, efficient and progressive manner, is essential for democracy to work. Finally, the conception of education as a growth process requires intelligence so that everything can be applied in an evolutionary way.
Dewey did not provide a pedagogical model, as did Freinet, which involved the application of parliamentary schemes within the classroom.
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The notion of democracy is more than just a model of governance. It is an ideal. The application of the virtues of science, inquiry and personal and social progress are the major guidelines for such connection. We may, in this sense, receive a sound education. We can conclude that, while Democracy and Education is already a centennial text and therefore somehow outdated, it still has a role to play in philosophy of education.
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The work continues to provide us with material to contemplate on, as its questions are extremely ambitious. They involve a multiplicity of dimensions that require the reflection on every human being, their life, ethics and politics.
To read Dewey involves a lengthy and comprehensive reflective exercise, which does not abound in the spheres of decision-makers of current educational policies. Largely because it is not part of the public school agenda. Nevertheless, instead of thinking that Democracy and Education no longer serves us, because our world has the features it has - it is global, automated, commodified, and everything has changed in relation to the context - we may as well consider, following the perspective of Nell Noddings, that our time has already run out or begins to run out, and the typical patterns of liberalism, such as excessive competition, standardization, bureaucratization should now be replaced by habits of cooperation, responsibility, of disciplinary connections, of another intelligence NODDINGS, He did not consider it a faculty, but rather a form of behavior that seeks to connect the contexts in order to provide the best, most effective and fairest answer.
It is within the framework of a pragmatic philosophy that the idea of intelligence makes more sense.
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Many research projects carried out in recent years have reconsidered his thinking, especially in the field of social and political analysis. Regardless of the merits and relevance of these analyses, what we find in this article is the explanation of the idea of democracy based on the notion of intelligence, and education as the way to progressively fulfill such ideal.
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