Since its publication in 1916 Democracy and Education has become a part of what Popkewiz defines the “traveling libraries” (Popkewiz, 2005), which have constituted the background of educational debate all over the world and has therefore participated in “different assemblages and connections” (Popekewiz, 2005, p. 16). These assemblages and connections mirror the degree and kind of impact that Dewey's masterpiece had in different contexts and times. In my exploration, I am not referring to the notions of "influence and reception" that Biesta and Miedema point out to be unclear and uneffective (Biesta and Miedema, 2012) but I rather use the notion of “impact” to be intended, according to the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, as “the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another” highlighting the presence of the elements that have determined that contact but also of those which have somehow reduced and transformed its force and pressure. In particular, I explore the impact of Democracy and Education on the construction of contemporary educational thought understood as the "reflective examination of educational issues and problems" (http://www.journalofthought.com) developed over time from multiple perspectives and with the aid of what Dewey would have called multiple "sources". Within this framework a series of elements have to be taken into account: the historical moment, to be considered as a very important indicator of the permeability of the cultural and political space to Dewey's philosophical and educational ideas, as well as the complexity of the cultural, political and social contexts which encountered the text. This requires therefore a focus on the issues and problems around which contemporary educational thought has been reflecting from 1916 until now as well a focus on the different areas of discourse that have been receptive to Dewey's arguments, according to two different notions of discourse intended either as an unfolding “text” (Metelli di Lallo, 1966) as well as a “way of constructing knowledge” and “power relationships” (Foucault, 1970) between the actors entitled to participate to the discursive practices within the educational scenarios. My analysis focuses not only on the circulation of Dewey's ideas but also on their misunderstanding and misinterpretation which has sometimes created a distorted or incomplete reading of Democracy and Education taking into account: the degree of penetration of the reflection developed in the book within the educational discourse (highlighting how- in a Foucaltian perspective- the "discursive field" which regulates contemporary educational thought have emerged competing and contradictory discourses that have organized educational models, practices and institutions, shaping and creating different meaning systems as a reference for educational actions and practices); the channels and devices through which it has been introduced in a specific cultural but also political and social context; the issues that it proposes and re-proposes to the educational reflection as well as the questions that the book contributes to keep alive and open in the educational debate.

The impact of Democracy and Education on contemporary educational thought and discourse: a critical analysis

STRIANO, MAURA
2016

Abstract

Since its publication in 1916 Democracy and Education has become a part of what Popkewiz defines the “traveling libraries” (Popkewiz, 2005), which have constituted the background of educational debate all over the world and has therefore participated in “different assemblages and connections” (Popekewiz, 2005, p. 16). These assemblages and connections mirror the degree and kind of impact that Dewey's masterpiece had in different contexts and times. In my exploration, I am not referring to the notions of "influence and reception" that Biesta and Miedema point out to be unclear and uneffective (Biesta and Miedema, 2012) but I rather use the notion of “impact” to be intended, according to the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, as “the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another” highlighting the presence of the elements that have determined that contact but also of those which have somehow reduced and transformed its force and pressure. In particular, I explore the impact of Democracy and Education on the construction of contemporary educational thought understood as the "reflective examination of educational issues and problems" (http://www.journalofthought.com) developed over time from multiple perspectives and with the aid of what Dewey would have called multiple "sources". Within this framework a series of elements have to be taken into account: the historical moment, to be considered as a very important indicator of the permeability of the cultural and political space to Dewey's philosophical and educational ideas, as well as the complexity of the cultural, political and social contexts which encountered the text. This requires therefore a focus on the issues and problems around which contemporary educational thought has been reflecting from 1916 until now as well a focus on the different areas of discourse that have been receptive to Dewey's arguments, according to two different notions of discourse intended either as an unfolding “text” (Metelli di Lallo, 1966) as well as a “way of constructing knowledge” and “power relationships” (Foucault, 1970) between the actors entitled to participate to the discursive practices within the educational scenarios. My analysis focuses not only on the circulation of Dewey's ideas but also on their misunderstanding and misinterpretation which has sometimes created a distorted or incomplete reading of Democracy and Education taking into account: the degree of penetration of the reflection developed in the book within the educational discourse (highlighting how- in a Foucaltian perspective- the "discursive field" which regulates contemporary educational thought have emerged competing and contradictory discourses that have organized educational models, practices and institutions, shaping and creating different meaning systems as a reference for educational actions and practices); the channels and devices through which it has been introduced in a specific cultural but also political and social context; the issues that it proposes and re-proposes to the educational reflection as well as the questions that the book contributes to keep alive and open in the educational debate.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/645688
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social impact