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This chapter introduces the book through discussing the context in which it came about, namely a conference to mark the centenary of the publication of Dewey’s Democracy…
This chapter introduces the book through discussing the context in which it came about, namely a conference to mark the centenary of the publication of Dewey’s Democracy and Education. The first section relates to the book’s subtitle by describing and analysing the context in which speakers at the conference engaged in a ‘fightback’ against educational policies found to be narrowly based on economic aims, and to have lost sight of the humanistic aims of education, aims which Dewey analysed and championed. The book is structured around three key areas, all related to Dewey’s philosophy of education – the first concerns technology, the second, embodiment and the third, democracy and development. A discussion on the significance of each of these areas for contemporary educational theory is followed by detail on the individual chapters within them. This chapter concludes with an introduction to the cautiously optimistic and forward-looking epilogue by Gert Biesta on the matters and issues raised in the book.