John Dewey Questions and Answers

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What does John Dewey mean by saying that there is no difference between the faith in education and the continuous faith in the human nature?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The assertion that arises from Dewey's idea is that the more education that one receives, the better the person is.  Dewey held an limitless optimism in the nature of education and how it can enlighten an individual to aspire to the "better angels of one's nature."  Part of the reason that Dewey's faith in education and in the democratic order of the nation go together is rooted in this idea of human ignorance is the cause of what ails human actions.  Dewey was resolute in the idea that the bad things that humans do is only done because of the lack of understanding of options.  Once options are made clear and the force of education is present in one's life, Dewey sincerely believes that humans will act in a reflection of it.  The idea of human nature being one that is reflective of the amount of education is something that strikes at the very essence of education and why individuals enter education and what sustains the profession, in general.

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Because Dewey believed in the inherently good nature of humanity, he thought that education should help individuals to achieve self-realization. Yet, this is not to be interpreted in individualistic terms as Dewey believed that self-realization could only be achieved in contributions to the well-being of the community to which individuals belong. Therefore education should help children to develop into citizens of democratic societies. Dewey supported the introduction of newer teaching approaches to make schools cooperative institutions which could effectively shape the democratic potential in each pupil. Schools should also not merely reproduce the existing social order, but in Dewey's idealistic view should be the main driving force for social change.

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