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Dewey’s Democratic Society Essay

771 words - 4 pages

A democratic society is one in which its members have their own informed opinions and have the freedom to define their role in society. John Dewey argues that a democratic society can only function if students receive an education that fosters critical thinking and analysis. However, modern-day high schools are inadequately preparing students to become exemplary citizens because schools withhold students in unfavorable settings while emphasizing irrelevant curricula and failing to expose students to the liberal arts.
First of all, high schools do not achieve Dewey’s vision because schools simply follow the “three R’s” – reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic— without presenting them in real-life ...view middle of the document...

Schools spend much time forcing standards mandated by the state or federal government down the throats of students leaving little to no time for what Dewey describes as “a course of study of criteria which are broadly human”. The liberal arts teach students “about their history, their social condition, [and] themselves” which makes it a course of study which is “democratically useful, citizenly, and smart” (source 3). Nonetheless, schools disregard the liberal arts as a unnecessary component to their idea of a well-rounded education, but liberal arts must be a vital part of education in order to have a functioning democratic society. How can a society which has no knowledge of itself, expect to thrive? High schools, however, reason that they do not have to introduce students to the liberal arts because they will eventually study aspects of it in college. Regardless, exposing students in high school “will help orient them to common tasks as citizens” as well as “make them think through their views” at a younger age, thus, better preparing them for their role in a democratic society (source 3). Because schools do not teach students about themselves, students are left inadequately prepared to achieve Dewey’s vision of a synergistic society.
In addition, high schools place students in unrealistic settings that do not prepare students for life after high school. These unfavorable conditions use “good looks, and...

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