Education and Morals

Education and Morals

Education and Morals

Education and Morals

Excerpt

One of the chief purposes of a preface is to permit an author to put aside the rôle of impersonal expositor and interpreter and to talk in the first person about that which he has written. I should like to indicate why this book in the foundations and philosophy of education has been given the tide, Education and Morals. I can perhaps do this most simply if I review some of the things which have been of concern to me in recent years as I have talked with parents and teachers about the meaning and the present tasks of education.

I have long been associated with the progressive wing in American education. I share its conception that, viewed from the standpoint of the education of the young, democracy is the most significant pattern in American life. I believe that the democratic conception was given a valid new application by those educators who declared that a child is a person and should be so treated by those responsible for his education. Although the principle of respect for the immature human being does not automatically translate itself into a program of education, it gives necessary moral direction by its recognition that the aim of education should be the growth and the liberation of the child, not his subordination to some external and absolute system.

I am also in full accord with those experimentalist educators who contend that respect for the child as a person includes as its most vital meaning respect for his intellectual potentialities, and that a primary purpose of education in a democracy should be to help each child develop a mind of his own. This necessarily makes method in education a moral as well as a psychological and pedagogical affair. We learn as we experience and practice. And . . .

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