The Purposes of Education in American Democracy

By Educational Policies Commission | Go to book overview

Forewords

To the Teacher:

A million teachers in America have listened to addresses and read books, articles, reports, and courses of study on the purposes of education. These talks and publications sometimes fail to affect what is done in the classroom. One reason for their limited influence has been the tendency to deal in extremely broad generalizations which, for classroom procedure, could mean almost anything and, therefore, mean almost nothing.

In this book your Educational Policies Commission has tried to do just two things. First, we have stated what we think the schools of the United States ought to try to accomplish. Second, we have described some of the things which we think need to be done if these purposes are to be realized. We venture one more discussion on educational objectives because we hope to carry our analysis forward to the point where its meaning for the classroom and the administrative office will be clear.

The introductory chapters, dealing with the relation between education and democracy, provide a necessary basis for the rest of the statement. The kind of society in which we are to live is important for education. The democratic way of life establishes the purpose of American education. And the democratic way is being sharply and sometimes successfully challenged at home and abroad. These hard facts make the achievement of democracy through education the most urgent and the most intensely practical problem facing our profession.

The Commission hopes above all that this book will lead you to think, for yourself and with others, about the purposes back of your daily work, to grow in professional

-vii-

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