INTRODUCTION
BACK TO BASICS

When citizens rule in a democracy, they determine, among other things, how future citizens will be educated. Democratic education is therefore a political as well as an educational ideal. Because being educated as a child entails being ruled, “you cannot be a ruler unless you have first been ruled.”1 Because being a democratic citizen entails ruling, the ideal of democratic education is being ruled, then ruling. Education not only sets the stage for democratic politics, it plays a central role in it. Its dual role poses one of the primary moral problems of politics: Who should share the authority to influence the way democratic citizens are educated?

To answer this question, I develop in considerable detail a democratic theory of education. But before developing that theory, I must answer three challenges to the idea that a democratic theory of education is worth developing. First: Why rely on a theory to decide who should exercise authority over education? Second: Why a democratic theory? Finally: Why focus on education?


WHY A THEORY?

“There are two human inventions which may be considered more difficult than any others—the art of government, and the art of education; and people still contend as to their very meaning.”2 We can exercise the art of education, Kant argued, either unreflectively, “without plan, ruled by given circumstances,”3 or theoretically, with the aid of principles. Must educational policy rest on a principled theory? Why not settle for making educational policy less reflectively, as we often have in the past? Without any principled plan, we could strengthen our science and math curriculum in reaction to Sputnik, desegregate some schools and fund more compensatory education in reaction to the civil rights movement, and go “back to basics” in reaction to declining SAT scores.

Consider the recent back-to-basics movement in American educa-

____________________
1
Aristotle, The Politics of Aristotle, trans. Ernest Barker (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 105 (1277b).
2
Immanuel Kant, Kant on Education (Ueber Padagogik), trans. Annette Churton (Boston: D. C. Heath and Co., 1900), p. 12.
3
Ibid., p. 13.

-3-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Democratic Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 348

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.