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Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 20;

Learning by Undoing, Democracy and Education, and John Dewey, the Colonial Traveler

Department of Education, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 2 0537, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus
Academic Editors: Paul Standish and SunInn Yun
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy and Education at 100)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [214 KB, uploaded 24 January 2017]


The centennial anniversary of John Dewey’s Democracy and Education has been celebrated this year in a reconstructive and utility-based spirit. The article considers this spirit and the need to complement it with a critical-deconstructive and ‘use-less’ prism that will reveal shortcomings in Dewey’s and our own political pedagogies. Gleanings from Dewey’s book allow us to begin with what most educational theorists today treat as strong points of Dewey’s politics and then to explore how such points appear or disappear when Dewey’s ideas travel and how they relate to colonial and developmentalist elements in Dewey’s pragmatism. The article reveals how such elements operate in one of Dewey’s educational policy writings and in his related travel narratives. The main aim of the article is to indicate that we often require a ‘learning by undoing’ to obtain a heightened view on the stakes and challenges of old and current progressive pedagogies. View Full-Text
Keywords: heterogeneity; homogeneity; nationalism; diversity; minority; Armenian genocide heterogeneity; homogeneity; nationalism; diversity; minority; Armenian genocide
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Papastephanou, M. Learning by Undoing, Democracy and Education, and John Dewey, the Colonial Traveler. Educ. Sci. 2017, 7, 20.

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