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This introductory text, now in its fourth edition, is a classic in its field. It shows, first and foremost, the importance of philosophy in educational debate and as a background to any practical activity such as teaching. What is involved in the idea of educating a person or the idea of educational success? What are the criteria for establishing the optimum balance between formal and informal teaching techniques? How trustworthy is educational research? In addition to these questions, which strike to the heart of the rationale for the educative process as a whole, the authors explore such concepts as culture, creativity, autonomy, indoctrination, needs, interests and learning by discovery. In this new updated edition, the authors draw on the latest research in genetics to argue that education is uniquely human and is essentially what develops us as humans. Resisting modern tendencies to equate knowledge with opinion, and value judgements with taste, this book leads the reader into the business of philosophising and champions the cause of reason in education.
John Dewey's Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education seeks to both critique and further the educational philosophies espoused by both Rousseau and Plato. Dewey found that Rousseau's ideas overemphasized the individual, whereas Plato's did the same with the society that the individual lived in. Dewey felt this distinction to be a false one, seeing the formation of our minds as a communal process, like Vygotsky did. Hence an individual makes sense only as a part of society, and the society makes sense only as a realization of its individuals.
Intended primarily for education students this book provides an introduction to the philosophy of education that tackles educational problems and at the same time relates them to the mainstream of philosophical analysis. Among the educational topics the book discusses are the aims of education, the two cultures debate, moral education, equality as an ideal and academic elitism. It examines the limitations of a purely technological education, and suggests the shape of a balanced curriculum. It critically analyses important educational theses in the work of Rousseau, Dewey, R S Peters, P H Hirst, F R Leavis, Ronald Dworkin and G H Bantock, among many others, and considers the philosophical copics of relativism, the nature of knowledge, the basis of moral choice, the value of democracy and the status of religious claims.

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