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The development is all read. Works Cited and Further ReadingsJ. Benacerraf, everyday aristotle continuum library of educational thought. New Essays in the test of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, m. In a dictatorship, there are a priori limits on the flow of experience on the passive and active parts of the experiential interchange due to the restrictions of freedom of speech, of the communication flow and of the exchange of interests internally and externally in diverse social forms.
Education for social life, the doubling of forms, therefore, can only take place in open societies. A dictator's school must find another name for itself. So, returning to the quote above, Dewey did not think of the society in the singular. In other words, a Deweyan education must work within the framework of Dewey's conception of democracy, that is, a condition of the maximum number of exchanges, common points of interest and activities internally and between communities.
It is only in very simple and monolithic societies that concepts and ideas may be said to have a privileged access to the world. In a democracy, where a plurality of communities develops together, we must find another principle of education. Thus, an experience is characterised by having a passive and an active element.
Something happens to us the consequences , and we do something the action. It is a transaction of impression and expression.
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The dual nature of this process is important to keep in mind in the rest of this article. Dewey attempts to inject this duality, in which the organism not only imports the environment but also tries to export something as well, in all of his analyses. This is not only a theory of education but also a theory of the basic mechanism of life and knowledge itself. Instead, we ought to organise our society and education in such a way that the process of experience can be intensified in free exchanges in a plural and open democracy.
With such a vigorous link between concepts of learning, experience and society, it is easy to understand why in recent years an interest in Dewey has been revived. But it is equally hard to understand why Dewey, particularly among psychologists, has been associated with individualism. The next question is: How should we understand the exchange of communication in an open society? To begin with, let us assume a situation in which we speak and act in particular ways, because so far things have actually worked out fine.
Eventually, we build up a continuum, a constructed linearity between action and consequences, between active and passive experience, between organism and its surroundings. There is a kind of agreement between the actions of the subject and the consequences of these actions. The consequences of the action, the passive side, are without cusps or surprises. Dewey calls such linearity a habit. Habits are not necessarily rigid routines. Habits are also an expression of increasing involvement with the world. This is illustrated by the way we learn to know the infrastructure of a city.
Here we can regard the habits as a slowly growing sense of the structure of the town. At the end of this process, after perhaps many years, you may be able to find your way around town without thinking at all. A habit is an emergent property of a pluralist culture. It should be emphasized that language should be treated as action as well. Instead, education is the development of intelligent linguistic habits; it is the enhancement of particular exchanges between organism and environment, a kind of cultural breathing.
These kinds of habits tend to enclose and determine the subject in rigid routines, sheer causality and lack of reflectivity. In this case, the habit stops being an exchange and becomes sheer impression, sheer passivity. Here, we arrive at central point, because Deweyan democracy, with its countless fractures and pluralism, constantly interrupts these continuities or habituations.
The relationship between actions and consequences, therefore, changes both rapidly and frequently. But the change and the fissures in habitual continuity are, of course, also seen in the ordinary events of modern life, in working and family life and in schools and educational life in general. This posits an important context for Dewey's educational philosophy, because his philosophy of experience becomes a philosophy for a modern pluralism that concerns the relationship between breaks and continuities.
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Dewey, of course, worked at the beginning of last century's America, a time characterised by extreme social pluralism; and he envisaged and even feared that the different communities would close themselves off from each other. Such a closure would prevent possible experience; it would cut off growth, creativity and democracy, and a closed and authoritarian form of life would result.
And notice also how, in this quote immediately above, how Dewey stresses not only habits but also the concept of intelligence.
Without intelligence, plasticity and growth is delayed. Intelligence and thinking become the defining characteristic of education in a pluralist society. So far, I have described Dewey's educational philosophy primarily with a biological vocabulary, working in a plural and democratic context, and I have conceptualised experience as an interruption of habits, on one hand, and the organism's reorganisation of the habits, on the other.
The next task is a closer analysis of the more specific character of a habituation. The question is: how do we move from an interruption of habit to a new habit? We leave, therefore, the discourse of biology and adaptation for a moment, focusing instead on the specifically human aspect of experience, that is, intelligent habituation. Instead of the formalism of method often connected with Dewey, we will find an emphasis on the content and subject matter of education. Not, of course, content understood as a simple transmittable scientific knowledge.
Rather, we will discover learning and content simultaneously. Intelligent habituation is equivalent to thinking and not only reflection. In this quote, thinking and habituation is closely linked. As a habit is a continuum between action and consequences, thinking is exactly the name of the activity producing this continuum. Thus, this is not only about a habit of intelligence, but, more fundamentally, it is an intelligent habituation.
Education is in human nature rather than nature being a kind of education. In what follows, I will first show how this intelligent habituation is described in Democracy and Education and then illuminate the concept further by introducing some passages from Dewey's aesthetics, Art as Experience. In part, Dewey's considerations on the nature of thinking consist of a reflection on the difference between being a participator and a spectator.
A participant may be a soldier in action or a teacher who teaches. Often, the soldier finds it difficult to take an objective stand on the war, because his actions are overdetermined by the need for survival. The spectator, on the contrary, is not involved directly, and his point of view is rather how we should speak about the war: Which linguistic habits should we ascribe to? Thus, there is no doubt that, to the extent we should promote thought, it is the perspective of the spectator in particular that should be nurtured. This means that thought assumes a certain distance. The defining difference between actor and spectator is that the spectator has to act at a distance to the events in which the actor is involved.
If the atmosphere of the act overwhelms the spectator, he becomes instead an actor. When Dewey speaks of thinking as experimentation and as an inquiry, he does not have in mind a settled, a priori scientific or pedagogical method. Thus, an appreciation of the consequences of a phenomenon demands a reflection on the significance of different possible habituations for all relevant groups.
This is not a mechanical process. In other words, what we are looking for is something that is in the process of becoming something we yet do not know. In this process, we retrieve the Deweyan criterion of democracy: a free exchange of interests and numerous distinctions between and inside different communities.
Where an actor may be tempted to follow his own interest, the spectator forces him to include others' interests as well, thereby constructing a more intelligent habituation. Even though the actor interacts with a limited part of the world, he is not inclined to see the enlarged reality. An insight into the larger world can only be brought about by enlightening him on the consequences of his acts. Therefore, the condition for an intelligent habituation, for thinking, is the existence of an exchange between an actor and a spectator perspective on the subject matter in question.
In this process of distance and presence, the actor is forced to see new people, new pieces of art, new texts and so forth. Again, not as a sympathy to the political goal of terrorism which is a closure of the free exchange of interests , but rather, if it is to be educational, an investigation of how terrorists attempt to create a kind of linearity between acts and consequences for themselves and others.
The rest of this essay is an elaboration of the idea of intelligence. I have also discussed the character of neutral spectators. What remains to be analysed is the circularity; how to comprehend the concepts of imagination and judgment. This task is undertaken in the rest of the article. It is the world tumbling in, all over our cognitive faculties.
Dewey insisted that this ability is of vital importance, e. Thus, it is human development set up against the brutes.
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Without imagination, we would be like wild animals. It is education in its most general condition. In addition, statements, which we might often consider to be a fact, are here considered as the result of the workings of imagination. Such statements are not facts in the sense of having an exclusive relation to nature, a relation that afterwards can be transmitted as a linguistic atom in different classrooms from universities, to professional schools, to student essays, etc.
These representations that make the absent present are constructions of a manifold, and they are worked out in the gap between actor and spectator. As an actor, one is situated as unemployed, as social worker, as employer, etc. The educated point of view, on the other hand, is the intelligent and pluralist working of the faculty of imagination, permitting all kinds of positions and habituations to be exchanged, e.
Most of the things being discussed in the classroom will not be immediately present but will take place outside the school, at places of work, in families, in workers unions or elsewhere. The faculty of imagination, in this sense, produces a piece of art and, in this production, an important element of play is involved. The conclusion is that the faculty of imagination is not an isolated gift, working independently of the content of the education.
On the contrary, this faculty is deeply rooted in ideas and practices that are socially available, and it works as a creative motor of transaction, making diverse structures of consequences accessible for the activity of the faculty of judgment. In this process of translation, the habituating of social life should be considered to be playful dramatisations of sentences, the quality of which is expanded by increasing distance between the present and the absent and the readings based on social sympathies. Where the faculty of imagination produces the material, the subject matter, as dramas of sentences, then judgment decides how the relationship between the different dramas should be understood.
Judgment decides by producing a new set of sentences, an utterance, a book, etc. Consequently they possess us, rather than we them. They move us; they control us. There are two kinds of habits, when we speak of judgment and taste. This kind of judgment is active in many instances when we evaluate food, music, literature and science.
And it is, of course, constantly working, when school teachers evaluate the written or oral performance of students.
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The other way to exhibit judgment stresses that the faculty of taste is not only active in applying particular standards. Taste is also working even when these standards need to be articulated in the first place. In sum, we have identified education as an enlightened or intelligent reflection concerning fractures of the habituations of culture. This fracture starts a process of reflection, which is possible due to the distance between spectator and actor, and its components are, on one hand, the dramatisations of imagination and, on the other hand, judgment's work of discrimination to suggest and approve of new vocabularies with either simple approval or criticism as the basic principle.
Thus, I have identified a circularity of learning, which is well embedded in past culture and future social life. This is the intelligent breathing of the human organism. I have already outlined what makes the imagination intelligent. I still need a further discussion of intelligent judgment, criticism. First, however, I want to provide an interesting note on how Dewey couples imagination and judgement with two important ethical virtues.
The exchange between imagination and judgment is an activity with profound moral implications. The undergoing of consequences, the imaginative enterprise, requires courage. Courage is here defined as the ability to be passive proper.
Some issues are so controversial or even taboo that the temptation to ignore them is overwhelming. It takes courage to allow them into your own thinking, your own classroom or your own text. When, for instance, issues such as the consequences of Islamic law are imagined by Salman Rushdie or some cartoonists, new language games are established that interrupt existing habituations, and, in some instances, this may mean a threat to one's career or even one's life.
To be genuinely passive is a brave act. On the other hand, judgment, the active side of experience, is attached to the moral virtue of responsibility. This is so because the consequences imported by the imagination are being transformed into public utterances with consequences for others. To judge, therefore, is to take responsibility for the common future of a class, a school, a community or a profession.
It is to suggest which statements should be considered valid in a common narrative. This is the province of judgment. The relationship between judgment and criticism unfolds to an even deeper level if we realise that this entire discussion of the relationship between thinking, experience and judgment is also involved with important parts of Dewey's aesthetics.
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Here, the general rule is the ontologically prior, and it subsumes particularities under its name. Examples of this are found not only the legal system but also in many situations in the educational system, for instance, when an evaluation is made of a student essay. The implementation of this kind of judgment is, therefore, a dissolution of the particular.
It is the subsumption of any kind of activity under an already established rule—a rule, which in itself is postulated to have its validity outside experience, that is, in nature, in God, in common sense, etc. In other words, it is judgment exercised without any interest in concrete experience, taste and distinctions made in a particular field.
It is action without consequences, and it is responsibility without courage. The problem with judicial judgment is the lack of the use of imagination. The more dynamic society becomes, the more ruptures of habits are encountered and the more problematic legal judgment ends up becoming.
This judgmental practice corresponds to the idea that sensations leave a naive imprint in the mind of the learning subject, an empty sheet that is magically organised into something comprehensible. In reality, however, it is not a concept of judgment at all, because it does not involve an active element. It is sheer courage without responsibility, pure consequence and no action. To define an impression is to analyze it, and analysis can proceed only by going beyond the impression, by referring it to the grounds on which it rests and the consequences which it entails.
Thus, the situations do not spring naively into the mind. The situation must itself be defined as part of a process of habituation, and such a process or action deals with judgment as well as imagination. In modernity, with its many interruptions of equilibria of actions and consequences, the many suggestions for new habituations cannot be evaluated by criteria, standards or rules that are reminiscent of former habituations an interruption of which the new suggestions are the result.
Thus, there is a problem here of how to evaluate, to judge or to meet the new form. With these reservations, we can investigate more freely some of the educational themes already announced in the discussion of Democracy and Education but which may find more interesting expressions in his theory of art. Once again, we see the emphasis of imagination as a particular human faculty and, a moment later, we hear:. There is always a gap between the here and now of direct interaction and the past interactions whose funded result constitutes the meanings with which we grasp and understand what is now occurring.
Because of this gap, all conscious perception involves a risk; it is a venture into the unknown, for as it assimilates the present to the past it also brings about some reconstruction of that past. When past and present fit exactly into one another, when there is only recurrence, complete uniformity, the resulting experience is routine and mechanical; it does not come to consciousness in perception.