Un-contented Characters: An Education In The Shared Practices Of Democratic Engagement
Critical Review Of International Social & Political Philosophy
Politics and Government
How should children be educated for democratic politics in ways that do not undermine their diverse needs, ideas, and interests? The dual challenges for a democratic theory of education are, first, to protect the pluralism of the young from standardization or indoctrination by the old, and second, to protect the social cohesion of the political community from the disruptive radicalism of its youngest members. I argue that liberal theories address this challenge by imagining an education in shared values (or content) that, in the end, undermines democracy. Following Aristotle and John Dewey, I suggest that an education in shared practices of democratic engagement provides a source of commonality that also preserves plurality.
Kessel, Alisa. 2009. "Un-contented characters: an education in the shared practices of democratic engagement." Critical Review Of International Social & Political Philosophy 12(3): 425-442.