chapter  25
John Dewey
Pages 8

Education is not a neutral instrumentality. Rather, it is inherently political in a variety of ways. From the vast universe of possible knowledge, only some groups' knowledge is declared legitimate to teach. From the many different forms of pedagogy that could be used, the ones that dominate tend to silence the voices and experiences of students. Schools themselves are linked as well to the reproduction-and subversion-of existing race, gender, and class relations. While today we have a much clearer understanding of the complex relationship between education and differential power, these concerns have a long history. It is almost impossible to think about these issues-at the level of theory or practice-without dealing with John Dewey's legacy. This legacy is contradictory, but extremely important as a foundation for a vision of education that is rooted in the expansion of democracy to all spheres of social life.