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February 23 , 2011

Education and Democracy in the 21st Century


Eminent educational philosopher Nel Noddings draws on John Dewey's foundational work to reimagine education's aims and curriculum for the 21st century. Noddings looks at education as a multi-aim enterprise in which schools must address needs in all three domains of life: home and family, occupational, and civic. She raises critical questions about the current enthusiasm for standardization, the search for "one-best-way" solutions, and the practice of maintaining a sharp separation between the disciplines. Comprehensive in its scope, chapters examine the liberal arts curriculum, vocational education, restructuring secondary school, extracurricular activities, national and global citizenship, critical thinking, and moral education.

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Noddings argues that we must find ways to preserve our commitment to democratic values while adapting to the societal changes that have occurred since Dewey wrote Democracy and Education almost a century ago. She urges not only a critical appraisal of current practice but also a cooperative and imaginative exploration of the future.

“A terrific contribution by a writer in love with the democratic traditions and genuine educative functions of our public schools. Noddings describes goals for our schools that are at odds with the leaders of both political parties. How I wish she were making our educational policies so our nation could thrive!”
David C. Berliner, Regents' Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University

“Education and Democracy in the 21st Century is the vision of an experienced and eminent philosopher of education. It is an important contribution to the field because it is comprehensive in its scope and takes up contemporary issues like global citizenship and cultural pluralism.”
Megan J. Laverty, Teachers College, Columbia University

“Nel Noddings's new book is jargon-free and offers a systematic perspective on the disciplines as vehicles for an education for democracy.”
Barry L. Bull, Indiana University Bloomington, School of Education

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