Interior of restored one-room schoolhouse, Beckley Coal Camp, WV

Independence Day

Interior of restored one-room schoolhouse, Beckley Coal Camp, WV
“… a few words about democracy itself seem to be called for.” (John Dewey)

It is no accident that all democracies have put a high estimate upon education; that schooling has been their first care and enduring charge. Only through education can equality of opportunity be anything more than a phrase. Accidental inequalities of birth, wealth, and learning are always tending to restrict the opportunities of some as compared with those of others. Only free and continued education can counteract those forces which are always at work to restore, in however changed a form, feudal oligarchy. Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.[1]


[1] John Dewey, “The Need of an Industrial Education in an Industrial Democracy,” in John Dewey: The Middle Works, 1899-1924, Vol. 10 1916-1917, Jo Ann Boydston, ed., Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1980, 137-143, 138-9.

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