Moral Principles in Education

by John Dewey

The relations of education to the public are different from those of any other professional work. Education is a public business with us, in a sense that the protection and restoration of personal health or legal rights are not. To an extent characteristic of no other institution, save that of the state itself, the school has power to modify the social order. And under our political system, it is the right of each individual to have a voice in the making of social policies as, indeed, he has a vote in the determination of political affairs. If this be true, education is primarily a public business, and only secondarily a specialized vocation. The layman, then, will always have his right to some utterance on the operation of the public schools.


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