A Deweyan Perspective on Democracy and Inquiry in the Field of Special Education

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On what basis do special educators working in the area of severe disabilities make decisions? This article provides an exploration of the practice of social inquiry in professional work that draws from the democratic ethics of John Dewey. Dewey emphasizes the need for knowledge to contribute to the daily challenge of fostering equality in human interactions and relationships. His philosophy supports the free development of many forms of social inquiry and the cultivation of a pluralistic dialogue valuing diverse perspectives. This article concludes with a description of advisory work within the self-advocacy movement as an example of Deweyan democracy in action.

Keywords: John Dewey; democracy; special education

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2511/rpsd.26.4.270

Affiliations: University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Publication date: December 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities is now published in association with SAGE Publications. For new issues please visit: rpsd.sagepub.com
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