Deliberative democracy and the improvement of children’s rational thinking

Dessberg, L. (2009) Deliberative democracy and the improvement of children’s rational thinking. In: Turgeon, W., ed. Creativity and the Child: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press. pp. 25-33 ISBN 9781848880061

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By considering the demands for deliberative democracy some liberals are oriented to affording citizen more direct opportunities. It is this situation that Rawls takes into account with his method of reflexive equilibrium. For him, inquiry appears as means of evaluating principles of justice and moral judgments. When people receive information opposed to their own beliefs about particular issues revisions are to be made. In this investigation, particular issues give the opportunity to test higher and lower beliefs. They become ultimately acceptable by looking for their general coherence. People have to accept the deliberative process in which they may change their considered judgments of justice or some principles. Nevertheless, Rawls still considers the ways « free and rational persons » may develop rational thinking without any reference to children‟s development of creativity.

We would like, therefore, to insist on the possibilities given by Dewey‟s pragmatic method of inquiry. In fact, Dewey was also interested by the conditions of reconstruction of the cognitive sets possible in democratic regimes, but primarily in schools. He contends that education should promote the development of intelligence applied to democratic experience. In his definition of valuation as inquiry, Dewey has in mind the use of History in curriculum. Teachers may present an « indirect sociology » that describes people habits as contextual practices. They could belong to foreign countries despite the fact they are part of our History. It helps to improve the efficiency of the reflexive equilibration by enlarging the national perspectives. In this case, the coherence of children's judgments depends on their ability to imagine how they would react if they were in some other place. It goes beyond tastes for investigation that schools can provide to students who are engaged to acquire the values of reasoning.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB0005 General
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Education > Childhood Studies
Depositing User: Dr Laurent Dessberg
Date Deposited: 22 May 2013 14:08
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:11

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00