The Rocky Road of Growing into Contemporary Citizenship: Dewey, Gramsci, and the Method of Democracy
Characterized by globalization, increasing pluralism, and new complexities of citizenship, the contemporary world sets challenges to the ways in which we conceptualize the processes of searching for shared solutions to ever-complicated societal problems. Whilst the political rhetoric emphasizes citizen participation, engagement, and “voice”, there are increasing feelings of frustration, incompetence, and disinterest regarding political engagement. In order to conceptually grasp the problematic of searching for shared solutions and the related challenges to education, we draw on John Dewey’s idea of the method of democracy and complement this with some critical perspectives inspired by Antonio Gramsci. Further, we reflect on the implications for contemporary adult education by discussing the notion of competence in the theoretical framework developed.
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