This short paper is a response to Nel Noddings’s article on schooling for democracy. Whilst agreeing with the basic premises of Noddings’s argument, it questions the possibility of parity between academic and vocational tracks given the inequitable social and educational contexts the two types of learning would have to coexist within. Drawing on the educational philosophies of John Dewey and R. H. Tawney, I argue that both the United States and the United Kingdom need to create educational systems that reduce the social distance between people rather than, as the current systems do, exacerbate them. This is an issue of hearts and minds as well as policies and practices. As Dewey pointed out a hundred years ago, what is required is education that results in “mutual regard of all citizens for all other citizens,” and the paper concludes that both countries are still far away from achieving this.

Response to Article

Nel Noddings, Schooling for Democracy