The Gleam of Light: Moral Perfectionism and Education in Dewey and Emerson

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Fordham Univ Press, 2005 - 210 pages

In the name of efficiency, the practice of education has come to be dominated by neoliberal ideology and
procedures of standardization and quantification. Such attempts to make all aspects of practice transparent and subject to systematic accounting lack sensitivity to the invisible and the silent, to something in the human
condition that cannot readily be expressed in an either-or form. Seeking alternatives to such trends, Saito reads
Dewey's idea of progressive education through the lens of Emersonian moral perfectionism (to borrow a term coined by Stanley Cavell). She elucidates a spiritual and aesthetic dimension to Dewey's notion of growth, one considerably richer than what Dewey alone presents in his typically scientific terminology.


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Page 1 - Thinking must not be subdued by his instruments. Books are for the scholar's idle times. When he can read God directly, the hour is too precious to be wasted in other men's transcripts of their readings. But when the intervals of darkness come, as come they must, — when the sun is hid, and the stars withdraw their shining, — we repair to the lamps which were kindled by their ray, to guide our steps to the East again, where the dawn is. We hear, that we may speak. The Arabian proverb says, " A...

About the author (2005)

Naoko Saito (Author)
Naoko Saito is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of Kyoto. She is the author of The Gleam of Light: Moral Perfectionism and Education in Dewey and Emerson.

Stanley Cavell (Foreword By)
Stanley Cavell is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Harvard University. His recent publications include A Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises; Philosophical Passages: Wittgenstein, Emerson, Austin, and Derrida; Cities of Words: Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the Moral Life and Emerson's Transcendental Etudes.

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