Document Type

Review Essay

Publication Title

Democracy & Education

Publication Date


Publication Number

Article 7

Abstract/ Summary

This essay reviews Atkinson’s article “Countering the Neos: Dewey and a Democratic Ethos in Teacher Education” and argues that while Dewey and the social foundations classroom may indeed be important for teacher preparation, it is not in the way Atkinson suggests. Namely, I argue that Atkinson’s essay has three distinct (yet interrelated) issues: his problematic oversimplifications, what I term as “Dewey doesn’t do dualisms”; his misreading of Dewey, where I point out that “Dewey doesn’t do debate”; and his unexamined positionality, where I make clear that “Dewey doesn’t do Descartes.” I conclude this essay with a different perspective of a way forward with Dewey: that Dewey’s antifoundationalism serves as a powerful model for teaching and learning that can indeed help us confront the issues of neoliberalism and neoconservatism that Atkinson rightly worries about.