Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

Winter 2018

Journal Title or Book Title

Dewey Studies






Publisher's PDF

Publisher's Statement

Copyright of all published work remains with the author(s). As an open-access journal, we encourage authors and readers to share our publications freely, with appropriate acknowledgement. As a matter of standard academic practice, any subsequent print appearance of a work published in Dewey Studies should acknowledge that prior publication.


This article examines Dewey’s views on the concept of nationalism and how it should be taught in schools. Dewey was the first major American philosopher to address the positive and negative factors associated with the term, which became increasingly used for political purposes during and after World War I. Four basic aspects are addressed in this analysis. First, the authors discuss several fundamental Deweyan propositions tied to peace and citizenship. As Dewey viewed it, education is an extension of democratic ethics and healthy community-building. Second, the authors explore Dewey’s goal for achieving world citizenship and lasting peace, which was based upon a social science approach to education. Third, Dewey’s 1920’s lectures and articles related to world peace contained valuable ideas for future implementation when addressing the mandated regulations public schools are required to discharge with respect to nationalistic allegiance. Lastly, the authors detail how Dewey’s publications during this period relied on his instrumentalist technique for separating means and ends with respect to war and peace; he continuously addressed the dichotomy of means between nationalistic politics and power and that of a democratic education. The significance of this article chronicles Dewey’s views for educating students to the dangers of overzealous nationalism. This type of nationalism, he cautioned, was an impediment to the development of a peace consciousness, an important by-product of his pragmatic approach to world affairs. Dewey’s writings addressed this topic nearly 100 years ago and remain relevant today.

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