Date of Submission

Spring 2018

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

Jay Elliott

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.

The foundation of the current discourse on education is grounded in the funding and distribution of a ‘good’ called education. The Common Core State Standards, as a set of shared goals stipulated by the federal government, considers education to be a “stepping stone” towards joining the workforce in a competitive global marketplace. The lexicon of economic commodities instrumentalizes education due to its tacit assumption that education is a means to an occupational end. It treats education as an individual possession deposited by a school, via its teachers, into the student, viewed as a receptacle, as opposed to a shared possession which emerges through dialogue. It has been the economists and politicians who have dominated public discourse by focusing on the distributive questions in relation to education. The basis of their conception of education as training so as to enter the workforce has neglected the dialogic and, by extension, democratic nature of the educative process. Furthermore, this compartmentalization of the educative process, represented by the unilinear process by which information is deposited into the student, oriented towards securing employment, prevents the fostering of bridging ties.

The positive vision of a truly democratic education that comes closer to realizing the fundamental egalitarian commitments, held by the drafters of the Declaration of Independence, unmoored from their discriminatory personal choices, emerges from the coupling of two philosophers, separated by a century, yet bridged by a common recognition of the profound necessity of dialogue, sharing and co-creative participation: John Dewey and Danielle Allen.

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