Chomsky on Democracy & Education

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Psychology Press, 2003 - Education - 480 pages
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Publisher description: Education stands at the intersection of Noam Chomsky's two lives as scholar and social critic: As a linguist he is keenly interested in how children acquire language, and as a political activist he views the education system as an important lever of social change. Chomsky on Democracy and Education gathers for the first time his impressive range of writings on these subjects, some previously unpublished and not readily available to the general public. Raised in a progressive school where his father was principal, Chomsky outlines a philosophy of education steeped in the liberal tradition of John Dewey, more concerned with cultivating responsible citizens than feeding children facts. The goal of education, Chomsky argues, is to produce free human beings whose values are not accumulation and domination, but rather free association on terms of equality. Spanning issues of language, power, policy and method, this collection includes seminal theoretical works like Language and Freedom, a social analysis of the role of schools and universities in the American polity, and specific critiques of language instruction in America's classrooms today, along with new interviews conducted by Carlos Otero that serve to encapsulate Chomsky's views. Engaging and incisive, Chomsky on Democracy and Education makes accessible the key insights that have earned Chomsky such a committed following.

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Chomsky elaborates on the importance of education in creating a truly viable democracy and reveals what we need to do to get there. Chomsky's best that I know of. Not sure why this isn't one of ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 7, 1928. Son of a Russian emigrant who was a Hebrew scholar, Chomsky was exposed at a young age to the study of language and principles of grammar. During the 1940s, he began developing socialist political leanings through his encounters with the New York Jewish intellectual community. Chomsky received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied linguistics, mathematics, and philosophy. He conducted much of his research at Harvard University. In 1955, he began teaching at MIT, eventually holding the Ferrari P. Ward Chair of Modern Language and Linguistics. Today Chomsky is highly regarded as both one of America's most prominent linguists and most notorious social critics and political activists. His academic reputation began with the publication of Syntactic Structures in 1957. Within a decade, he became known as an outspoken intellectual opponent of the Vietnam War. Chomsky has written many books on the links between language, human creativity, and intelligence, including Language and Mind (1967) and Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use (1985). He also has written dozens of political analyses, including Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), Chronicles of Dissent (1992), and The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many (1993).

Otero is Emeritus Professor or Romance Linguistics at UCLA.