For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Democracy and Education

by Dewey, John (2008)

Key Passage

A calling is also of necessity an organizing principle for information and ideas; for knowledge and intellectualgrowth. It provides an axis which runs through an immense diversity of detail; it causes different experiences,facts, items of information to fall into order with one another. The lawyer, the physician, the laboratory investigator in some branch of chemistry, the parent, the citizen interested in his own locality, has a constant working stimulus to note and relate whatever has to do with his concern. He unconsciously, from the motivation of his occupation, reaches out for all relevant information, and holds to it. The vocation acts as both magnet toattract and as glue to hold. Such organization of knowledge is vital, because it has reference to needs; it is soexpressed and readjusted in action that it never becomes stagnant. ()


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