Cultivando la democracia a través del juego infantil: una aproximación desde el pragmatismo norteamericano de Addams, Dewey y Mead




One vital constant in pedagogical narratives is the link between children’s play and education. Study of their relationship from a philosophical perspective is marked by paradoxes and tensions that have often raised the implementation of their use in educational practice in differing and even opposing ways. This article seeks to set out new ways of interpreting the relationship between play and education from a conciliatory approach. This relationship is explored from the works of three contemporaneous pragmatist thinkers of the late nineteenth: Jane Addams, John Dewey, and George Mead. The results suggest that the possibility of a relationship between children’s play and education is not so much found in the development of potentially educational materials, an extraordinary teaching method, or strictly teaching the curriculum. Rather, the significant contribution is concentrated in the conviction that play could be crucial for the cultivation of democracy. Pragmatists such as Addams and Dewey relied on the aesthetic experience of play as one of the most powerful possibilities for not only keeping democracy alive but also cultivating a cosmopolitan citizenship.

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Author Biography

Laura Camas-Garrido. Assistant Professor in the Department of Educa- tional Studies at the Universidad Com- plutense de Madrid. Her research focus- es on the exploration of the intersection between play, aesthetics, education, de- mocracy, cosmopolitanism. She has stud- ied authors such as Jane Addams, John Dewey, and George Mead. She has been a guest researcher at Queen’s University (Canada), Teachers College of Columbia University (USA), Uppsala Universitet (Sweden), and the Universidad de Bar- celona. She has done research in the In- ternational Journal of Play, European Journal of Pragmatism, American Phi- losophy and Philosophy of Education So- ciety Journal, and with publishers such as Springer.


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Palabras clave | Keywords

philosophy of education, educational theory, history of education, pragmatism, Jane Addams, John Dewey, George Mead, children’s play, democracy, cosmopolitanism.