- Editor's Note:A Time of Transition
I have enjoyed my six years as editor of this journal. I was pleased to be able to bring the journal to Purdue University Press and learn how to produce a first-rate academic journal. From the early days of choosing a cover design, to supervising my graduate assistant Jiwon Kim as she expertly sought indexing services, to acquiring an ISSN number, to being lucky to convince David Granger to become the book review editor and, with the next issue, editor, I have been fortunate to work with excellent colleagues. I particularly want to thank the staff at Purdue University Press, especially its former director, Thomas Bacher, who agreed to publish the journal in 2004. Tom later moved the management of the journal's submissions to the terrific Berkeley Electronic Press system, saving me time and brain cells. Bryan Shaffer, the designer responsible for the handsome format and cover, and interim director, and Charles Watkinson, current director of the Press, continue to support the journal in many ways. The late Margaret Hunt provided excellent copyediting for the early issues of my tenure, and that duty has been ably taken over by Dianna Gilroy.
I learned a great deal about John Dewey and his influence today while editor. A highlight of my learning occurred when we were able to publish last fall the penultimate issue of my tenure as a book. John Dewey at 150: Reflections for a New Century showed how vibrant the scope of Dewey studies is today.
The issue you have before you contains much to think about and discuss with Deweyans and those not yet Deweyans alike. In the first essay, Jesse Goodman, Sarah Montgomery, and Connie Ables turn our attention to the neopragmatist Richard Rorty, whose work is partly responsible for a renaissance in Dewey studies. These authors apply Rorty's thought to history education, noting that with few exceptions, Rorty has not been integrated into considerations of curriculum, teaching, and learning. Shane Ralston suggests removing the layers of contemporary deliberative democratic theories and appreciating "Dewey's vision of democracy as a unique and free-standing contribution to democratic theory." Scott Ellison begins his essay with a quote from Dewey's The Public and its Problems regarding the dizzying array of information and theoretical perspectives of modern society. Ellison's project draws upon Deweyan pragmatism and other theories "in the shadow of Hegel" to "develop a methodology for engaging the conceptual normativity, or common sense ideas, at work in the popular discursive practices of modern society." [End Page 1] David Waddington also links Dewey to Hegel, specifically the early Dewey, to Hegel's Philosophy of Right and the notion of absolute freedom. The final essay, by Anthony DeFalco, revisits Dewey's concept of occupations, as distinct from the manual training movement at that time. DeFalco endeavors to show how and why a concept and practice of Deweyan occupations has value in today's schools. Two book reviews, by Dennis Attick and Deron Boyles, and Deborah L. Seltzer-Kelly, complete the issue.
It has been a privilege serving the Society and Deweyan studies as editor of this journal. Now, enjoy this issue! [End Page 2]