John Dewey’s Education and Social Inquiry: A Nexus Towards Democratic Consolidation and Citizenship Education in Nigeria

Dokpesi Timothy Adidi and Benson Peter Irabor
Keywords: Democracy, Education, John Dewey, Political participation, Nigeria, Citizenry.
Tropical Journal of Arts and Humanities 2019 1(1), 27-42. Published: August 13, 2019


The idea of good governance is central to democratic consolidation; and there can be no good governance without a vibrant democratic order that is participatory. Citizenship education is a tool for enhancing participation of the citizenry in the affairs of governance and all that pertains to the socio-economic and political life of the people as it relates to the common good. John Dewey argues that for there to be an enhanced form of participatory democracy, the education of citizens is very important and must be given utmost priority. For Dewey, this kind of education is one that is geared towards „problem solving‟ which comes through the process of „social inquiry‟. It is through the process of social inquiry that citizens can take informed decision to enhance their condition for moral and economic progress. This paper critically x-rays Dewey‟s concept of education and social inquiry and translates it into the current practice of democracy in Nigeria vis-a-vis the socio-economic and political realities in other to activate citizens in participating in the political life through citizens‟ education. It is only through education of such as envisaged by Dewey that we can activate a problem solving citizenry rather than political liabilities. This research used the qualitative method to carry out its analysis in the topic of discourse.