Dewey called them Utopians, I call them ancestors

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In this article, I will describe how the Utopians whom John Dewey once referenced are possibly the ancestors of Indigenous peoples, in this case, ancestors of the Diné. I will describe a Diné philosophy of education through the Kinaałdá ceremony which was the first ceremony created by the Holy People of the Diné to ensure the survival of the people. I frame this ceremony as an educational experience that illuminates the similarities between the Diné and Utopian philosophies of education. It is through an understanding and experiencing of the Kinaałdá that one can fully experience a real example of the ‘Utopian schools.’ It is through an upbringing within a non-acquisitive paradigm, ontologically and epistemologically, that one can fully envision this society that William Schubert explains through a compilation of various philosophers and theorists in order to make it understandable to an acquisitive society. The oral teachings from my ancestors through songs, stories and ceremonies that have been passed down to the current generations prove that the utopia once existed and that some ‘Utopians’ still exist. This explanation of a Diné philosophy of education through the Kinaałdá ceremony is my lived example of what Dewey seemed to have dreamt or found in another dimension. I claim that the Utopians Dewey witnessed were possibly Indigenous peoples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)758-766
Number of pages9
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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