Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

Nita Kumar

Reader 2

Jay Martin

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© 2014 James L. Houghteling


What role does education play in a democratic society? How can the right sort of education help foster a free, responsible, and caring citizenry? How can education begin to reconcile and incorporate intellectually complicated and seemingly opposite ideas and theories, such as idealism and pragmatism, localism and globalism, thought and action? In my thesis, I aim to reveal, and perhaps begin to answer, these larger ideas pertaining to the role of education in society. Moreover, I address these questions through the lens of Rabindranath Tagore and John Dewey, two thinkers and practitioners at the turn of the twentieth century who sought to use education to find solutions to problems facing their respective local communities, but also the global community.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.