Adler emphasized individual political participation and responsibility in order to realize an ideal society where freedom, equality and values of justice coexist. In his view, the prosperity of a democratic society depended on the individual's capacity to make up the society.
But the pragmatism and materialism prevalent in society at the time made the individuals pay attention only to immediate interests or advancement, rather than pursuing universal values. Therefore, he regarded liberal education for all people as the most urgent task.
Adler emphasized reading education as a method of liberal education. By reading, he believed that the learner could understand ‘great ideas’ and expand the breadth and depth of their understanding of the world, and cultivate wisdom.
Adler's theory of reading education has three modern significances.
First, reading helps modern people enjoy leisure. Leisure never means labor or play. The essence of leisure is to develop intellectual and moral excellence. Secondly, by reading, every citizen of a democratic society should continue to study the humanities as the ‘transcendental form’. The purpose of learning the humanities should not be to acquire professional knowledge but to expand the breadth and depth of understanding of great ideas and the world. Thirdly, reading education should be aimed at forming political wisdom to present right direction of life. Political wisdom means raising society's public intelligence based on individual intelligence to the level of wisdom. In a democratic society, political wisdom is important because it gives authority to all political decisions.
To overcome the negative effects of pragmatism and materialism, the importance of reading education should be emphasizes more.
Even though time goes by, reading still holds an important position as a way of liberal education. In short, reading education for humanities has important significance in two categories. First of all, in personal terms, reading humanities as a way of lifelong learning contributes to lead a happy life for every individual by enjoying leisure. Furthermore, in terms of social community, it makes an important contribution to achieving the harmony and prosperity of citizens by forming the political wisdom to make the best judgment and decision in the various opinions flooding democratic society.