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Experience And Education Paperback – July 1, 1997

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Editorial Reviews


"No one has done more to keep alive the fundamental ideals of liberal civilization." -- Morris R. Cohen

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Product Details

  • Series: Kappa Delta Pi Lecture
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684838281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684838281
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 106 people found the following review helpful By J.W.K on June 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Dewey is considered "America's only Philosopher" par exellence, but he wrote so much that is hard to get to the core of his philosophy. In any event, whether you want to understand Dewey's philosophical center or simply get a quick, concise overview of progressive, experience-based educational theory, this would be the book to start with. However, you might want to check out _John Dewey: The Later Works, 1938-1939_, edited by Jo A. Boydston. It not only contains "Experience and Education," but also "Freedom and Culture," "Theory of Valuation," and a handful of other essays. Not only does this volume give you more of Dewey, but Boydston puts the works in historical and philosophical context. This book [is available] in both cloth or paperback editions.
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100 of 114 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
You can thank Dewey for making all Americans think that school should be relevant to real life and that solving problems is more important than reciting factoids. The man wrote the book on it, and this little book is his effort much later to clarify what he really meant, which is to have a balanced and informed experience, not a forced choice between extremes of the didacticc and the practical. So if you are only going to read one book to find out why he should be remembered (and revered) for much more than a decimal system in the library, read this book. And be ready to become passionate, even political, about liberating our children from factory schools which make them passive and stupid. A good companion book is C.S. Lewis' "The Abolition of Man", at least the first chapter, followed by "The Paideia Proposal" by Mortimer J. Adler.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By dragondazd on March 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this book for a class on environmental education with no background in education itself. When I started reading this book, I simply assumed it was written recently, in the last two decades, because his writing style was so clear and because the ideas in this book were so relevant now, to my own experiences in education, and my own understanding. I thought he was telling modern day teachers to move away from rote teaching and instead add new experiences onto the experiences of their students. He explained the struggle between an old, traditional system of teaching and a new, progressive style, but I assumed that it was happening now, because it seemed like that new movement never fully got here...
And then I started getting hints that this work was older. I started thinking... it must have been a 70's book, for it fits in well with the movements of that age, which founded many 'learning community' style colleges like my own. But I got more clues. 60's? 50's? How could someone write so well that I can understand him as if he were a modern writer?
This little book was originally published in 1938, but even then, I learned that this was a response to cricicism from his life work. This is a summary of his thoughts and a rebuttal to his critics. Because of his audience, he tends to repeat himself in this volume, to make it perfectly clear what exactly he is trying to say. Other students found this repetition annoying, while I found it helpful, and I truly appreciated the attempt he made not to offend anyone, so that his thoughts could be judged on their own merit with as little bias as possible.
So there is the chance that some will not like this book while others like myself enjoyed it immensely, but this work is relevant, quite readable despite the possible 'flaws' in his style, and so short, there's little to lose.
Our teacher told us that each and every one of us will find some quotes in this book that will speak to us, she guaranteed. And she was right.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Buck the Hog on March 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Here is the essential question Dewey poses in Experience and Education:

"What avail is it to win prescribed amounts of information about geography and history, to win ability to read and write, if in the process the individual loses his own soul: loses his appreciation of things worth while, of the values to which these things are relative; if he loses desire to apply what he has learned and, above all, loses the ability to extract meaning from his future experiences as they occur?"

If you think this is a relevant question for students, teachers, and educational leaders to ask, I feel you will enjoy the book. Dewey's meditation poses complex ideas about what constitutes experience, what an instructional program based upon experience looks like, and what sorts of things we should value in considering experiential pedagogy. Probably the shortest, and most accessible, of his major works (but not an easy read).
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Currie-Knight VINE VOICE on April 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was written about 20 years after Dewey's best-known education book, Democracy in Education. By the time he wrote this, he was celebrated by many (progressive educators) and scorned by others (traditionalists). Dewey wrote this book as a way to tell both sides that they have it wrong: in frustration with traditional methods of education, progressives were rebelling too far in the opposite direction. Tight external discipline was replaced by no discipline. Inflexible curricula were replaced by thin curricula. Strict drill was replaced by lax 'learn what you want' attitudes. In brief, Dewey wrote against the "either/or" approach he saw prevalent in education.

IF you look at the lesser-starred reviews below, you will see that one main criticism about this book is that it seems to state the obvious. I was not around then, but I am betting that this is a testament to Dewey's influence that what needed to be said then now seems so commonplace. Curriculum is necessary, Dewey wrote, but that doesn't mean that it can't be made relevant to students' lives. Explicit teaching and discipline are necessary but that doesn't mean that the student must be 'put upon' as much as 'worked with.' Education should not be simply the passive receipt of information from instructor to student via memorization, but that doesn't mean that schools should be squeamish about instilling things into students (or that everything has to be student-initiated).

If I have one complaint about this book, though, it is not that its contents are commonplace, but they are sometimes a bit contradictory.
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