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.