Experience and education by John Dewey

> Quotations
> From Dewey, J. (1938). /Experience and education./ New York: Macmillan.
> Traditional
> The subject matter of education consists of *bodies of information and
> of skills that have been worked out in the past*; therefore the chief
> busienss of the school is to transmit them to the new generation. (p.17)
> Since the subject-matter as well as standards of proper conduct are
> hadned down from the past, the attitude of pupils must, upon the
> whole, be one of *docility, receiptivity, and obedience.* (p.18)
> *Books*, especially textbooks, are the chief representatives of the
> lore and wisdom of the past, while teachers are the organs through
> which pupils are brought into effective connection with the material.
> (p.18)
> *Teachers are the agents* through which knowledge and skills are
> communicated and rules of conduct enforced. (p.18)
> The traditional scheme is, in essence, one of *imposition* from above
> and from outside. It imposes adult standards, subject-matter, and
> methods upon those who are only growing slowly toward maturity.
> (pp.18-19)
> That which is taught is thought of as essentially *static.* It is
> taught as a finished product, with little regard either to the ways in
> which it was originally built up or to changes that will surely occur
> in the future. It is to a large extent the cultural product of
> societies that assumed *the future would be much like the past*, and
> yet it is used as educational food in a society where change is the
> rule, not the exception. (p.19)
> The trouble with traditional education was not that educators took
> upon themselves the responsibility for providing an environment. The
> trouble was that they did not consider the other factor in creating an
> experience; namely, *the powers and purposes of those taught.* It was
> assumed that a certain set of conditions was *intrinsically
> desirable*, apart from its ability to evoke a certain quality of
> response in individuals. This *lack of mutual adaptation* made the
> process of teaching and learning *accidental*. Those to whom the
> provided conditions were suitable managed to learn. Others got on as
> best they could. (p.45)
> According to this notion, it was enough to regulate the quantity and
> difficulty of the material provided, in a scheme of quantitative
> grading, from month to month and from year to year. *Otherwise a pupil
> was expected to take it in the doses that were prescribed/ from
> without. If the pupil left it instead of taking it, if he engaged in
> physical truancy, or in the mental truancy of mind-wandering and
> finally built up an emotional revulsion against the subject, /*/he was
> held to be at fault./' No question was raised as to whether the
> trouble might not lie in the subject-matter or in the way in which it
> was offered. (p.46)
> One trouble is that the subject-matter in question was *learned in
> isolation*; it was put, as it were, in a water-tight compartment. When
> the question is asked, then, what has become of it, where has it gone
> to, the right answer is that it is still there in the special
> compartment in which it was originally stowed away. If exactly the
> same conditions recurred as those under which it was acquired, it
> would also recur and be available. But it was segregated when it was
> acquired and hence is so *disconnected from the rest of experience*
> that it is *not available* under the actual conditions of life. (p.48)
> via meat ball
> k
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