John Dewey (1859-1952) is widely recognized as one of the most important educational thinkers and philosophers of the modern age; He received his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1884 and L.L.D.s from the University of Wisconsin and the University of Vermont. Dewey joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1894as head of the combined departments of philosophy, psychology, and education, establishing the Experimental or Laboratory School in 1896. Dewey became Professor of Philosophy at Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1904. He became a Kappa Delta Pi Laureate with the first class in 1925. In 1935, the JohnDewey Society was founded in his honor, In addition to Experience and Education, Dewey authored 37 books and 815 articles and pamphlets, including School and Society (1915), Democracy and Education (1916), and The Sources of a Science of Education (1929)
Experience and Education offers educators and teachers a positive philosophy of education. It evaluates the practices of both the traditional and the progressive schools and lucidly sets forth the defects of each of them. The volume, however, is in no sense controversial. Dr. Dewey, while considering current educational issues, interprets the meaning of a philosophy of experience and the educational implications of the scientific method. A learning situation is described and concretely illustrated. The meanings of freedom, activities, discipline, control, and organized subject matter are here expounded within the context of educative experience as a process implying both continuity and interaction.
Experience and Education defends no “ism.” It offers no compromise. It steers clear of eclectic patching. Education itself is interpreted. Professional education and laymen alike will here find definite answers to moot questions, but these answers are integral parts of an educational philosophy which makes possible united effort in educational leadership. Here is a new light which will dissolve the fog now enveloping educational theory.
There is no book that captures, so succinctly, the essentials of John Dewey’s philosophy of education better than Experience and Education. His conception of the process of education is as right for us today as it was when it was first published in 1938. During a period in which conceptions of education are philosophically fickle and shallow, Experience and Education possesses the status of a classic that has passed the test of time.
(Elliot W. Eisner, Stanford University)