Dewey and a bit about Berkley in the 60s – Journal #5

We had read Dewey this past week and discussed it a little in class. For me, the thing that stuck with me was Dewey’s naturalistic pragmatism and his theories on experiential learning. It’s interesting how I’ve heard of experiential learning before at work, know about it and I would even preach it to the professors I work with so they could try it with their students in online environments. Even the times I teach faculty how to use a certain educational technology I would ask them to try and explore it on their own first and see how they would learn on their own through experience, and then I would guide them through certain things in the training I give them. So I am already an advocate of experiential learning, but I didn’t know that this theory was born or introduced this long ago from Dewey as well as and other educational theorists. I also knew Dewey as an important figure of Educational philosophy and I have read a couple of his quotes before, such as this one:

experimentalism-in-education-3-638

and I really appreciate this mentality and attitude towards education. The thing is, I didn’t realize how much I respect and agree with his thoughts until I read this book. I’m very grateful for this opportunity to read and discuss this book with our professor and with my classmates. Also, as someone who works in and studies the field of pedagogy and education, I believe that it’s a great reference to have and always go back to.

It’s interesting to see how old great educational theories and philosophies are, yet not practiced widely today, regardless of how useful they are in education and how conducive to the learning process they are. I wonder why there aren’t more educators today using experiential learning in their teaching and their classrooms. This might be an idea worth researching, or a quick focus group with faculty to hear their thoughts on experiential learning; why they might be motivated, or reluctant for that matter, to incorporate it in their own teaching practice and philosophy.

In this class we watched the documentary Berkley in the 60’s and it was interesting to find out how certain student movements gave birth and rise to national and international movements such as women equality and the protest against racial discrimination. This movie provided me with so much facts and insights about student movements in general and in the United Stated in particular. I also loved the emphasis on music in this documentary and how it clarified how certain bands were born out of movements like these. Soundtrack details of the movie found here

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