What, according to John Dewey, constitutes having "AN experience"?

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gkopf | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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John Dewey makes the link between education and experience in his essay "Education and Experience."  He writes that an experience is something that drives us forward.  In education, the young should be allowed to follow their curiosity and experience new things.  It is the job of the educator to evaluate those experiences and guide the young people through it.  He writes:

"Every experience is a moving force. Its value can be judged only on the ground of what it moves toward and into. The greater maturity of experience which should belong to the adult as educator puts him in a position to evaluate each experience of the young in a way in which the one having the less mature experience cannot do. It is then the business of the educator to see in what direction an experience is heading."

In other words, if the educator does not recognize and judge the experience, he or she is doing the student a disservice because the student is not mature enough to recognize the weight of the experience.  The educator, an adult, has more wisdom in evaluating what course of action the student can take based on their experiences.

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