I had to post this; one of the nicer things anyone has ever written about my work to date. It is from a long and very thoughtful blog post by Jack Hassard, a writer, former high school science teacher and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University. The post also includes extensive connections with Narcis Vives and The Global Thinking Project. Lots of great ideas in Jack’s post, and I am honored to be included!
In his book, The Falconer, Grant Lichtman explains that few problems and issues in life and learning are “clean and linear.” As he says, we all learn better by experience than instruction. Dewey wrote about experience and thinking many years ago, and it seems that he and Lichtman are on the same wavelength. Dewey explains that experience has two parts, an active and a passive which are “peculiarly” combined (Dewey, 1924). Experiential learning is not simply an activity or simply hands-on learning. Experience means on the one hand, trying, and on the other hand undergoing. So when we have students experience something, they act upon it, or what might say we do something with it. Then, as Dewey says, we “suffer or undergo the consequences. Participation in experiential learning activities does something to the participants, and what happens will determine the value of the experience. Lichtman’s book is an experiential account of his journey as a teacher. Dewey would suggest that Grant’s book is a good example of his experience as a teacher.