Penn State

Mahsa Kazempour - Associate Professor of Science Education, Penn State Berks

Book Title: Experience and Education

Author: John Dewey

Book Description:

Educational reforms beginning in late 20th century have been immensely influenced by John Dewey’s thinking as expressed in his books, including Experience and Education. My teaching is centered on the constructivist and experiential education advocated by Dewey, and subsequent reforms, which call for the student to be an active participant in his/her own learning experience and learn the material in a social and collaborative setting. My students learn through active engagement and immersion in the learning process, as opposed to the didactic approach, which, at best, yields a momentary transfer of disconnected facts and ideas. I strive to make my curriculum socially relevant and contextualized and allow students to truly internalize the ideas and concepts through first-hand experience, collaboration, reflection, and discussion. The same concept of experiential learning applies to the incorporation of the EACAP project, a community-based, service-learning project that I have developed to enhance students’ awareness of social/environmental issues and engage them in being active citizens and taking action to combat the issues.

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