"The theories of John Dewey (1859-1952)i philosopher and educator, have had a tremendous impact on generations of thinkers. Dewey viewed life as a continuously reconstructive process, with experience and knowledge building on each other. He believed that learning is more than the amassing and retention of information; learning is learning how to think. Thinking is not something abtsract; it is aliving process that starts when old habits meet new situations.
For Dewey, experience cannot be separated from nature because all experience is rooted in nature. Nature is what we experience: air, stones, plants, diseases, pleasure, and suffering. Dewey believed that experience is an interaction between what a person already knows and person's present situation. Previous knowledge of nature interacts with the present environment, and together they lead to new knowledge that in turn will influence future experience.
Dewey asserted that experience is central to education; however, experience cannot be equated with education because all experiences are not necessarily educative. Experience is educative only when it contributes to the growth of the individual. It can be miseducative if it distorts the growth of further experience. It is the quality of experience that matters. Thus, productive experience is both the means and the goal od education.
Dewey felt that education should be problem-centered and interdisciplinary rather than subject-centered and fragmented. The methods and curricula of education must take the cdild's growth the central concern. Furthermore, truly progressive education must involve the participation of the learner in direction the learning experience."