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The flipped curriculum: John Dewey and higher education

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Since the late 1960s the political right and business communities have made repeated calls for a more utilitarian approach to higher education, rejecting what many see as the uselessness of academic knowledge particularly as it exists in the liberal arts (Berrett 2015). Contemporary higher education is in crisis largely because it has no conceptual resources available to radically reimagine the purposes, scope, and structures of the tradition. Although he did not systematically articulate a theory of higher education, John Dewey’s writings on the university offer a unique and viable path forward precisely because he directly engages a reconstruction of the relationship between knowledge and experience in the context of post-secondary education. This essay is an attempt to develop to the components of a Deweyan theory of higher education which to-date has not been seriously undertaken.


Aaron Stoller    
Colorado College
United States


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