Laurie Taylor Column

" More than half of all staff in university education departments are now 'elderly' " - The Times Higher, March 24

Good morning, seminar group 6b.

Good morning.

Once again. Good morning, seminar group 6b!

Good morning, sir!

Now, this morning we will be talking further about John Dewey's Experience and Education . Let us begin with "experience". How does experience arise? What a veritable flurry of hands. What about you, Jenkins? What can you tell us?

I didn't have time to read that chapter, sir. I had a nasty stomach.

You have a doctor's note? You don't? Then see me afterwards. Now, let us discover if there is anyone else in the group who enjoys ruder health than the ailing Jenkins. Yes, Reynolds. Do I detect some signs of life?

Erm, Dewey said that experience arose from the interaction of two principles; from continuity and interaction.

Very good, Reynolds. That's a silver star to go with your bronze. And now, Dobbin. Dobbin by name and Dobbin by nature. What can you tell us about "continuity"?

It's following on. Coming next. That sort of thing.

A Daniel come to judgment! Yes, indeed, Dobbin. "Continuity" describes Dewey's contention that each experience we have influences the next one. Although he might well have been confounded by seminar group 6b. Isn't that right, Mills? MILLS! Dark satanic Mills. Do I have your full attention?

Yes, sir.

Excellent. Right, let's move on. Clean sheet of paper. Pencils in hand. Heading. Chapter Three. Experience and Education . And begin. "The principle of continuity of experience means that every experience both takes up something from those..." What is it, Keggins? Surely you've not been disturbed by a thought.

No, sir. I just heard a rattling outside the door. I think the milk's arrived.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Elly Walton illustration (16 July 2015)

Whether in jest or not, sexist language shows an insensitivity to gender issues at odds with academic values, argues Dorothy Bishop

  • Two men looking surprised in an office

Report says projects fail when scholars obsessed with “shiny things” ignore business needs

  • Tony Little, Eton College headmaster, 2007

Tony Little points to ‘increasing gap’ between teaching standards at sixth form and university

  • AC Grayling, writer and academic

A. C. Grayling’s ‘Oxbridge-style’ private college strikes agreement with post-92 institution