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This is one of the most frequently invoked honorifics in the everyday language of pedagogy. To learn from experience and to ground aspects of the curriculum in experience is to be doing the right thing and to be avoiding ‘chalk and talk’ (as people used to say), or – which is also thought to be both ineffectual as well as boring – ‘learning by rote’.

Experience, however, turns out to be a multiple term. In its simplest version, people generally mean by it direct, lived or observed knowledge of the world. Even then, to equate experience with knowledge doesn't quite cover all usages: experience can be taken not so much to mean knowledge in the sense of facts about the world which one can recognise ...

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