Learning from teaching experience: Dewey's theory and preservice teachers' learning

Margaret Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Teachers often claim that they learn more from teaching experience than from course work. In this qualitative study, the author explored the value that six preservice teachers attributed to peer teaching, early field experiences, student teaching, and self-arranged teaching experiences engaged in during their university education. Consistent with Dewey's theory of experience, as the participants interacted with their teaching experiences, they each created continuity among and derived their own meanings from them. This individualized aspect of learning was enriched as they also experienced the value of learning within a community of educators. Meaningful learning from all types of teaching experience appeared to be fostered by a balance between doing (action) and undergoing (reflection), both individually and in community. Dewey's theory of experience proved useful in illuminating possible reasons for similarities and differences in the teaching experiences that each participant valued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-146
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • John Dewey
  • learning from experience
  • teacher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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