This article examines Dewey’s concept of ‘experience’ in light of his analysis of industrial capitalism, his anthropological thinking, and his critique of early 20th century educational ideologies, giving the concept a more expansive meaning than what is typically represented in the educational literature. We also outline the specific curricular logic Dewey established in the early 20th century, which was intended to realize his overriding aim of establishing controls over an increasingly corrosive social, economic and technological order brought about by industrial capitalism, while still promoting individual development. Preliminary links between ‘experience’ and contemporary curriculum models are also examined.

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