Toward a Theory of Experience
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Experience is one of the most used terms in (science) education, and it is recognized as being related to learning (education). Yet what experience is and how it is related to learning and change remains untheorized. In this paper, we mainly draw on the work of J. Dewey and L. S. Vygotsky but also on M. Bakhtin and more recent advances on the topic of experience from French philosophy to contribute to a theory of this important category. Accordingly, experience is not something that belongs to or is had by individuals but rather denotes transactions in and across space and time within irreducible person-in-setting units; and it is perfused with an affect that is not (only) the result of mental constructions. An episode from an Australian physics classroom is used to exemplify what such a theory and its method-related implications have to accomplish in the analysis of concrete science lessons.