Learning at the Back Door: Reflections on Non-Traditional Learning in the Lifespan

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9780299085605: Learning at the Back Door: Reflections on Non-Traditional Learning in the Lifespan
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Is learning a natural ability that schools, colleges, and universities gradually stifle in individuals, replacing it with a learning dependency? Charles A. Wedemeyer stressed that learning is a natural, idiosyncratic, and continually renewable human trait and survival resource. It is not dependent upon teaching, schooling, or special environments, although—properly used—these resources enhance learning. Learning at the Back Door examines this kind of learning and relates it to schooling, suggesting ways in which all learning—whether traditional or non-traditional—can be encouraged and improved through new kinds of educational institutions and processes.

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About the Author:

Charles A. Wedemeyer (1911–1999) was the William H. Lighty Professor of Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Wisconsin–Extension. He spent more than forty years studying and developing non-traditional learning.

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“Wedemeyer’s account of the rise of university extension is lucid and his depictions of current and future controversies and concerns—accreditation, quality assurance, access, media integration, mandatory continuing education, and the evolution of a bonafide theory of lifespan learning—are clear and insightful.”—David C. Williams, Lifelong Learning/The Adult Years



“Charles Wedemeyer: scholar, author, teacher, administrator, internationalist, philosopher and creator of the ideas of open education and distance education. . . . [He was] a man who engineered a new educational system that would give opportunity for those whose only chance to learn was, ‘at the back door.’”—Michael Moore, The American Journal of Distance Education

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Wedemeyer, Charles A.
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