Taiikugaku kenkyu (Japan Journal of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences)
Online ISSN : 1881-7718
Print ISSN : 0484-6710
ISSN-L : 0484-6710
Original investigations
A study of “sport as experience”: An attempt to re-evaluate Dewey's concept of “experience”
Toru Takahashi
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2011 Volume 56 Issue 2 Pages 297-311


The purpose of this study was to re-evaluate the concept of “experience” and “education” presented by J. Dewey in order to better understand the concept of “sport as experience”. Dewey's ideas of “interaction” and “continuance” are the representative concepts upon which his theory of “experience” is based. Such experience may arise from the interaction between an organism and its environment, and is linked to past, present and future experience. Through this concept, Dewey explains the process of experience and concludes that education proceeds through a stack of experience. The present study also considers the concept of “experience” as applied to “experience of sport” in terms of both process and substance, and subsequently the relationship between sport and the education process.
“Experience of sport” arises from constant interaction between a moving body and its environment, and the process has two stages: the “first experience” and the “secondary experience”. The former stage involves direct experience and the latter is a reflective stage. Substantially, “experience of sport” is a type of consciousness experienced by individuals when they interact. In other words, it cannot be understood by an observer, but only through individual experience.
Individuals may acquire “experience of sport” from every other experience and gain an overall picture through self-reflection. This “an experience” proposed by Dewey. A significant stock of sport experience can be gained over time, and this experience is held over thereafter. Such a process of consecutively reconstituted experience, i.e. the process of development through experience, is the educational process envisaged by Dewey. Thus, “experience of sport” allows for the possibility of educational development, so that individuals may gain new experiences and undergo successive developmental processes. The concept of “an experience of sport” is crucial for appreciating the importance of sport education and for extending the avenues of human education.

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© 2011 Japan Society of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences
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