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Education / Philosophy / Psychology


Learning at the Back Door
Reflections on Non-Traditional Learning in the Lifespan
Charles A. Wedemeyer

New in e-book format, a pioneering work by a father of modern distance education.

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.

"Wedemeyer's account of the rise of the university extension is lucid and his depictions of current and future controversies and concerns . . . 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

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.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

September 2010

LC: 80-052301
286 pp.     6 x 9

E-book logo e-book $9.99 s
ISBN 978-0-299-08563-6
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• In the 1960s, Wedemeyer predicted today's e-learning
• Replaces 1981 hardcover, UWP, 978-0-299-08560-5

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Updated October 27, 2011

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