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Educator Bill Best’s “From Existence to Essence” Challenges Traditional Pedagogy with Appalachian Insights


Bill Best, a renowned educator with years of experience, has recently published his dissertation, “From Existence to Essence: A Conceptual and Mythological Model for an Appalachian Studies Curriculum.” In this groundbreaking work, Bill Best challenges traditional pedagogy and offers insights from his own Appalachian upbringing to provide a unique and effective model for education.

Best draws on his experiences growing up on a farm in Appalachia, where he learned the importance of “horse sense” alongside formal education. He argues that in his community, it was often more important to have good practical skills than book knowledge. Best’s emphasis on self-discovery and creativity is rooted in his experiences and is evident in his approach to education.

The dissertation was originally completed 50 years ago and has only recently been published. In the intervening years, Best has had the opportunity to try out some of the ideas discussed in the work, as well as to reflect on his experiences as an educator. His focus on self-discovery, self-definition, and creativity has been vindicated by his own experiences and by the success of his Project Torchlight, which he directed in the 1960s.

Best’s work has been compared to that of Joseph Campbell, a renowned mythology scholar, although Best was not aware of Campbell’s work at the time, he wrote his dissertation. Best argues that myths can be very helpful in organizing the clutter on our personal and collective unconscious, and that this is especially important when examining one’s own upbringing.

Readers who are interested in Best’s unique insights and his approach to education can purchase “From Existence to Essence” on his website, Best’s work challenges traditional pedagogy and offers a fresh perspective on education that is rooted in the Appalachian experience.

“From Existence to Essence”
Author: Bill Best
Publisher: Your Online Publicist
Publication Date: May 2023
Genre: Memoir
Target Audience: General Audience
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-63892-607-8
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-63892-608-5

About the Author
Bill Best is one of the recognized founders of modern Appalachian Studies. He is a pioneer of such programs a Torchlight and Upward Bound. In this field Bill is not needing of introduction, his work speaks for him.

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 Bill Best
 From Existence To Essence
 Appalachian Studies
 Pedagogy, Self-discovery
 Joseph Campbell

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