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January 29, 2008

open sesame

my way of opening this thing up for conversation

Deboer Ch1 notes

here are my notes from Chapter 1. Feel free to give constructive criticism

DeBoer Chapter 1

Synopsis
Deboer sets the stage for early 20th century science education as being far outpaced by the scientific discoveries made in that time period. Educators had been in heated debate over whether or not science was a subject that ought to be emphasized more, and at an earlier age. On one side, the classicists, argued that through a general education of language, individuals and therefore society could better itself through an awakening of the faculties by careful and rigorous mind exercises. This would allow a person to gain a higher mental power, and allow that person to make more rational judgment on their part. Scientists on the other hand, felt that science could accomplish this same ideal and on top of that, contribute the high amount of discovery that was being made at the time.

According to Deboer, education at the turn of the century was mostly a status symbol. It was used to create a “gentile� society, but where the only real difference was being able to balance accounts and recite the classics. “for those who obtained it, it was simply and adornment of their social class� pg2

Main argument for study of science over classics

-More relevant and modern breadth of knowledge was neccessary to prepare citizens to cope with the changes and progress with the future. “to equip them in the age they live in� pg3

Main argument for study of classics over science

Teaching of classics leads to greater mental capacity. A greater ability to reason and think therefore a person who could do these things would enjoy “growth and personal pleasure� pg3

Argument stated most eloquently in “The Yale Report�
Humanization takes place best through reading and comprehension of classics. All faculties of brain are increases which leads to higher “memory, judgment, and reasoning powers� and also “lays the best foundation for professional studies�.pg.3-4

to counter this argument, Deboer then introduces 3 giant reformers
Edward Livingston Youmans,
Herbert Spencer
Thomas Huxley

Youmans
contributed to The Culture Demanded by Modern Life a collection of essays. In his “Mental Discipline of Education� Youmans counters what the Yale Report by saying that it is science that is superior to that of language studies.

In terms of memory exercises, science has just as many facts, if not more. It could also be taught in a way that focused on generalities which could then work up to more focused knowledge (a pyramid of sorts).

With a current idea about how the way the brain functioned, Youmans then went on to explain how learning science could be done in multiple ways (a precursor to labs). That is the human brain could make multiple associations through different senses on the same subject or object.

Last but not least, science was a 2 for 1.

The knowledge was useful
and it increased mental capacity.

Thomas Huxley
Science should be major branch tought in universities
-Uses majority of collective knowledge
-People can relate to science study as it impacts on their daily lives (examples are germ theory)

-Science should be taught at an early age. Should start broadly and then narrow focus.

Textbooks, while reliable for theory, should not be used as sole tool for learning but should be used in conjunction with labwork or some type of fieldwork.

“the source of knowledge was to be the physical objects themselves�.

If book work theory could not be taught in lab settings, it could be lost on the student.

Labs and book work go hand in hand. The lab should provide “ a definite image on the mind�
a student should understand what they reading and it should be less of a “repetition of words�

Teacher should know practicalities of subject so that they can be as thorough as possible in explaining . If the teacher cannot go out of bounds with theory, then “dogma� results

Herbert Spencer

4 essays Education, Intellectual, Moral, and Physical
organized into several ways knowledge was used to impact human welfare.

rearing/discipline of children
Maintenance of social/political position
Leisure activities

employment=self preservation which could be found through science education which was a way to compete and produce.

Students should be taught how to rear children.
If students could do this properly, then they could set up future generations.

Leisure elevated by knowledge and respect of science.

Lab work offered way towards “Judgment�
a moral obligation to think independently. To dispense with any preconceived notion which would enable people to become more worldly citizens
Science reflected society's developing needs.
He encouraged self growth and allowing one to take over ones experiemtents
Level of learning should match age.

Test Entry

this is a test to try out this so far un-usable system