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ERIC Number: ED120037
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Social Perspective and Educational Knowledge: Edward L. Thorndike Reexamined.
Franklin, Barry M.
This paper examines the relationship between educational theorist Edward L. Thorndike's psychology and his social viewpoint. Many of the revisionists in educational history have oversimplified Thorndike's thought by not examining his views from this perspective. Thorndike's educational ideas and practices are reflections of certain fundamental constitutive structures that determine the very character of his thought at many different levels of conceptualization. One of the early behavioralists, Thorndike viewed education as the control of the human being through operant conditioning. This same desire for control permeated his social viewpoint in that he felt only experts such as scientists, lawyers, and businessmen should make decisions for the rest of society. As a consequence, these experts deserved a special and privileged place in society. Education, then, prepared the great mass of the population for their role as followers. Thus, viewing Thorndike's thought from the theoretical and social perspective, his conceptualizing of human behavior in terms of control led inextricably toward designing social institutions that reflected a control orientation. (Author/DE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A