ERIC Number: ED178395
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1966
Reference Count: N/A
The Growth of Mind. Occasional Paper No. 8.
Bruner, Jerome S.
Written in 1966, the author examines the evolution of teaching in relation to the development of the elementary social studies course, Man: A Course of Study. The act of teaching is traced from play practice of primates to teaching-in-context of primitive societies to the more complex abstract teaching in separate schools of contemporary society. Five specifications about how a society must proceed in order to equip its young are noted: it must convert what is to be known into a form capable of being mastered by a beginner; the learner must be saved from needless learning; a society must place emphasis on how one derives a course of action from what one has learned; all societies must maintain interest among the young during the learning process; and a society must assure that its necessary skills and procedures remain intact from one generation to the next. The author then examines the relationship among teaching in separate schools, how a society equips its young, and the content of Man: A Course of Study. The recurring questions of what is human about human beings, how did they get to be that way, and how can they be made more so, form the structure of the course which examines the humanizing forces of tool making, language, social organization, man's prolonged childhood, and the urge to explain. Problems in constructing the course are noted in terms of the psychology of subject matter, stimulating thought in the school setting, the personalization of knowledge, and the encouragement of self-conscious reflectiveness. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Educational Services, Inc., Cambridge, MA.