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ERIC Number: EJ864315
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
Academic Studies, Science, and Democracy: Conceptions of Subject Matter from Harris to Thorndike
Watras, Joseph
Philosophical Studies in Education, v40 p113-124 2009
When Ellen Condliffe Lagemann described what she called the troubling history of education research, she claimed that, in the early years of the twentieth century, Edward Lee Thorndike's narrow model of science replaced John Dewey's more open ideas. According to Lagemann, sexism was an important reason for Thorndike's triumph. In describing the changes that took place in educational research, Lagemann devoted her attention to the difficulties caused by women's presence in the teaching force. Other writers pointed to questions about the nature of expertise that contributed to the rise of authoritarian models of school administration. For example, Robert Welker argued that serious problems arose when people thought experts should offer technological information without any value judgments. In his book, Welker discussed how several different educators sought to include morality within their visions of the work teachers performed. This paper differs from the works of Lagemann and Welker. Instead of looking at problems in educational research or considering the nature of expertise, the author examines the ways three leading intellectuals, William Torrey Harris, John Dewey, and Edward Lee Thorndike, thought about the subject matters of schools. The author aims to show that Dewey broke with Harris's idealistic view of human knowledge and made Thorndike's ideas seem reasonable. Such an argument fits the chronological pattern of their published works. (Contains 31 notes.)
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A