- Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses
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ItemThe effect of evolutionary thought upon selected English and American philosophers who influenced educational thought, 1850-1916Phillips, D. C (1938-) ( 1963)This thesis has a twofold aim. First, I wish to show that the theory of evolution, especially in its Darwinian form, influenced the development of the philosophies of Herbert Spencer in England, and C.S.Peirce, William James and John Dewey in America. Secondly, I wish to examine critically those portions of these particular philosophies that have been of importance to education. It will be seen that one of these aims is essentially historical, while the other is philosophical. As these two aspects of the task are apt to become confused, they have been treated in separate chapters. The basic chapter is the first, for in it the connection between science and other disciplines is investigated. In some of the later chapters it will be shown that thinkers such as Spencer and Dewey pre-supposed that such connections exist. Chapter one is thus devoted to the discussion of key terms such as "scientific laws", "theory of evolution" and "mechanism", whilst Chapter two deals with Herbert Spencer and his place in the history of education, and Chapter three contains a critical examination of Spencer's ideas in the light of points raised in the first chapter. There is a similar arrangement in the chapters on the pragmatists. The period 1850 to 1916 was chosen for investigation because these two dates mark the years of publication of Herbert Spencer's "Social Statics" and John Dewey's "Democracy and Education" respectively. During the intervening years the theory of evolution had remarkable influence on many facets of intellectual life, and it would be surprising to find that education remained unaffected.
ItemLive and learn: a plan for an educated citizenryCumming, Ian ( 1946)The creators and improvers of Attic prose, the chief literary and most elegant language of ancient Greece, were the Sophists, who flourished in the latter half of the 5th century B.C. They were really a class of teachers or popular lecturers which met the demand for education among the people in those days. It is extremely doubtful if they had any common philosophical doctrine. Grote has disproved the traditional view of the Sophists that their intellectualism was characterised by scepticism and ethical egoism; this charge is still made against adult educators: Whatever criticism might be made of the Sophists - Socrates and Plato opposed them - they made a definite contribution to culture. Adult education had its genesis with them. They introduced the people to a wide range of general knowledge, they led their listeners into discussions, they investigated history, poetry, mathematics and science. The fact that they received fees for their courses and made a livelihood out of their teaching did not commend itself to the Greece of that time. It is strange how history repeats itself; even today there is a reluctance on the part of some individuals to pay teachers in order that they might make a livelihood: From the time of the Sophists, philosophers of all hues have agreed on the point that education is a lifelong process. It is no matter for congratulation that today we are far from applying that fact. When the franchise was extended greatly during the last century and politicians decided that, in their own interests, their masters should be educated, the education provided was confined to childhood. Some years ago H. G. Wells surprised a complacent world by declaring that we must choose between education and catastrophe. We know now which prevailed. But because we have suffered a world catastrophe, the primary and secondary schools are not to be castigated. The children could have done nothing to avert this conflict; the older generation, the adults, with parochial prejudices, should have served this world better. It should be the supreme aim of a democratic state to have an informed and intelligent citizenry; democracy is sustained by education. (From Introduction)
ItemUtopia, community and education: Robert Owen and the co-operative movement, Britain 1800-1845Bexley, Maurice T. ( 1986)Mankind seems to entertain a perennial dissatisfaction with the present. The ideal of a better, even perfected, future is also perennial and equally likely to occur in the individual consciousness as the collective one. In times of turmoil and hardship, the more visionary individuals have articulated schemes for a better future, and these have become known as 'utopias'. This thesis represents an exploration of one episode of utopian thought. Robert Owen's vision for a better world was formed against the background of the industrialization of Britain early in the nineteenth century. In the following analysis of Owen's thinking, three contentions are posited: 1. Owen and the followers of his doctrines saw an inextricable link between education and the community. 2. Owenism can profitably be interpreted within the context of the tradition of utopian thought. 3. The concept of community provides a wholeness and unity in Owen's thinking. The first chapter examines the nature of utopian thought, something which appears necessary to understand Owen's concept of the community. Subsequent chapters deal with Owen's design for the ideal community, the mode of education he felt should attend this, and the links between the two. The conclusion summarizes and draws together the above contentions, considers the possibilities for further research, and argues for the relevance of Owen as a possible theoretical precursor to current educational thinking which emphasizes the role of the community.