Faculty of Education - Theses

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    The effect of evolutionary thought upon selected English and American philosophers who influenced educational thought, 1850-1916
    Phillips, 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.
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    Secondary education in the Australian social order, 1788-1898: a study in the evolution of the theory and the curriculum of secondary education, and the methods of teaching, in the changing Australian social order
    French, E. L ( 1958)
    In spite of all the hard words said about educational histories there should be no need to justify the historical study of education. The school, like the Church or the Theatre, is a social institution: if we may write the history of one, we may write the history of the others. As to the peculiar value of the enterprise, there will be differences of opinion; the distinctive values of the study of history are again in question. Suffice to say that it is the writer's suspicion that the debate on the content and method of secondary education, which has been conducted with considerable vigour in Australia in the past twenty years or so, would have been more fruitful if, to the various capacities brought to it, there had been added the capacity to see the problems of secondary education in the perspective of their development. It is surely not unimportant that the architects of educational policy should he enabled to see their problem in depth.