In this classic argument for curriculum reform in early education, Jerome Bruner shows that the basic concepts of science and the humanities can be grasped intuitively at a very early age. He argues persuasively that curricula should he designed to foster such early intuitions and then build on them in increasingly formal and abstract ways as education progresses.
Bruner’s foundational case for the spiral curriculum has influenced a generation of educators and will continue to be a source of insight into the goals and methods of the educational process.
There are some rare and wondrous occasions in reading when one has a tremendous sense of the presence of power, the feeling that there is some very special significance in the pages… Here is a book about the educational process, hardly a subject to make banners float in the sky or to call forth a choir of angels. Here is a book by a psychologist writing about the nature of learning, the structure of knowledge, and the means by which the former is engaged and the latter is acquired. Yet this book can be read twice in a week, will keep the television set dark, and will neutralize the lure of a late summer’s night… That he writes on occasion with the touch of a poet is the reader’s good fortune; that he reasons with the scientist’s secure modesty makes his vision understandable… [Bruner] has written a useful, satisfying, and, for me, a very exciting book.
This is an epochal book in that long tradition of writing on education which goes back at least to the Phoenix episode in Book Nine of the Iliad, where Homer introduces the old tutor whose job it was to teach the young Achilles to be ‘a doer of deeds and a speaker of words.’ The Process of Education gives accurate expression to the current ferment in educational thought in this country, lays to rest the ghosts of some outmoded approaches, and provides an exciting discussion of the direction educational theory and research should now take… The main point, around which revealing flashes of insight and a series of brilliant suggestions cluster, is that any subject must be taught in a way that constantly reveals its underlying structure…[and] that no topic is intrinsically too difficult to be presented honestly in some form to the young.
A seminal work…on learning theory, readiness, structure, intuitive and analytical thinking, which grew out of the Woods Hole conference of 1959 on curriculum reform (of which Dr. Bruner was chairman).
[A] gem of a book.
Ranks as one of the most important and influential works on education.
- 128 pages
- 5-1/4 x 8-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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