The shame of American education

  • Skinner B
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Recent analyses of American schools and proposals for school reform have missed an essential point: Most current problems could be solved if students learned twice as much in the same time and with the same effort. It has been shown that they can do so (a) when the goals of education are clarified; (b) when each student is permitted to advance at his or her own pace; and (c) when the problem of motivation is solved with programmed instructional materials, so designed that students are very often right and learn at once that they are. The theories of human behavior most often taught in schools of education—particularly cognitive psychology—stand in the way of this solution to the problem of American education, but the proposal that schools of education simply be disbanded is a step in the wrong direction. Teachers need to be taught how to teach, and a technology is now available that will permit them to teach much more effectively. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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  • behaviorist techniques as means of improving American education

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  • B. F. Skinner

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