Whitehead's philosophy of education
Donelson, Edith M.
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Whitehead's theories of education scattered throughout his works have first been collected and coOrdinated in this thesis. Their foundation in his metaphysical position is then demonstrated. The persuasiveness of the educational commandments in chapter two is seen to lie in an understanding of Whitehead's cosmology outlined in chapter three. The student's needs, interests and patterns of growth must determine the educational program; the student is a living being. His experience of his environment is his existence. Experience is an advance from disjunction to conjunction. It is subjective activity individualizing a generic creativity. Actuality is a mode of activity, prehending, that synthesizes objective data. Inert ideas and dogmatic finalities are a burden to the student for they do not reflect reality. One of Whitehead's major contributions to educators is his doctrine that learning is rhythmic in character, advancing from disjunction to conjunction as a cyclical process. The process germinates in freedom as a stage of romance , develops through the discipline of precision, flowering in the wider freedom of generalization. Application of this doctrine to curriculum planning and to teaching practices, this thesis concludes, can help to overcome the problem of waning motivation to learn prevalent among students as they advance towards higher education. [TRUNCATED].
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University
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