Masters Thesis

The reading process affect.

In the history of American education, patterns of pedagogy have always reflected the values and self-assessments of the larger society which fostered and sustained them. Though initially rooted and set in theocratic values, by the end of the eighteenth century language skills, rather than the promise of personal salvation, had become the predominant objective of the public schools. For the duration of this time, American education conveyed the ineffaceable impression of being more democratic and fundamentally universal than its European counterparts. This difference was not a superficial one even though the objectives as well as the content of American education remained a creation of the affluent members of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant majority. The transition from an essentially religious content and style of instruction of the 1600' s to emphasis on the "Three R's" of the later 1800's was beneficiently unrelenting. Although they had actually begun to develop in the late part of the nineteenth century, the humanistic social sciences did not really affect the school practice until the faintest dawning of the twentieth century. The earliest influence of the newer science of psychology within the school was due, in part, to numerous profound changes being brought about in content methods, and objectives of American elementary and secondary education. In the resulting pedagogical revolution, insights from a broad and developing learning theory eroded traditional assumptions about the intrinsic value of education by rote. Emotionally cold and sterile practices began to give ground before the movement toward views of instructional methodology in which philosophic consideration of individual difference dominated the literature of education and psychology for the next nine decades.

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