Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

“Balance of mind […] seems more necessary than the promotion of teaching machines” – technology in Swiss schools in the 1960s


Deplazes, Daniel (2020). “Balance of mind […] seems more necessary than the promotion of teaching machines” – technology in Swiss schools in the 1960s. IJHE Bildungsgeschichte, 10(1):42-63.

Abstract

Advocates of educational innovations usually employ a classical rhetoric of high promises, discrediting alternatives, and moral pleas to distract from the ambiguous results in practice. Using this educational rhetoric, the protagonists aim to push for certain reforms. Clearly, the teacher is consistently represented as the key figure in such movements. In the 1960s, however, a pedagogical innovation emerged that challenged the position of the teacher: The propagation of so-called teaching machines. Moreover, as a departure from the users of the classical educational rhetoric, the supporters of the new school technologies focused on the effects in practice. Consequently, empirical results and an emphasis on efficiency became relevant in their argumentation. Whether supposedly impartial, effective, and individualizing machines could replace teachers emerged as the central theme of such investigations. Using the propagation of teaching machines in the 1960s as a highly informative case in point, the analysis presented in this work aims to elucidate how the line of argumentation pushing for the new school technology was intertwined with the classical educational rhetoric. Therefore, as a part of the present study, the arguments, misgivings, and hopes permeating the debate are identified by examining articles published in Swiss professional journals and newspapers, along with pertinent television broadcasts covering the period between 1965 and 1970.

Abstract

Advocates of educational innovations usually employ a classical rhetoric of high promises, discrediting alternatives, and moral pleas to distract from the ambiguous results in practice. Using this educational rhetoric, the protagonists aim to push for certain reforms. Clearly, the teacher is consistently represented as the key figure in such movements. In the 1960s, however, a pedagogical innovation emerged that challenged the position of the teacher: The propagation of so-called teaching machines. Moreover, as a departure from the users of the classical educational rhetoric, the supporters of the new school technologies focused on the effects in practice. Consequently, empirical results and an emphasis on efficiency became relevant in their argumentation. Whether supposedly impartial, effective, and individualizing machines could replace teachers emerged as the central theme of such investigations. Using the propagation of teaching machines in the 1960s as a highly informative case in point, the analysis presented in this work aims to elucidate how the line of argumentation pushing for the new school technology was intertwined with the classical educational rhetoric. Therefore, as a part of the present study, the arguments, misgivings, and hopes permeating the debate are identified by examining articles published in Swiss professional journals and newspapers, along with pertinent television broadcasts covering the period between 1965 and 1970.

Statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Education
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Uncontrolled Keywords:Programmiertes Lernen, programmed instruction, teaching materials, Didacta (The Education Trade Fair), Schulreformen, Didacta Ausstellung, Lehrmittel, Educational reforms, cybernetics, Kybernetik
Language:English
Date:15 March 2020
Deposited On:31 Jan 2021 19:52
Last Modified:15 Feb 2021 12:58
Publisher:Julius Klinkhardt
ISSN:2192-4295
OA Status:Closed

Download

Full text not available from this repository.
Get full-text in a library