Jerome S. Bruner

Jerome Seymour Bruner (born 1 October 1915) is an American psychologist who has contributed to cognitive psychology and cognitive learning theory in educational psychology,history and to the general philosophy of education. [from wikipedia]

I really like some of Bruner’s ideas and quotes.

The first 2 examples below come from:  Jerome Bruner, The Culture of Education, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996.

Eg1:   “I think we have become so preoccupied with the more formal criteria of “performance” and with the bureaucratic demands of education as an institution that we have neglected the personal side of education.” (p. 39)

[When we start our teaching careers, we are mainly preoccupied with teaching our subject matter and measuring the performance of our students, against specified standards eg. VELS. We eventually come to realise that education goes far beyond this.]

Eg2:  “Even under the least favorable conditions – psychologically, fiscally, educationally – we still succeed in giving some children a sense of their own possibilities. We do it by getting them (and sometimes their parents) to collaborate in an enabling community.” (p. 76)

[We are now at a point where the use of blogs, wikis and other social networks, will help contribute to this significantly.]

Eg3:  “I can think of two good criteria … for deciding what to teach: whether the knowledge gives a sense of delight and whether it bestows the gift of intellectual travel beyond the information given, in the sense of containing within it the basis of generalization.”

[This quote implies to me that as Mathematics teachers, we need to enrich our classes with activities, problems and investigations, that spark student’s interest in our subject. More on investigations in later posts.]


About webmaths

I have been teaching Mathematics in Victorian secondary schools for 30 years. I use the www to make my maths lessons better. I hope this blog will give other teachers some ideas to try in their own classes.
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