Author, editor, linguist, columnist, reformer of spelling, philologist, but first and foremost patriot—all these jobs correlate themselves into one man: Noah Webster. His is a common household name for which everyone remembers the dictionary. However, the great life and accomplishments of this famed patriot are little known to the modern American public. Continue reading
In America today, personality testing is a growing industry of $400 million, with testing ranging from education to employment to fun online questionnaires (Paul, 2004, xiv). Personality testing begins in the elementary schools so students can gain admission into certain programs or be diagnosed for academic problems, and it continues on through the professions so people can advance their careers. The first personality test was designed in the early 1920s to help with personnel selection in the armed forces, but now a plethora of such tests exist.
One of the most famous personality tests is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This test “is now given to 2.5 million people each year, and is used by 89 of the companies in the Fortune 100” (Paul, 2004, xiii). Another widely used personality test is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory which is considered to be reliable and valid by many psychologists. These two examples of personality tests are used to look at changes in personality, screen job candidates, and diagnose psychological problems. Many teachers give personality tests in class so children can realize their strengths and learning styles (Personality test, 2013). Further research claims that the combined results of a number of these personality tests can help teachers “make fairly accurate judgments concerning student progress and change in these areas” (Miller, Linn, & Gronlund, 2009, 36-37). Continue reading
In 1904, French psychologist Alfred Binet created a test to measure the intellectual skills of schoolchildren. The purpose of Binet’s intelligence test was to determine which children would need special assistance in their classes based on attention, memory, and problem-solving skills (Dearly, 91). Binet assigned a “mental age” to each child’s score as a measure of intelligence based on the average abilities of children in that age group. Binet’s original intelligence test formed the basis of modern IQ tests and achievement tests which have changed the face of education and employment.
In 1916 standardized testing based on Binet’s early model became commonly used for American education and acceptance into the military. Today, the fifth edition of the Stanford-Binet intelligence test consists of five factors divided by two domains: fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory (Miller, Linn, & Gronlund, 428). In 1955 American psychologist David Wechsler created an intelligence test for adults known as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WEIS). Wechsler’s test reports a full-scale IQ covering verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed (Miller, Linn, & Gronlund, 428-429). Wechsler’s IQ scale replaced the Stanford-Binet scale so test-takers are now compared to those within their own age group instead of the average ability. Continue reading
John Knox (16th century) was a Scottish clergyman and leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland where he was considered the founder of the Presbyterian denomination. He was also famous for developing a plan for a national educational system in Scotland, thus re-laying the foundations of education. His influence was eventually felt in England and even more so in America. Knox’s “Book of Discipline” influenced the reestablishment of schools even though it was never formally adopted by the Scottish parliament (Eby, 273). He argued that schools and colleges should erected and maintained so the “youthe may be trained in the knowledge and feare of God” in order to be faithful servants of Christ and godly citizens (Eby, 275). Continue reading
John Locke was an English philosopher and physician in the 17th century who is known as the “Father of Classical Liberalism.” He was also one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers. Locke is well-known for his tabula rasa view of the human mind, his social contract theory, and his belief that knowledge is derived through experience of the senses. His political theories influenced the writings of other philosophers and the key ideas behind the United States’ Declaration of Independence. Locke is famous for three works: A Letter Concerning Toleration, The Second Treatise on Civil Government, and Some Thoughts Concerning Education. Locke has also been labeled “the father of modern education in England” (Locke, 205). Continue reading
Charles Darwin was an English scientist in the nineteenth century who is famous for his contributions to the theory of evolution. Scientists in the Victorian Era had experimented with various theories of evolution but Darwin was the first to synthesize evolution in a cohesive work, his book On the Origin of Species (1859). His discoveries were not fully accepted and valued by scientists until the early twentieth century when his theory of natural selection was chosen as the basic cause for evolution. While he did not impact education during his own lifetime, Darwin’s greatest impact on education came almost fifty years after his death at the famous Scopes Trial in 1925. Continue reading
W. E. B. Du Bois was an author, historian, sociologist, and civil rights activist in the twentieth century. He became the first African-American to earn a doctorate after graduating from Harvard. He taught history, sociology, and economics at Atlanta University. Du Bois also published The Philadelphia Negro (1899), a sociological study of African-Americans in Philadelphia, and The Souls of Black Folk (1903), a collection of essays. During his professorship, Du Bois co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 (Du Bois, 40). His involvement with the NAACP gave him an active role in the American Civil Rights Movement which integrated public schools in the 1960s. Continue reading
The Christian philosophy of education is based on the following premises: the nature of man and the nature of truth. The nature of man can be based upon the facts that man is a sinner (Rom. 3:23), and all men need a mediator between them and God in order to get to heaven (1 Tim. 2:5). According to Genesis 3:1-6, man fell into sin due to the temptation of Satan in the garden of Eden; because Adam sinned, all men are born sinners (Rom. 5:12). Though the outlook of the nature of man is bleak, there is hope. The nature of truth lies in one Person alone: Jesus Christ. According to John 14:6, Christ is the only way man can be saved from his sin and be accepted into heaven. God gave us the Bible as the ultimate source of truth in understanding how to be saved (Jn. 17:17). All knowledge and understanding is hid in Christ alone (Col. 2:3). Education must acknowledge that man is a sinner, and that man needs a perfect Savior, who is Jesus Christ. Continue reading
Benjamin Franklin was a true Renaissance man as an author, political theorist, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, and one of the founding fathers of the United States. His educational influence is less well-known than his inventions and political achievements. He founded the Philadelphia Academy as a secondary school in 1751. Its instructional curriculum emphasized modern languages, agriculture, accounting, and other practical subjects instead of the more traditional classical education at most grammar schools. Forty years later, the Philadelphia Academy became the University of Pennsylvania (Blinderman, 8). Continue reading
Noah Webster, Jr., was a political writer, author, and editor at the turn of the eighteenth century. He has been granted the title of “Schoolmaster to the nation” (Blinderman, 9). His “blue-backed” spelling books taught American children how to spell and read, and his name became synonymous with “dictionary” in the United States. Webster wrote A Grammatical Institute of the English Language, a three volume work including a speller, a grammar, and a reader. He also completed An American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828 after twenty-eight years of work (Blinderman, 25). In 1821, Webster helped found Amherst College in Massachusetts (Blinderman, 8). Continue reading