Joseph Schwab's Assault on Facile Teaching

Donald N. Levine

in Powers of the Mind

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780226475530
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226475783 | DOI:
Joseph Schwab's Assault on Facile Teaching

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This chapter focuses on Joseph Jackson Schwab and his contributions to the reconstruction of general education. Schwab became a prime mover behind Chicago's three-year sequence in the natural sciences—a curriculum which has captured the attention of science educators ever since. He helped create the famed course in Observation, Interpretation, and Integration, which he taught for nearly two decades. As pedagogue, he was legendary; students invariably recall him as one who made learning in the second Hutchins College electrifying. A key player in the University Examiner's office, he broke new ground in creating evaluation instruments geared to specific goals of liberal learning. One of the rare natural scientists accomplished in humanistic learning as well, he was eagerly embraced by Hutchins and Adler in their extension programs for teaching and publishing the Great Books of the Western World. Following these germinal achievements during the Hutchins years at Chicago, Schwab went on to address a national audience with provocative essays on the liberal curriculum and pedagogical practice.

Keywords: Joseph Jackson Schwab; general education; natural science curriculum; pedagogy; liberal learning

Chapter.  13349 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy and Theory of Education

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