Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Department name when degree awarded


Committee Chair(s)

C. E. McClellan


C. E. McClellan


It is generally conceded by psychologists and educators that interest is the starting point for all learning. Effective application of this principle in educational procedure has, however, proved to be far more difficult than it at first appeared. It has given rise to varying types of schools, teaching methods, programs and practices. The activity program, the vitalized education program, the project method, the problem method, the child centered school, the play-and-learn program, and others have had, and still have, their champions and followers, all flying the banner of Dewey's "Interest and Effort" philosophy.

Teachers and educators generally talk freely about interests in their discussions on education and teaching. While they are quite generally agreed on the primary importance of interest in the whole realm of learning, it is not so apparent that they are in as much agreement as to the definition and nature of interests. Some talk about interests as though they are innate, present at birth. Interests and urges are apparently synonymous in the minds of some, while others maintain that these are essentially different.

The nature and origin of interests seems to be a little understood subject among teachers generally.

The nature of the interests of adolescent boys is a field of educational psychology that is in need of further clarification. Is the period of adolescence a distinct and unique age in the life of the individual, with its characteristic interests and personality traits? Are boys' interests different in adolescence from the interests of people generally: Do the interests of adolescent boys tend to run more in some fields of activity than in others? What are the more popular and the less popular activities among adolescent boys in Logan? Are the interests of adolescent boys settled and enduring, or unsettled, indefinite and changeable? Are all adolescent boys interested in the same things generally? Or, do their interests vary widely in nature and extent?

The need for more adequate and reliable information on such considerations as these is widely felt among educators and youth leaders generally. It was such apparent need that prompted the study of the interests of high school boys in Logan.