Date of Award:

1965

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

David R. Stone

Abstract

Organized education, historically, has been slow to commit itself to any sort of intensive examination of how learning can be both analyzed and substantially improved. But today Komoski (1960) tells us that we are looking beyond the traditional approaches to teaching. If a newly developed method is shown to be more effective than the techniques which have traditionally been employed, it is carefully considered for incorporation into the current education program.

Programmed instruction is just such an example of a recently developed teaching method which claims it will contribute much to education. It dates back to Pressey's report (1926) of a simple teaching device which also gave tests and scores. Extensive research into this method, however, has occurred only during the past ten or twelve years.

The intense interest in programmed instruction is understandable when we consider the goals of education in this country. The chief aim of education is to help each student achieve his fullest potential. The schools can best accomplish this by helping each student to recognize his own capacities, and by using methods which will contribute to an individual's developing intrinsically within himself the motivation for learning.

However, there are present-day pressures which hamper the realization of these goals. Today the world is confronted with a population rise unprecedented in history. This "population explosion" is clearly reflected in the burgeoning school enrollments and the accompanying problems of inadequate classroom space and limited facilities. Unfortunately, the consequences of these pressures prove consistently detrimental to the establishment of an ideal educational system. For example, the increased teacher load has resulted in the practice of double sessions which has tended to reduce the amount of individual attention many teachers were previously able to devote to each student. And more extensive demands upon school budgets have led to minimal teacher salary raises, contributing further to the shortage of qualified teachers.

This reveals the importance of development of new educational media in order to alleviate some of the stress on the teacher and to keep pace with currently expanding fields of knowledge.

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