Dr. Little Publishes Article

  • February 7, 2014

Dr. Joseph Little, Associate Professor of English, recently published the following article:

From Chick to Child: The Role of Analogy in the Making of Thorndike's Educational Science. By: Little, Joseph. Journal of Technical Writing & Communication. 2014, Vol. 44 Issue 1, p101-114. 14p. DOI: 10.2190/TW.44.1.f.

Here is the article's abstract:

"In this article, the first to analyze the role of analogy in Edward Thorndike's educational vision, I argue that the feat of Thorndike's analogy-making was his ability to launch an experimental science of child learning without having had access to children. That the origin of American pedagogical science rests on Thorndike's animals stands as a palpable example of the power of analogy to serve a constitutive function in scientific invention. In Thorndike's case, the social consequences were considerable: His juxtaposition of the child and the animal, his fusing of the two in the concept of the animal-child mind, led him to reason that infants, like animals, were incapable of having ideas, and children, though fully capable, still learned best in many cases through the process of rote memorization and drill."