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▲Kathy Kiefer



Why enlightenment?  Is it still possibility in the world today?  Would there be any benefits?

Most work on the Enlightenment tends to emphasize what intellectuals wrote about what education should be and not about what education actually was during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Enlightenment children were taught to memorize facts through oral and graphic methods that originated during the Renaissance. The predominant educational psychology from the 1750s onward, especially in northern European countries was associationism, the notion that the mind associates or dissociates ideas through repeated routines. In addition to being conducive to Enlightenment ideologies of liberty, self-determination and personal responsibility, it offered a practical theory of the mind that allowed teachers to transform longstanding forms of print and manuscript culture into effective graphic tools of learning for the lower and middle orders of society.

The Debating Societies that rapidly came into existence in 1780 London…

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