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Teaching Machines

A Hack Education Project

“There must be an industrial revolution in education,” psychologist Sidney Pressey wrote in 1933, “in which educational science and the ingenuity of educational technology combine to modernize the grossly inefficient and clumsy procedures of conventional education.” We still hear claims like this today: ed-tech is poised to bring science and efficiency to schools. Teaching machines will individualize instruction, allowing students to move at their own pace through their lessons and freeing teachers from drudgery so she may focus, as Pressey argued, on more important work “developing in her pupils fine enthusiasms, clear thinking, and high ideals.”

Teaching Machines, under contract with MIT Press, chronicles the history of this century-old belief that the automation of education is necessary (and is surely coming any day now).

Pigeon image: Bryan Mathers