Cultural Model

  1. Philosophy of Science
  2. Educational Theory
  3. Terms
  4. Current Practice

Work Models

  1. Flow Model
  2. Sequence Model
  3. Artifact Model
  4. Cultural Model
  5. Physical Model
  6. Metaphors


  1. Design Problem
  2. Literature Review
  3. Work Models
  4. Design Patterns
  5. Design Experiments
  6. Lesson Ideas
  7. Montessori Computes
  8. Thinking About Circles

Related Links

Patterns and Design


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Under Construction I am not very organized or methodical in my reading. Web pages seem like a good way to keep track of the various threads I'm pursuing so I can find my way back to the main one--I'm trying to understand the context in which Montessori worked, so I can better understand what she wrote and where she got her ideas. To keep track of my reading, I write down quotes I find interesting and add thoughts in brackets as they occur to me. My goal is to one day have more notes than quotes on these pages, and maybe even develop something coherent and interesting. Until then, the "under construction" icon will remain as a warning for those who might mistakenly think there's something readable on these pages.


"To describe the dominant tendency in late nineteenth-century thought as materialism was obviously a crude simplification. Few serious thinkers of any period have been true materialists... 'Mechanism,' on the other hand, was a rather more accurate characterization: it suggested the prestige of explanations drawn from the Newtonian physical universe and in particular from the recently developed field of electricity. Similarly the term 'naturalism' evoked the biological explanations that had come increasingly into vogue as the nineteenth century advanced. This had been notably the case since the triumph of Darwinism in the 1860's."

"With Darwinism in its applied or 'social' form, we come to the central point of intellectual conflict. Some of Darwin's earliest supporters had been followers of August Comte, and the second of the high priests of positivism, Herbert Spencer, had early rallied to Darwinism, sensing its possibilities as support for his own position." (Hughes, 1977, p. 36)

"Emile Durkheim used an organic analogy similar to Spencer's. But where Spencer's organic analogy supported his belief in individualism, Durkheim's was more collectivist. Durkheim maintained that the parts of the social organism, namely its individual members, should be subordinate to the welfare of the whole society. In The Division of Labor in Society, Durkheim criticized Spencer's individualistic position." (Adams & Sydie, p. 79)

"...Whereas Comte regarded all evolution as linear, Spencer regarded evolution, whether organic or inorganic, as fluctuating, even cyclical." (Adams & Sydie, p. 80) [How does this square with Egan's representation of Spencer's view of evolution?]

[see Herbert Spencer: Evolution - Unilinear or Multilinear?]

"...The 'Rivista di filosofia scientifica' [from 1881 to 1891] under the editorship of the psychiatrist Enrico Morselli... remained predominantly positivistic, though often it gave manifestations of naturalism and materialism. An example of this was Giuseppe Sergi... A pure materialist was Cesare Lombroso who contributed to the diffusion of the ideas of Jacob Moleschott..." (Garin and Pinton, 2007, p. 990).

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