Re: Philosophy underlying LO? LO204

Michael McMaster (
Wed, 22 Feb 1995 21:01:54 GMT

In response to Danny Bennett LO177 and the history of the school system:
> A particular idea, that I am curious if anybody else has an opinion on, is
> Mr. Gatto's historical interpretation of our modern school setting. He
> places the roots of dividing of teaching (and thus our minds) up into
> 'subjects' in early Prussia, circa 1806 - 1820.
My history, I seem to recall that a book by Joel Spring was the source,
is that the Prussians are responsible for the idea and form of the
public financed (and commanded) school system. It was to turn children
who were relatively uneducated in what industry needed into good
"production machines".

The history of dividing subjects can be traced back to Aristotle (and
possibly beyond) and I suspect the Prussians added very little to the
process or the idea itself. It was just the "natural" Western way
to implement such a system. The cosmology is older than the sources
that we like to credit like Newton and Descartes.

Mike McMaster <>