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Engelmann, S. & Carnine, D. (2010). Could John Stuart Mill Have Saved Our Schools? Verona, WI: Full Court Press.

Engelmann and Carnine examined British Philosopher John Stuart Mill’s 1843 publication “A System of Logic” in terms of education. Mills described four major templates for organizing examples so they only support one interpretation. Mill did not apply his logic to education, viewing it as an art rather than a science. Engelmann and Carnine hypothesize the effects of Mill’s methods on teaching if applied beginning in the 19th century. The authors believe that if Mill’s theories on instruction were implemented in the early 19th century the way children were taught would have changed dramatically. By approaching instruction as a scientific practice the development of misguided instructional theories and failed expectations, which have been prevalent in the past 200 years, would have likely been avoided. Engelmann and Carnine also explore how John Dewey would have been affected if Mill’s logic was applied to education. Additionally, the authors demonstrate the similarities between Mill’s logic and the principles behind Direct Instruction programs.

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