Learning in nowhere: individualism in correspondence education in 1938 and 1950.[In correspondence education] there is no class work in the ordinary sense. Each pupil's course is his own. The subjects that comprise it can be chosen to suit the individual pupil alone. The emphasis can be laid where it is most needed. The pupil proceeds at his own pace, independently of other pupils of the same grade. Pupils of higher than average ability can and do make faster than average progress; those of less than average talent may make slower than average progress ... The use of individual assignments develops a sense of responsibility, initiative and self reliance. (1)
A.G. Butchers, quoted above, was the headmaster of the New Zealand Correspondence School in Wellington in the mid twentieth century. He was a most vocal proponent of individualistic learning in correspondence education. His words illustrate several fundamental facets of the pedagogic individualism that was prevalent in correspondence education at the time. Correspondence education was argued to be tailor-made for the individual who studied at an individualised pace. The student was to become an independent learner who developed 'a sense of responsibility, initiative and self reliance' through the use of individual assignments.
Individualism in correspondence education was, like other individualistic understandings of pedagogy and the human, connected to specific practices of producing knowledge and ordering society. (2) Individualism in education, including the correspondence variant, was intimately intertwined with educational progressivism, the psychology of individual differences, and developmental psychology. (3)
This article seeks to investigate the individualistic ideas, practices, and student identities that developed in correspondence education in the mid twentieth century. In doing so a number of questions about the individualistic pedagogy and identities in correspondence education are posed. How was individualism to be achieved? What pedagogic practices were used? Who could students learn from? What was the desired identity of the students? How were the student's material circumstances understood? In attempting to answer these questions the article aims to increase understanding of the individual pedagogy and the construction of the independent learner' at work in correspondence education during its golden age.
The article draws on the post-Foucauldian materialist tradition of research, which has earlier been applied to a wide range of phenomena including laboratories, hospitals, or disability, as well as psychology and the child centred curriculum. (4) In doing so, it emphasises the interaction of knowledge and materiality, thus paying special attention to the architecture of the school and the seating arrangements of the classroom to the curriculum materials and techniques of assessment'. (5)
This article approaches individualism in correspondence education from a governmentality perspective by analysing the conduct of conductor governing, i.e. the shaping, guiding, correcting, and modifying of individuals by themselves and others. (6) In this article I accentuate the heterogeneous nature of governing by analysing it as both a practice and a mentality. A principal aspect of the conduct of conduct is the construction of identities and its role in governing humans. Consequently, a keystone of the article is the analysis of the individualistic subject position of 'the independent learner'. (7)
Furthermore, the governmentality perspective prescribes a concern for the technologies that are employed to modify behaviour and thought. Moreover, as correspondence education is geographically dispersed, the article emphasises the technologies that make it possible to govern at a distance. (8) Technology in this sense is treated as a social apparatus consisting of a heterogeneous array of things that shape practice and knowledge. (9) These technologies can be of two major types: technologies of discipline and technologies of the self. The former denotes the technologies that are employed to shape others' actions--the original examples being examination, surveillance, and normalisation. (10) The latter refers to moral technologies that are employed to problematise and shape one's own conduct--for example a self-produced workout or diet regime could be seen as a technology of self. (11) Thus the two types of technologies work in different ways, one shaping the conduct of others, and the other shaping the conduct of oneself.
In line with the above outlined perspective on correspondence education, the article investigates individualism as a result of a specific formation of educational practices and knowledge as well as to the construction of a subject position of independent learner'. For example, it analyses the design of courses in flexible modules; the presupposition that it was an individual student that would work with the correspondence material; the motivational tactics that were employed; as well as the calculating apparatuses of grading and differentiating.
Material and methodology
The proceedings from the first and third international conferences on correspondence education provide the source material for the analysis. These conferences, held in 1938 in Victoria, Canada, and in 1950 in Christchurch, New Zealand, were part of the International Conference for Correspondence Education (ICCE) series that continue till today. J.W. Gibson, director of high school correspondence instruction for British Columbia, Canada, proposed the conferences during a USA national meeting on Supervised Correspondence Study held at Columbia University in New York. The aim was to deepen international exchange and collaboration between distance educators. (12) The participants were mostly professionals involved in correspondence education or educational administrators with correspondence schools in their geographical areas. Five of the first six ICCE conferences were dominated by Canadian and USA delegates, who accounted for more than 90 percent of the participants, except in the third conference, held in Christchurch, New Zealand, where 87 percent of the delegates came from New Zealand or neighbouring Australia.
I have analysed the proceedings from the first and the third conference, as the proceedings from the second conference were unavailable to me at the time of analysis. The two studied conferences provide a fascinating window into correspondence education in its heyday, and give a clear picture of the ideas and practices that were shaping distance education at the time. The analysed proceedings comprise about 500 pages of transcribed addresses and discussions on varying topics relating to correspondence education. It is important to note that the proceedings consist not only of prepared addresses by the delegates but also transcribed discussion sessions on how to organise and carry out correspondence education. The discussion sessions taken together with the formal presentations provide a rich source for analysing how educators understood and wanted to organise their educational practice.
Successive sessions of coding, categorising, and analysing the conference proceedings were carried out in order to discern patterns in the practice and in the manner of speaking. (13) In the first pass through the proceedings, the open coding phase, I identified themes or terminology that could be grouped into more generalised categories. The open coding generated a number of analytical concepts, such as guidance, differentiation, motivation, etc. that were grouped into categories such as education in a changing society, student handling, etc. (14) The preliminary concepts and categories from the open coding phase were then analysed in a secondary or axial coding phase looking for patterns in the practices and organisation of distance education. Bringing the characteristics of the correspondence education process to the fore led to a focus on different types of educational actions (like motivating, measuring, sorting, supervising, etc.). An important pattern that emerged during the coding was the individualistic ways of thinking about and organising correspondence education.
Correspondence education in context: individualism, expertise, and the progressive movement
Correspondence education in the early twentieth century came into being in societies in which the development of national educational systems was seen as necessary for dealing with a changing society and for the refinement of nation's population. (15) Education was seen as indispensable for dealing with a number of issues: migration from country to city, increasing need for labour with basic technical education, mass unemployment in the wake of the great depression as well as a route for meritocratic social climbing. (16) One can argue that education was an important part of the modern state that saw the preservation of national interest, or raison d'etat, as its primary goal. (17)
Due to both a lack of teachers as well as a sparse population the development of national educational systems in countries like Australia, Canada, New Zeeland, Norway, Sweden, or the USA was problematic. In these countries correspondence education was developed as an attempt to remedy these difficulties. The first large organised correspondence schools were founded at the very end of the nineteenth century and in the first decades of the twentieth century. (18)
A momentous influence on education at this time was the progressive movement, which aimed to reform society in a democratic direction and to come to grips with industrialism, urbanism and statism. (19) In this movement it was argued that education should be organised on the child's own experiences rather than on subject matters or disciplinary blocks. (20) John Dewey, perhaps the most influential figure in the progressive movement, strove to organise education so that each individual child's talents and aptitudes were used for the betterment of society and the public good. (21) In the progressive vision meritocracy played a significant part, underscoring that the individual's talents and aptitudes rather than social standing would lead to success. (22) An important facet of the progressive movement was its reliance on expertise, numbers and statistics. These bureaucratic tools of knowledge were often used to direct and define social reforms as well as to master social change. (23)
Two aspects of expertise were pivotal in individualistic pedagogy: developmental psychology and the psychology of individual differences. The first, developmental psychology, divided children into different stages depending on their physical and mental development, and brought about a standardisation and normalisation of children's behaviour and growth. (24) The second, the psychology of individual differences, entailed a combination of normal distribution statistics and developmental psychology to produce the Binet test, which was the first IQ-test. (25)
Progressive individualism, developmental psychology, and the psychology of individual differences had, as I will show empirically below, a decisive impact on the organisation of correspondence education according to individualist and child-centred principles. This context provided correspondence education with a milieu of thought that influenced the development of a specific individualistic pedagogy. This milieu made the individuals' learning, development and classification the cornerstone of educational thought and practice.
The independent learner: the ideal correspondence student
At the ICCE conferences delegates often argued that correspondence education shaped the pupil into a successful citizen through its ability to develop of independence and autonomous thinking. Initiative, concentration, independent judgement, self-dependency, and responsibility were traits that defined a successful correspondence student. These traits were thought to be the hallmarks of a successful citizen and an important part of the legacy of a pupil's correspondence education are the defining characteristics of a subject position that I call the independent learner.
An example of how the independent learner was articulated came from G. M. Weir, the Minister of Education in British Columbia. He argued that, in comparison to regular schools, correspondence education developed initiative, independent habit of study and mental resource fulness that carry the pupil forward'. (26) A similar sentiment was expressed by the Headmaster of Melbourne Correspondence School in Australia, E.D. Pridgeon, who maintained, by quoting the Editor of 'The Hospital Magazine. the character shaping virtues of correspondence education. He argued that it could turn seemingly hopeless little lives into self-dependent, self-respecting citizens'. (27) Also H. R. Thomson, the Head of Languages Department of Correspondence School in New Zealand, contended that correspondence courses developed qualities of initiative, of concentration, and of independent judgement far in advance of those for whom the way is made easier'. (28)
In correspondence education the independent learner was contrasted with the pupil that could not think for himself. It was maintained that individual instruction, individual pace, personal corrections, and individual assignments were to develop 'a sense of responsibility, initiative and self- reliance'. (29) This contrast was made especially visible by L.W. McCaskill, Associate Professor of Rural Education at Canterbury Agricultural College in New Zealand who quoted a prominent educator in Australia, J. McIlraith:
Your very isolation is, in many respects, both a protection and an aid; it saves you from mingling too often with the crowd and developing that herd instinct which tends to make you an unimaginative slave to the ideas of others. (30)
Being an independent learner emphasised the student's ability to think autonomously, and it was argued that in the large classes in ordinary school too few pupils thought independently and that the rest were willing to adopt the ideas and solutions of the few. The correspondence child must intellectually stand on his own feet'. (31) In his speech at the first conference Butchers contrasted the correspondence student and the regular student with each other:
[There is] not enough quiet in the ordinary school, not enough time for reflection and thought. Things are always moving. The correspondence school pupil can put down his pen at times and indulge in day-dreams, or get up and have a scamper outside with his dog, and resume his studies the better for the interlude. He is a human individual, not merely a unit of a flock, moving or stopping just as the drovers and dogs direct. (32)
The independent learner was the desired student and represented the idealised subject position of the correspondence student. The creation of the student of initiative, concentration, independent judgement, self-dependency, and responsibility was connected to a specific understanding of learning and of human beings. The emphasis on independence and initiative connected the ideal image of learning, which was best undertaken alone, to the ideal human being--independent, free, and individualistic.
This individual pedagogy was closely connected to the traditional liberal philosophy of the seventeenth century, (33) and I argue that the independent learner was articulated in line with the idea of a traditional liberal subject in which two basic premises coexisted What makes a man human is freedom from dependence on the wills of others' and 'The individual is essentially the proprietor of his own person and capacities, for which he owes nothing to society'. (34) In the case of education the student was seen as learning freely without becoming a slave to the ideas of others'--thus connecting a specific understanding of humanness to that of the subject position of the independent learner.
The subject position of independent learner was a crucial element of correspondence education. This subject position was closely tied to an idealisation of individual work and independence. The vision of the ideal human being and student was pivotal for the individualism of correspondence education and underpinned many of the pedagogical practices that were developed. Of course this subject position needed to be internalised by students in order to become effective.
Learning to be an independent learner: technologies of self-discipline and self-assessment
A key aspect of producing independent learners was the development of self-discipline and self-assessment skills. In correspondence education, students were encouraged to develop a motivation to discipline themselves a sense of their own performance through self-checking exercises. It was argued that students' character would be shaped using 'the fostering of pride in achievement, and the development of concentration and self-denial'. (35) It was stated that:
The children strive to excel, not for the sake of reward or for the satisfaction of beating their classmates, but for the sake of the work itself, and for the satisfaction derived from self-activity. Pride of personal achievement is the main incentive [for the student]. Self-discipline, rather than discipline from without, is an important aspect of character-training. (36)
Another example of the perceived advantages of self-discipline was expressed thus by M.S. Pitt, Senior Primary Assistant at the New Zealand Education Department's Correspondence School:
An attempt is made to create learning situations whereby the pupil identifies himself fully with the task in hand. This involves the best of all disciplines, a self-imposed discipline, as well as the cultivation of initiative and self-reliance. The sturdy independence of the Correspondence School pupil in general is well known ... assignments ... are written to create and maintain the interest of the child, to develop a self-imposed discipline and to cultivate initiative and self-reliance. (37)
The correspondence student was to be fostered through the use of individual assignments that developed self-discipline and it was argued that self-discipline was the best discipline. It was by placing responsibility completely on the student that they would become self-motivated and self-directed learners. (38) Another example from A.G. Butchers, the Headmaster of New Zealand Correspondence School in Wellington, showed how self-discipline was articulated:
[O]ur attitude has been one of establishing the direct relationships between the correspondence teachers and the correspondence pupils, with the object of throwing the onus on the pupils entirely ... We desire to have the student motivate his own work. We desire to do away with the direct supervision; we wish children to work alone. (39)
Motivation, supervision, and learning were described as individual activities. It was argued that individual work created its own socialising grid of self-evaluation and self-discipline. Self-evaluation was to be accomplished by creating self-checking exercises and by encouraging the students to set their own standards and evaluate themselves. (40) It was stated that 'The students are sometimes more critical about their own work than the teachers are'. (41) Another delegate expressed an idea that 'the initiative of the pupils is reflected in the manner in which they give helpful suggestions regarding the way their work could be improved'. (42) In a summary of one of the discussion sessions it was stated that Tests in such cases [of self evaluation] are of greater benefit to the student since he learns to gauge his own mastery. (43)
The self-discipline and self-assessment practices in correspondence education built on a long tradition of technologies of the self in education, which were designed to develop self-reflective and self-assessing capacities in the students. (44) But the development of the self-assessing capacities in the student also depended on disciplinary technologies like tests, examinations and reminders that were brought to bear on the student in order to help them problematise themselves and their morals and behaviour. This problematisation was to aid in the development of their self-reflective capacities and make their conduct available to intervention and governing both by the school and by themselves. Through correspondence education practice the student was to learn to problematise his/her own behaviour and become an independent learner. Thus, through a combination of technologies of self and technologies of discipline the correspondence school governed the students at a distance, shaping both their behaviour and morals through interpellating them to a subject position.
In order to organise a pedagogy that was in harmony with the independent learner and the practices of self-reflection and self-assessment a number of particular practices developed in correspondence education. These practices were closely connected to the subject position of the independent learner and the individualistic and scientific progressivism that were dominant at the time. These practices aimed to free the students from the herd, to tailor the courses to the student, and to provide individual tutoring for each and every student.
Freeing students from the 'lock step' of the class
In correspondence education the individualistic understanding of the student was inspired by the progressive trust in expertise and numbers. In line with educational progressivism in general, and the psychology of individual differences in particular, correspondence education stressed that it was crucial o identify the student's characteristics like IQ, talent, interest, motivation or needs in order to organise an individualised learning situation. M.H. Kellerman, the Headmaster of Blackfriars School in New South Wales, Australia, argued that by 'the very nature of our work, teaching of this type must be individual ... [and] must allow for as many variations as there are pupils on the roll'. (45) He also attested that supervision and correction must be adjusted to the needs of the pupil' and his/hers intellectual, emotional, social, and moral differences' as well as his/her IQ. (46) It was argued that every lesson should be adapted to meet precisely the interests, talents, and needs of the individual pupil. (47)
The individualistic understanding of learning entailed an extreme version of student differentiation, attained by disposing of the class system. This differentiation was sometimes understood as freeing students from the lock step' of the class and was based on a completely individualised work-pace. Nancy J. Fitch the Headmistress of Adelaide Correspondence School, Australia expressed it thus in the third ICCE conference:
Full advantage should be taken of the possibilities which correspondence instruction affords in the way of flexibility of grading and promotion. In a carefully worked out system of individual instruction, it is possible to make a child's rate of progress in any subject independent of any considerations except his ability in that subject and his industry. (48)
The advantages of an individualised progress rate were argued to be several. Through freeing the student from the lock step of the class the talented student would be freed from the tyranny of the underachievers, and the subnormal student would be allowed to progress at his/her individual pace without developing an inferiority complex.
Individualising through the differentiation of course materials
Another scheme for making correspondence education individual was to divide the courses into different ability levels. K.O. Broady the Director of the Extension Division of the University of Nebraska, USA, maintained that correspondence courses seem much better adapted to the pupil of high or at least average ability than to the individual at the lower end of the scale' and that this could be remedied by introducing different levels of instruction by introducing optional units and adapted syllabi. (49) It was argued that courses should be organised on a minimum assignment basis so that different teaching techniques could be used at different levels; or that there should be different courses for different student ability levels. (50) It was also proposed that mastery work percentage or mastery tests could be used or that the course could be adapted to different levels through the addition of special leaflets, omission of certain sections, or the introduction of 'at least three educational streams in which pupils will be able to develop according to their needs and ability'. (51)
The adaption of the course to individual talents, needs and desires was to be achieved through several different means: some argued for providing specific sets of work' or 'revision sets', (52) some argued for mimeographed special material or revision of courses (53) while others maintained that short flexible units of teaching, such as those already in use in private correspondence schools, were most adapted to individualisation. (54) It was asserted that a well-prepared syllabus could provide the course with adaptability to the student. (55) '[F]lexibility for the individual', was to be achieved by phrasing questions and building projects so that there might be a selection that would tend to fit almost any student'. (56)
An individualised organisation of education was to make up for the deficit of classroom discussions, face-to-face socialisation, lack of schoolroom, as well as school materials like laboratory material and visual aids. The advantages of individualisation were argued to be so great that they would compensate amply for the considerable lack of socialisation in correspondence education. (57)
The adaption of courses to the individual student articulated two important aspects of individualism. First, the student was understood in terms of his/her individual qualities such as IQ, talent, interest, motivation or needs--an understanding closely connected to progressive expertise in developmental psychology and individual differences. Second, the adaption of courses articulated that the student would be best served by learning individually by studying tailored course content. Thus, the subject position of the independent learner was built on an understanding of student's characteristics according to the then prevailing dominant knowledge and expertise, and individualist learning practices were organised in accordance with this.
Learning through the unobstructed teacher-pupil relationship
Although the ideal student was to learn independently it was understood that the student needed guidance and help. This was to be achieved through an individual and unobstructed teacher-pupil relationship. As expressed in the proceedings of the analysed conferences correspondence learning was understood to be an individual pursuit in which the pupil was guided by means of dialogue with the teacher. It was said that the:
[R]elationships arising from close contact of pupil with teacher and pupil will alter greatly the necessity for handling' a pupil in correspondence teaching. The teacher-pupil relationship is the point of contact vital to the successful conduct of correspondence instructions. (58)
Another example of the importance the teacher pupil relationship came from K.O. Broady, and also shows how the interaction between student and teacher was a focal point of correspondence education:
[C]orrespondence courses may be as effective as courses studied in residence, since learning depends more on the student and on the teacher, absent or present, than on the classroom or lack of one. (59)
The teacher pupil relationship was the seemingly natural route to educating students in correspondence education. This unobstructed relationship was deemed so important that it was seen as a compensation for material factors like the lack of a classroom.
The route of communication between teacher and student was deemed so vital that it was emphasised that it had to be kept unobstructed, undistorted, and free of interference. It was argued that parents had to be restrained from doing most of the thinking; that it was of utmost importance to keep the teacher-pupil relationship clear, and to realise that the correspondence teacher was the real teachers. (60) It was also stated that the supervision of correspondence pupils by supervisors or parents should not '... obstruct in any way the pupil-teacher relationship'. (61) There were also delegates who maintained that the teacher-pupil relationship had to be safeguarded against outside disturbing influences from parents or tutors, and that it would build friendship and trust. (62) For example:
All visitors to the school are surprised by the evidence to be seen in every teacher's record book of the extent and depth of the personal relationships that are developed between individual teachers and pupils. With the coming and going of every set of work letters pass to and fro. Snapshots are exchanged and real friendships are established which naturally have an excellent bearing on the work of both teacher and pupil. (63)
The communication and relationship between teacher and student were seen as paramount to teaching and motivating the correspondence education students. It was seen as the vital point of contact and stressed the importance of the friendship between teacher and pupil. The import of the relationship between the student and the teacher was deemed so considerable that material factors like the classroom or collaboration with other pupils were deemed unimportant in comparison.
Parallel to the acknowledgement of the importance of guidance and friendship, the teacher pupil communication excluded and idealised the relationship between teacher and student to such a degree that help from parents was seen to be detrimental to the learning process. Thus, the idea of the teacher pupil relationship emphasised the contradictory pattern of guided as well as individual learning, where the connection between the teacher and student was seen as more important than material circumstances, and excluded other influences than the ones sanctioned by the correspondence school.
The teacher-pupil communication pattern was problematic for the independent learner. Although the student, it was argued, was to rely on his/her own capacities and judgement the student was seen as crucially dependent on the teacher and correspondence school for help and guidance. Thus the individualistic understanding of the student as independent and autonomous was the desirable way of acting, but at the same time the actions of guiding and teaching show how the organisation of correspondence education stands in stark contrast to the subject position of the independent learner. The rupture between the independent learner and the organisation of correspondence education shows the contradictions inherent in the liberal ideal of independent learning, and that independence crucially depended on a grid of governing technologies that created independence.
Learning in nowhere: the social, cultural, and material disembodiment of the student
Correspondence education individualism exhibited quite specific practices that aimed to individualise education and produced a certain educational apparatus, outside of which it was extremely difficult to think and act. Progressivism, developmental psychology, the psychology of individual differences formed a library of knowledge and expertise that helped define individualism in correspondence education. The 'independent learner' was shaped through a number of educational practices that emphasised individualism in different ways.
The individualistic practices that developed in correspondence education were a combination of technologies of discipline that coerced the students to work in the desired manner, and technologies of the self that encouraged the students to problematise themselves. These two types of technologies constituted a grid that aimed to govern students at a distance through multiple vantage points: through the development of morals of self-motivation and self-assessment, friendship, as well as the skill to choose between a plethora of individualised courses. The independent learner was thus assembled through an apparatus of technologies that stressed autonomy, independence, and self-reliance. Thus, through the combination of technologies it was stressed that the independent learner was independent of the wills of others, independent in time and space, in the choice of courses.
I argue that in correspondence education the independent learner was treated as a disembodied free agent--a free-floating cogito that was to learn through the materialised flow of friendship and knowledge between the teacher and student. I argue that the independent learner was understood as existing outside of the structures of society, in a state of nature, and that this understanding was built on a liberal humanist subject position similar to that of seventeenth century liberal philosophy, in which the individual was essentially seen as the proprietor of his own person or capacities, owing nothing to society for them'. (64) Consequently, the student was constructed as existing in a context-less nowhere in which his/her social, material, economic, or cultural situation was obscured.
The individualism that was prevalent in correspondence education along with its educational practices were extremely influential for a time and reached far beyond the confines of traditional correspondence education. Correspondence education was used, for example, both in Sweden and the USA to enrich the educational offerings of small schools in programs called supervised correspondence study. This phenomenon was argued to offer freedom of choice to the student, while still maintaining an individualised rather than social emphasis. (65)
It can be contended that correspondence education and the independent learner developed into a highly liberal educational apparatus that attempted to realise the progressive dream of a child-centred curriculum for each and every child. But it can also be argued that this liberal ideal failed to account for the actual idiosyncrasies of each pupil's educational situation. In essence the practical failure to account for individual differences can be said to be the constant failure of the child-centred curriculum under the pressure of democratic mass education.
Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Ulf Mellstrom, Boel Berner, Sven Widmalm, Jenny Lee, Vasilis Galls, Martin Hultman, Pal Aarsand, Lucas Forsberg, and Mason Lee as well as the seminar groups P6 and TVOPP for comments on successive drafts on this article.
Linkoping University, Sweden
(1) 'Report of the First International Conference on Correspondence Education', (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, August 2224 1938), 60. This statement is repeated in the foreword to the third conference, which Butchers was the chairman of. See the 'Proceedings on the Third International Conference of Correspondence Educators', (Christchurch, New Zealand, April 18-27 1950), xxviii-xxix.
(2) Mark Olssen, 'Science and Individualism in Educational Psychology: Problems for Practice and Points of Departure [Electronic Version]', Educational Psychology 13/ 2 (1993): 155-172.
(3) Ibid, Valerie Walkerdine, 'Developmental Psychology and the Child-centered Pedagogy: The Insertion of Piaget into Early Education', in Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity ed. Julian Henriques, et al. (London: Methuen, 1984), 153-202, Kevin J. Brehony, 'Montessori, Individual work and Individuality in the Elementary School Classroom', History of Education 29/2 (2000): 115-128.
(4) Developmental psychology: Nikolas Rose, 'The Gaze of the Psychologist', in Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self (London & New York: Routledge, 1989), 132-150. Disability: Ingunn Moser, Road Traffic Accidents: The Ordering of Subjects, Bodies and Disability (Oslo: Oslo University, 2003), Vasilis Galls, From Shrieks to Technical Reports: Technology, Disability and Political Processes in Building Athens Metro, Linkoping Studies in Arts and Science (Linkoping: Linkoping University, 2006). Hospital practices: Annemarie Mol, The Body Multiple: Ontology in Medical Practice, Science and Cultural Theory (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002). Laboratory studies: John Law, Organizing Modernity (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994). Child centred curriculum: Walkerdine, 'Developmental Psychology and the Child-Centered Pedagogy'.
(5) Walkerdine, 'Developmental Psychology and the Child-Centered Pedagogy', 155.
(6) In analysing correspondence education this article follows Gilles Deleuze and Mitchell Dean in scrutinising four discrete but entwined levels of a practice. The first level analyses the discursive level, the level of thought or rationality that makes the practice intelligible; the expertise and knowledge that informs and modifies it--for instance pedagogy, psychology, or sociology. The second level, the grid of perception, attempts to understand the processes by which objects of knowledge are constituted through statistics, testing or examining. The third level directs the research effort toward the formation of subject positions, such as suitable way of living, acceptable conduct, or ideas of intelligence. The fourth level analyses the lines of power, the techne of the practice, for instance the disciplinary modes of organising, or the technologies of the self. Gilles Deleuze,'What is a Dispositif?', in Michel Foucault: Philosopher (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992), 159-168, Mitchell Dean, Governmentality: Powerand Rule in Modern Society (London: SAGE Publications, 1999). See also Francis Lee, 'Technopedagogies of Mass-Individualization: Correspondence Education in the Mid 20th Century', History and Technology 24/3 (2008): 239-253.
(7) Michel Foucault, 'Governmentality', in The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, ed. Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon, and Peter Miller (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991), 87-104; Graham Burchell, 'Liberal Government and Techniques of the Self', in Foucault and Political Reason: Liberalism, Neo-Liberalism and Rationalities of Government, ed. Andrew Barry, Thomas Osborne and Nikolas Rose (London: UCL Press, 1996), 19-36; Ian Hunter, 'Assembling the School', in Foucault and Political Reason: Liberalism, Neo-Liberalism and Rationalities of Government, ed. Andrew Barry, Thomas Osborne, and Nikolas Rose (London: UCL Press, 1996), 143-166; Colin Gordon, 'Governmental Rationality: An Introduction', in The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, ed. Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon, and Peter Miller (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991), 1-52; Thomas S. Popkewitz and Marie Brennan, 'Restructuring of Social and Political Theory in Education: Foucault and a Social Epistemology of School Practices', in Foucault's Challenge: Discourse, Knowledge, and Powerin Education, ed. Thomas S. Popkewitz and Marie Brennan (New York and London: Teachers College Press, 1998), 3-38.
(8) Peter Miller and Nikolas Rose, 'Governing Economic Life', Economy and Society 19/1 (1990): 9-10.
(9) Cf. Deleuze, 'What is a Dispositif?'.
(10) Michel Foucault, Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison, second ed. (New York: Vintage Books, 1995).
(11) Michel Foucault, 'Technologies of the Self [Electronic Version]', in Technologies of the Self. A Seminar with Michel Foucault, ed. L. H. Martin and et al (London: Tavistock, 1988), 16-49.
(12) Cf. Ellen L Bunker, 'Gaining Perspective for the Future of Distance Education from Early Leaders', The American Journal of Distance Education 12/2 (1998): 46-53.
(13) In the article coding techniques developed by Strauss and Corbin have been utilised, but the article does not attempt to be a fully-fledged grounded theory approach. What has been in the foreground is the methodology for finding patterns in qualitative data. Anselm Strauss and Juliet Corbin, Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques (London: SAGE, 1990).
(14) To guard against cherry picking each analytical category was supported by multiple subcategories with a number of utterances. The utterances chosen as an illustration in this article are not always typical of the utterances, but are chosen for their illustrative character in bringing out the general pattern of the analytical category or concept.
(15) For a general discussion of educational developments see for example Adrian Wooldridge, Measuring the Mind: Education and psychology in England, c. 1860-1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Hunter, 'Assembling the School'.
(16) 'Pre-Conference Bulletin: International Conference on Correspondence Education', (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, August 22-24 1948). (Henceforth referred to as ICCE 2)
(17) Hunter, 'Assembling the School'.
(18) 'ICCE 2'.
(19) Paula S. Fass, 'The IQ: A Cultural and Historical Framework', American Journal of Education 88, no. 4 (1980), 434.
(20) Ibid, 436.
(21) Ibid, 435.
(22) Patricia Broadfoot, Profiles and Records of Achievement: A Review of Issues and Practice, (London: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1986).
(23) Fass,'The IQ', 437, Hunter, 'Assembling the School', 154-55.
(24) Rose, 'The Gaze of the Psychologist', 142, Walkerdine, 'Developmental Psychology and the Child-Centered Pedagogy'.
(25) The Binet test was the first administrative tool that was designed to connect academic performance to age and an idealised normal performance. The statistical visualisation of the Gaussian curve played a central role in the development of the psychology of individual differences and was related to human intelligence, cognitive abilities, and eugenics through Francis Galton's 1869 work Hereditary Genius. Galton's work opened up for the field of measuring human intelligence: which was materialised in the IQ test that was developed by Alfred Binet in France and brought to popularity in the rest of the world through various networks of actors. See Leon Kamin, The Science and Politics of LQ. (Potomac, Maryland: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Publishers, 1974); Rose, 'The Gaze of the Psychologist'; Wooldridge, Measuring the Mind; Rikard Eriksson, Psykoteknik: Kulturell Fabricering av Personlig Identitet (Stockholm: Carlssons, 1999).
(26) 'ICCE 3', 51.
(27) Ibid, 15
(28) Ibid, 75.
(29) Ibid, 23.
(30) Ibid, 15
(31) 'ICCE 1', 61-62.
(33) Cf. James D. Marshall, Michel Foucault: Personal Autonomy and
Education (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996); Olssen, 'Science and Individualism in Educational Psychology', Mark Olssen, 'Foucault, Educational Research and the Issue of Autonomy', Educational Philosophy and Theory 37/3 (2005): 155-173.
(34) C.B. Macpherson, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967), 263.
(35) 'ICCE 1', 28.
(36) Ibid, 29.
(37) 'ICCE 3', 18-19.
(38) 'ICCE 1', 201.
(39) Ibid, 195.
(40) Ibid, 170.
(41) Ibid, 29.
(42) Ibid, 200.
(43) Ibid, 13.
(44) Cf. Hunter, 'Assembling the School'.
(45) 'ICCE 3', 37.
(46) Ibid, 39.
(47) 'ICCE 1', 191.
(48) 'ICCE 3', 12.
(49) Ibid, 68.
(50) 'ICCE 1', 178.
(51) 'ICCE 3', 40.
(52) Ibid, 48.
(53) 'ICCE 1', 173.
(54) Ibid, 173.
(55) 'ICCE 3', 68.
(56) 'ICCE 1', 176.
(57) 'ICCE 3', 75, 'ICCE 1', 58.
(58) 'ICCE 1', 199.
(59) 'ICCE 3', 62.
(60) 'ICCE 1', 95.
(61) Ibid, 201.
(62) 'ICCE 3', xxix.
(63) 'ICCE 1', 69.
(64) Marshall, Michel Foucault; Olssen, 'Foucault, Educational Research and the Issue of Autonomy'; Macpherson, Political Theory of Possessive Individualism, 3.
(65) 'ICCE 1', 30.
Author: Francis Lee is a Ph.D. Student at the Department of Technology and Social Change at Linkoping University in Sweden. He is currently researching the co-production of technology and pedagogy in distance education from an STS perspective.