Michael Scriven--Professor of Philosophy, Associate Director of The Evaluation Center, and Interdiscipinary Ph.D. in Evaluation Program Director, WMU
Evaluation Center: January 23, 2007
In 1960, O.K. Moore, a professor at Yale, was running--and getting considerable publicity about--the "talking typewriter" experiment at a preschool in New Haven. The children were becoming competent touch typists and learning spelling and composition on a couple of mainframe-driven electric IBM typewriters with a tape-drive attachment--and enjoying the experience. In 2001, Larry Cuban, a professor at Stanford, published a book (Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom) in which he concluded that computers, although now ubiquitous, had made no discernible contribution to literacy or other academic subjects. There is no reference in his index to Moore or his work; it has vanished from the radar. There are other cases like this. What is the real truth? And what can we learn from this extraordinary story of paradox and prejudice? It turns out to be a story with shocking implications for business as well as education.