Educators State Devices Will Not Replace Teacher

Various officials in the School of Education yesterday seemed to favor the use of machines as a classroom supplement, but not as a substitute for the teacher. The question was raised by an article printed yesterday on the theory of B.F. Skinner, professor of Psychology.

Francis Keppel '38, Dean of the Faculty of Education, emphasized that Skinners' teaching machines were proposed to add efficiency to the present educational system, not to solve the problem of teacher scarcity. Under Skinner's program, a teacher would handle the same number of pupils, he said.

The School of Education is co-operating completely in machine experimentation at the high school and primary school levels, Keppel said. Results so far have led to "optimistic concusions," indicating that machines "will undoubtedly be used as a helpful supplement to our present resources" in the future.

However, it is "silly" to think of them as a substitute for teachers, he emphasized, since "the personal relationship is the only proper one between an eager student and his instructor."

Machines might even be used to emphasize personal relationships in education, Douglas Porter, instructor in Education, indicated. Besides sparing the teacher the time involved in correcting papers or in teaching mechanics like multiplication or spelling, the machines does unpleasant tasks. It tells pupils when they are wrong.