STEP BY STEP IN THEOLOGY by Hal and Jean Verman


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The Association Press has published a programmed, self-instruction adaptation of Jack Finegan's First Steps in Theology. On the cover it says that the book is ""an experimental book that works like a teaching machine"". As far back as 1925 a Dr. S. L. Pressey exhibited and discussed for the American Psychological Association a device ""which gives and scores tests and teaches"", and in 1929 Edward Thorndike and Arthur Gates in their Elementary Principles of Education wrote ""If, by a miracle of mechanical ingenuity, a book and be no arranged that only to him who had done what was directed on page one would page two become visible, and so on, much that now requires personal instruction could be managed by print"". The Association Press editors comment that this ""miracle is only now coming to be realized"". If, as the editors suggest, the book's intent is to deepes the reader learner's thinking and to encourage him to find his own personal answers, there is unquestionably value in the approach. But teaching machines or teaching books have definite limitations -- at least as presently developed. They cannot possibly substitute for a teacher student relationship, and this is certainly true in theology. Nevertheless I would suggest that Hal and Jean Vermes' Step by Step in Theology is interesting reading for the student of education the religious educator who must be aware of every technique that has potential teaching value.

Publisher: Association Press