BENEDICT CAREYJUNE 8, 2016 /NYT
他的合作者Eleanor M. Fox确认了他的死讯。
在随后的研究中，他认为心智不是被动的学习者——不是刺激反应的机器——而是一个积极的学习者，能充分发挥动机、本能和意图来塑造理解、以及知觉。他的著作——尤其是1956年与acqueline J. Goodnow 和George A. Austin合著的《思维之研究》A Study of Thinking——激励了一代心理学家，并帮助打破了行为主义在这一领域的统治地位。
杰罗姆·西摩·布鲁纳于1915年10月1日出生在曼哈顿，他是Herman和 Rose Bruner的三个孩子中最小的一个，布鲁纳父母是波兰移民。他的父亲是一个钟表匠，他还有其他的一些工作，他的母亲管理着家庭。他还有一个同父异母的哥哥。
布鲁纳博士毕业于杜克大学，在1937年获得了心理学博士学位，在进入哈佛大学的博士项目之前，他遇到了他的第一任妻子，Katherine Frost，正如他的第二次婚姻，这次婚姻以离婚告终。他的第三个妻子， Carol Feldman，在他之前去世。
纽约大学法学院的教授，福克斯博士，布鲁纳博士幸存的儿子之一，和他的一个女儿，Jane Bruner Mullane，他第一次婚姻女儿，除了他们之外，布鲁纳还有三个孙儿。
Jerome S. Bruner, Who Shaped Understanding of the Young Mind, Dies at 100
BENEDICT CAREYJUNE 8, 2016 /NYT
Jerome S. Bruner in 1983. His work helped break behaviorism’s hold on the study of the mind. Credit Sue Klemens/Associated Press Jerome S. Bruner, whose theories about perception, child development and learning informed education policy for generations and helped launch the modern study of creative problem solving, known as the cognitive revolution, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 100.
His death was confirmed by his partner, Eleanor M. Fox.
Dr. Bruner was a researcher at Harvard in the 1940s when he became impatient with behaviorism, then a widely held theory, which viewed learning in terms of stimulus and response: the chime of a bell before mealtime and salivation, in Ivan Pavlov’s famous dog experiments.
Dr. Bruner believed that behaviorism, rooted in animal experiments, ignored many dimensions of human mental experience. In one 1947 experiment, he found that children from low-income households perceived a coin to be larger than it actually was — their desires apparently shaping not only their thinking but also the physical dimensions of what they saw.
In subsequent work, he argued that the mind is not a passive learner — not a stimulus-response machine — but an active one, bringing a full complement of motives, instincts and intentions to shape comprehension, as well as perception. His writings — in particular the book “A Study of Thinking” (1956), written with Jacqueline J. Goodnow and George A. Austin — inspired a generation of psychologists and helped break the hold of behaviorism on the field.
To build a more complete theory, he and the experimentalist George A. Miller, a Harvard colleague, founded the Center for Cognitive Studies, which supported investigation into the inner workings of human thought.
Much later, this shift in focus from behavior to information processing came to be known as the cognitive revolution.
“He was a psychologist of possibilities,” said Howard Gardner, a professor of psychology at Harvard. “He opened one door of the mind after another, and then moved on to something different.”
Dr. Gardner added, “He was the most important contributor to educational thinking since John Dewey — and there is no one like him today.”
Dr. Bruner’s work made him a sought-after expert on development and education. In the late 1950s, after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first satellite in space, officials and prominent educators called for a deeper commitment to education, particularly in the sciences.
In 1959, federal science agencies convened a meeting of top scholars at Woods Hole, in Massachusetts, to brainstorm about possible reforms. Dr. Bruner, who ran the meeting, summarized participants’ views in “The Process of Education” (1960), a book that quickly became a landmark text in education reform and theory.
“We begin with the hypothesis that any subject can be taught effectively in some intellectually honest form to any child at any age of development,” Dr. Bruner wrote, in what would become one of the most widely quoted lines in education circles.
One idea that emerged from the meeting was the “spiral curriculum,” in which teachers introduce students to topics early, in age-appropriate language, and revisit the same subjects in subsequent years, adding depth and complexity. Many school districts have incorporated that approach, beginning in grade school.
Later, Dr. Bruner drew on his experience at Woods Hole to help design Head Start, the federal program introduced in 1965 to improve preschool development.
In 1972, Dr. Bruner took a position at Oxford University, where, always intellectually restless, he began arguing that cognitive psychology should be broadened to include narrative construction and culture, which also shape the strategies people use to make sense of the world.
“Through Jerome Bruner, the cognitive revolution hit educational thinking, in the United States and around the world,” said Patricia Greenfield, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a former student of his.
Jerome Seymour Bruner was born in Manhattan on Oct. 1, 1915, the youngest of three children of Herman and Rose Bruner, who had immigrated from Poland. His father worked as a watchmaker, among other jobs, and his mother managed the household. He also had an older half brother.
Born blind because of cataracts, he had an experimental operation to restore his vision at age 2. The memory of that explosion of sight and color never left him, friends said, and guided his later thinking about how the mind shapes perception. So, too, did social adaptation: His father died when Jerome was 12, and his mother moved the family to Florida, where he attended a series of high schools.
Dr. Bruner graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology in 1937 before entering a doctoral program at Harvard, where he met his first wife, Katherine Frost. The marriage ended in divorce, as did his second marriage. His third wife, Carol Feldman, died before him.
Besides Dr. Fox, a professor at New York University School of Law, Dr. Bruner is survived by a son, Whitley, and a daughter, Jane Bruner Mullane, both from his first marriage, as well as three grandchildren.
Dr. Bruner wrote or co-wrote a dozen influential books and won a long list of awards in psychology and education. In the 1990s, he became an educational ambassador of sorts, working with preschools in Reggio Emilia, an Italian town near Bologna, and elsewhere. A number of preschools around the world use the Reggio Emilia approach, inspired by Dr. Bruner’s work there.
He finished his career at N.Y.U. as a law professor, using his ideas about thinking, culture and storytelling to analyze legal reasoning and punishment. He retired in 2013.
“He was an anthropologist, really, never comfortable in one field or with one theory,” Dr. Fox said. “He was always looking for broader connections.”
Correction: June 8, 2016
An earlier version of this obituary misstated the number of times Dr. Bruner was divorced. It was twice, not three times; his third marriage, to Carol Feldman, ended with her death.
A version of this article appears in print on June 9, 2016, on page B14 of the New York edition with the headline: Jerome S. Bruner, Psychologist of Learning, Dies at 100.
Jerome S. Bruner, who was born blind and, after having his sight restored, spent the rest of his life trying to understand how the human mind perceives the world, leading to influential advances in education and the development of the field of cognitive psychology, died June 5 at his home in New York City. He was 100.
He had an aortic aneurysm several months ago, said his son, Whitley Bruner, but the exact cause of death was not known.
In the 1950s, when Dr. Bruner was at Harvard University, he was a key figure in advancing the study of psychology beyond the behaviorist theories of B.F. Skinner, which held that people tended to act rationally and in accordance with well-defined rewards and punishments.
During a 70-year academic career, Dr. Bruner was a restless researcher who constantly moved from one field to another. The basis of his work was the study of cognition, or what he called “the great question of how you know anything.” But he freely touched on fields as diverse as music, physics, literature, sociology and the law, drawing connections between cognitive perceptions and judicial decision-making.
“He invaded and created new areas of psychology and the social sciences at the speed other people wrote papers,” Howard Gardner, a psychologist and professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said Tuesday in an interview. “He was part of a generation of intellectual giants who roamed across the disciplinary terrain. Bruner and his colleagues gave us a language to see how we make sense of the world.”
One of Dr. Bruner’s early discoveries led to the “New Look” school of psychology, in which he showed that people’s perceptions of objects and events are often influenced by unseen social and cultural conditions. In one of his most famous experiments, poor children perceived the size of coins to be significantly larger than richer children did; the larger the monetary value of the coin, the bigger it was imagined to be.
That study helped lead Dr. Bruner to conclude that human motivations are far more complex than previously assumed and are subject to emotions, imagination and cultural training. Two of his early books, “A Study of Thinking” (1956) and “The Process of Education” (1960), outlined his ideas and codified them in a system that could be used in teaching.
His notions came at a time when U.S. officials, alarmed by the Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite in 1957, feared that American students were falling behind in science. Dr. Bruner thought scientific principles — or any ideas, for that matter — could be grasped by students of any age, provided they were presented in a way they could understand.
“Any subject can be taught effectively in some intellectually honest form to any child,” he wrote in “The Process of Education,” “providing attention is paid to the psychological development of the child.”
With George A. Miller, Dr. Bruner established the Center for Cognitive Studies in 1960, and it soon became a leading incubator of ideas about psychology, education, language and other fields. Noam Chomsky, the linguistic theorist and social critic, was one of many scholars who began their careers at the center.
During the 1960s, Dr. Bruner was a science adviser to presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and his ideas about early education contributed to the development of Head Start. He went on to develop a “spiral curriculum,” in which complex subjects, including anthropology and science, are reintroduced to students year after year at ever-increasing levels of sophistication.
He drew on that idea to design a social science curriculum that was widely used in schools in the 1960s and 1970s before it encountered political opposition for its cross-cultural references and emphasis on the theory of evolution.
Many of Dr. Bruner’s notions, such as the element of emotion in decision-making, reflect simple common sense, Gardner said. But it took years for academic psychologists to accept some of his ideas.
For the past 30 years, while teaching at New York University’s law school, Dr. Bruner explored the idea of storytelling as a fundamental way of understanding the nature of the world around us. He believed that the choices we make in telling stories “become so habitual that they finally become recipes for structuring experience itself, for laying down routes into memory,” he said in 1987.
“This is a mode of cognition,” Gardner said, “at least as important as STEM” — the science, technology, engineering and mathematics model of instruction that has gained currency in recent years.
“He made narrative a form of thinking,” Gardner added.
Jerome Seymour Bruner was born Oct. 1, 1915, in New York City to Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. He was blind from cataracts at birth, but he underwent surgery at age 2 that gave him limited vision. He wore thick glasses throughout his life.
He was about 12 when his father, a watchmaker, died. But before his death, his father sold his business to Bulova, leaving the family well off.
Dr. Bruner became interested in psychology at Duke University, from which he graduated in 1937. He received master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Harvard in 1939 and 1941, respectively.
During World War II, he held jobs in military intelligence, using his training to examine propaganda. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1945, then left in 1972 to teach at the University of Oxford in England. (He sailed his boat across the Atlantic.)
He returned to the United States in 1980, teaching first at the New School in New York, then joining NYU. He continued to lead occasional seminars on cognitive theories behind the law until he was 98.
His books included “On Knowing: Essays for the Left Hand” (1962) about the importance of spontaneity and intuition in thinking; “In Search of Mind: Essays in Autobiography” (1983); and, with law professor Anthony G. Amsterdam, “Minding the Law” (2000), which examines legal thinking through storytelling and language.
His marriages to Katherine Frost and Blanche Ames Marshall ended in divorce. His third wife, Carol Feldman, died in 2006. Survivors include two children from his first marriage, Whitley Bruner of Vienna, Va., and Jane Mullane of Tewksbury, England; and three grandchildren.
Dr. Bruner thought that a teacher’s primary task was what he called “the mining of human intellectual potential.” Too often, he said, that mission was undercut by well-meaning but poorly designed schools, churches and other institutions that did not understand the needs of children.
“If you construct a classroom in which children must keep their seats,” he said in 1987, “you are assuring that there will be a hyperactivity syndrome.”
The Global Search for Education: Remembering Jerome Bruner
C. M. Rubin
“I have a kaleidoscope of memories of Jerry,” writes Howard Gardner, “sitting with a group of students and colleagues, raising questions in a broader way than most of us would, then asking us to connect the dots, and then offering his own connections, NOT in a way of closing the conversation, but rather encouraging us to stretch our minds, our emotions, our passions; as my colleague Steve Pinker reminded me, making us think that we were at the cusp of clarifying if not resolving issues that others had pondered for generations.”
Gardner is speaking of famed psychologist, professor, education visionary and thought leader Jerome Bruner who died on June 5, 2016 at age 100 in his apartment in Manhattan New York. Bruner received his Doctorate in Psychology from Harvard University and would, throughout his career, be a pioneer in the fields of cognitive and educational psychology. He spent the first decades of his career studying what today we call cognitive psychology, or the study of how people think, perceive, and respond to stimulus. His 1956 book, A Study of Thinking, is widely viewed to have been the formal beginning of the cognitive psychology movement. Following naturally from the path of a man dedicated to studying how people think, Bruner would eventually shift his focus to how people learn.
In The Process of Education (1960), Bruner argued that any subject can be taught to any child at any stage of development, providing the material was presented in a way that did not overwhelm the child’s current developmental stage. He believed that children are naturally curious and have the potential and desire to learn as long as they are introduced to tasks with the correct organization of instruction. When the presentation is too hard, the student becomes bored. A teacher must therefore present schoolwork at the appropriate level. Bruner’s studies of knowledge acquisition in children would eventually coin several educational terms still used by teachers and curriculum designers around the world, such as ‘scaffolding’ and ‘symbolic representation’.
Having gained a deep scientific insight into the paramount importance of well-designed curriculum, Bruner moved beyond theory and proposed his own style of teaching, known as the spiral curriculum. This method would focus on revisiting learned content at set intervals and re-teaching it at a more refined and difficult level. Eventually, learned content from one subject would be used to inform more in depth discussion of content in another subject. This form of education would work to enforce the idea that studies were intrinsically linked with a common thread running through them all.
Bruner would also go on to claim that learning merely to pass a test or avoid punishment was ineffective learning, and that the best and most thorough form of education came when one was taught content in a way that makes it appealing and memorable. Bruner’s many writings on education and curriculum, particularly, Man: A Course of Study, would carve out his place in history as one of the greatest contributors to the educational field in the 20th century. He served on the Science Advisory Committees of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. He was a professor of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford (1972-80) and a professor at the New School for Social Research, New York City, as well as a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities, New York University. Bruner continued to advocate for a more comprehensive and holistic approach to education. He would spend his life trying to change educational systems to focus less on facts and trivia and more on questions like ‘how’ and ‘why’ the world and humans are the way they are.
“The most important lesson we educators learned from “Jerry” or “JSB” is that if you take students of any age seriously, and engage their curiosity and their passions, you can communicate important ideas to them,” says Gardner. “And the idea of the spiral curriculum — where you can over time revisit basic ideas/concepts in ever more complex ways —- is so different from today, where we try to simplify things to lists, or memorization of isolated names and numbers, or multiple choice options, thereby deadening rather than waking up the mind.”
Jerome Bruner served a pivotal role in the educational discourse of our time. He will be sorely missed.