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Instruction as a Field of Study

Throughout the 20th century, educators used teaching and instruction interchangeably. Even in current literature, the distinctions are often unclear. In general terms, teaching tends to place the teacher's thinking and acting at the center of scholarly attention, whereas instruction focuses on the conditions of learning and the psychological proclivities of the learner as a resource for the teacher. Throughout the 20th century, the concept of instruction evolved within a systems approach to planning for curriculum content and teaching. Through the doctrine of behaviorism, instruction became associated with a production system for efficiency, social conditioning, and accountability. By mid-century, instruction became a technological outgrowth of scientific management and research, with emphasis not only on the teacher's actions and student achievement, but also on conditions that contribute ...

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