Herbert Spencer

By Hannah Schuurman

Background information

Born in 1820, Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher who denied an education at Cambridge University and did most of his learning through extensive reading. Spencer found little signifigance in religion when it came to his research and would only accept knowledge based solely on scientific evidence. Known as a nonconformist who hated power and loved individuality, Herbert Spencer died in 1903 after becoming a large factor of intellectual development in the victorian era.

Spencer's major impacts on society

  1. Curriculum Theory of Education based on the idea that education should be centered around preparation for further life rather than academic advancement
  2. Developed 5 major objectives of schooling
  • Self preservation
  • performance of occupations
  • child running
  • social and political participation
  • recreation and leisure

3. Believed school should be a slower process of interaction with humans and nature

to gain information naturally

4. Developed the idea of "survival of the fittest"

5. Overall well known in America for his criticism that education does not prepare

children for society, and his political views.