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Thomson, Godfrey Hilton, Sir, 1881-1955 (psychologist and Bell Professor of Education, University of Edinburgh)


Found in 35 Collections and/or Records:

In Praise of Examinations, 22 Apr 1943

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/29
Scope and Contents Thomson defends examinations, discussing their impartiality, fairness, and showing their importance in a democratic society where individuals progress by merit rather than nepotism. Additionally, Thomson also acknowledges the problems of examinations – namely nerves; chance and luck; time pressures on both examinees and examiners; and the inconsistent relationship between examination performance, the school record, and teachers' own ratings. He discusses possible solutions to these...
Dates: 22 Apr 1943

Lecture by Thomson titled A Comparison of English and American Education, 1 Oct 1924

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/1
Scope and Contents Thomson compares the American high school system to the English secondary school system. He argues that there is much to be learned from the American system which, as a result of offering a free education up to 18 for all who wish it and are able, relies on a more varied curriculum which incorporates social and vocational education alongside more academic subjects such as English, Mathematics, classics and science. Thomson reasons that more provision should be made in England for...
Dates: 1 Oct 1924

Lecture regarding examinations, 23 Nov 1949

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/31
Scope and Contents In the lecture, Thomson defends the use of examinations, arguing that they are preferable to nepotism. In addition, he identifies the problems of examinations, and how these may or have been resolved, including those of reliability and continuity of standards. Thomson discusses the merits of internal versus external examination, giving examples from Scotland, England and Germany, and referencing some of his own experience both as a member of a School Certificate Examination Board...
Dates: 23 Nov 1949

Propaganda, c1930s

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/3/4
Scope and Contents The lecture regards the problem of propaganda in school. Thomson defines what he sees as propaganda and its methods, and discusses whether teachers, who have an advantage over their less mature students, can avoid propaganda, and if so, how. He gives a few examples of controversial subjects that should or should not be covered in school. The lecture is on the one side of the manuscript, with the other containing a typescript of an incomplete poem regarding education and scholarship...
Dates: c1930s

Quiller Couch, 24 Jun 1927

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/5
Scope and Contents The notes would suggest the lecture was very similar in content to The Food of the Gods, with the addition of an Arthur Quiller Couch quotation at the beginning.
Dates: 24 Jun 1927

Research Committees and Research Workers, 14 Oct 1953

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/35
Scope and Contents Thomson outlines his ideals for educational research, which he feels is at its best when conducted by an individual investigating fundamental educational problems. He acknowledges that modern research is in reality constrained by input from collaborators or funders. Thomson discusses how research bodies such as the National Foundation and the Scottish Council for Research in Education can help the researcher in a variety of ways, including not limiting the researcher with too many or too...
Dates: 14 Oct 1953

Research in Education, 19 Jan 1929

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/8
Scope and Contents Thomson outlines the problems and difficulties in Educational research, and how these can be resolved. These include the difficulty of selecting a representative group (the selection fallacy) and the importance of using suitable control groups in experimental work. Thomson also discusses the difficulty of co-operation with schools, particularly state or public schools, and the need for resources to be dedicated to research. He expounds upon the usefulness of...
Dates: 19 Jan 1929

Scholarship, Culture, and Vocation: educational Ideals at home and abroad, 31 Jan 1930

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/3/1
Scope and Contents The address discusses the apparent schism between scholarship, culture, and vocation, with Thomson making the case that a good education needs to contain aspects of all three in order to produce a whole individual. He illustrates his points with examples of education from around the world. In relation to this, Thomson discusses the project method, which involves students working together using individual skills, the folkhighschool...
Dates: 31 Jan 1930

Schulaufbau und Lehrerbildung in England und Schottland [Educational structure and teacher education in England and Scotland], 1933

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/22
Scope and Contents Contains Thomson's typed and handwritten notes, and the final published transcript of the lecture.

The lecture compares the English and Scottish education systems both to each other and to the German system. Thomson discusses private and public schools; examinations; the eleven plus; grammar and modern education; religious schools; and methods of teaching, such as the Dalton Plan.
Dates: 1933

Some National Problems of Today: Education, 18 Jan 1930

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/14
Scope and Contents Thomson outlines some current problems in education, the most pressing of these arising from the raising of the school leaving age to 15. He briefly alludes to how the practical problems of the supply of specialist teachers and of buildings could meet the increased demand, before outlining his opinion on what secondary education should entail. He highlights the need for both vocational and cultural education in schools to ensure pupils of all abilities are prepared for the working world,...
Dates: 18 Jan 1930