skip to main content skip to footer

General Systems Theory as the Basis for a Theory of Instruction

Kopstein, Felix F.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Educational Theories, Instruction, Learning Theories, Systems Analysis


This memorandum is based on a paper prepared for the meetings of the Society for General Systems Research—AAAS, Symposium on General Systems Theory and Research in Berkeley, California on December 30, 1965. The author proposes and discusses a general theory of process as equivalent to problem solving and to a methodology of design. He points out that a methodological theory of instruction is at variance with most extant theories of learning, notes that recent developments (e.g., programmed instruction and its amplifications in computer guided instruction) have intuitively adopted much of the methodology of systems, and indicates that their further development would seem to require an explicit recognition of their systems character and an alignment of instruction theory with general systems theory.

Read More