Jerome Seymour Bruner, one of the primary drivers of the “cognitive revolution” in psychology in the 1960s and an active scholar, died June 5. He was 100.
Through his groundbreaking 1959 book, The Process of Education, and others, Bruner led a new focus on education through social interactions and the need to understand how both culture and content affect learning. He found much of his own public schooling “boring” and passionately argued against viewing children as “blank slates” to be filled with facts, as many behaviorist theories of learning held at the time.
Bruner co-founded and served as the director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard and also was on the faculty of Oxford University in England. He served as a president of the American Psychological Association, which gave him a Distinguished Scientific Award. As an outgrowth of his belief that children can learn at any age, he became a key architect of the federal Head Start program.
A version of this article appeared in the July 20, 2016 edition of Education Week as Obituary