Date of Award

Summer 1967

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dupuis, A. M.

Second Advisor

Shimoniak, Wasyl

Third Advisor

Low, Alfred


The purpose which education is to serve has been a matter of debate among men in all ages. Changes in social and educational conditions are end always have been inevitable. Any examination of history will show them constantly taking place in one way or another, despite the most determined efforts to prevent such an occurrence. The features in the educational procedure of any country or period came into existence as a means of solving the problems that arose in seeking the outcomes thought desirable by the people concerned. Every change was made to overcome some difficulty in attaining an object or a goal which at the time was felt to be important and was consciously pursued by those who realized the need of changing. In the long history of mankind there are those individuals who are immediately recognized as having made great and outstanding contributions to the educative process and to educational thought: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Quintillian, Aquinas, Erasmus, Melanchthon, Comenius, Locke, Pestalozzi, Dewey--the list is endless. There are, on the other hand, those individuals who, for one reason or another, are little known or appreciated for their contributions to education. One such person is the subject of this dissertation: Wolfgang Ratke, innovator and educator of the early seventeenth century. This is a study of the times in which Ratke lived, the philosophy end motives of his proposals in the context of those times, and his efforts to translate his basic concepts into workable educational theories and principles for the benefit of the German people and nation. Ratke's contributions to a new approach in education, while perhaps not entirely original in all instances, nevertheless influenced not only his contemporaries, but many others who followed him, down to the present day.



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