The works of many scholars in education have been investigated to see how the field has been defined through the centuries. In order to inform today’s theorists, educational and instructional designers, educators, and learners — the central question is this: “Is there a descriptive map of the field to define its nature and parameters?” The quest is to search for the big picture as it has unraveled, or rather deployed, through time — to track the progression of thought about the nature of education. What were and are the perceptions of the objectives of education? To conclude this chapter, a synthesis is presented to indicate how current theories are inadequate to describe the broad reach of the field.

Liberal Arts

            Aristotle (384-322 B.C), in his work Politics, VIII, 3, formalizes one of the most prevailing notions in education of the Western Culture. He said: “To be always seeking after the useful does not become free and exalted souls” (Cole, 1972, p.14). Cole (p.14) expands upon this idea of how the study of utilitarian things was viewed, “Music receives Aristotle’s chief attention, as the typically liberal study, pursued for its own sake rather than for an external end. Gymnastics are illiberal in so far as they are introduced for the sake of military efficiency. The Greeks recognized a liberal element in mathematics; and gradually expanded the school curriculum until it became standardized as the seven liberal arts — grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy. Thus, the Greeks reduced utilitarian studies to the indispensable minimum.” It was not industry that was valued, but the contemplation of time and existence, and it was not through utilitarian education that this goal could be achieved. For this reason the Greeks consciously excluded or minimized utilitarian subjects from the curriculum (Cole, p.15). In contrast with today, Cole (p.15) stated that “while modern schools incite pupils to work, Greek schools incited them only to virtue.”

            This concept of the best education being non-utilitarian has held fast through the Middle Ages. Even today many elitist schools hold to this definition of what education is, as expressed in liberal arts colleges with a non-utilitarian emphasis.

            Quintilian (A.D.35-95) expressed the aim of education as follows: “The aim is indeed to produce a Roman wise man, one who mingles in political action, as well as in the discussions of the schools. The orator need not belong to any philosophical sect; but should learn what is good from all. He is not a mere philosopher, since he must needs be acquainted with natural philosophy, ethics, and dialectics, including logic” (Cole, 1972, p. 61). He believed that “it is not mere acquisition of facts that is important, but the habit of logical reasoning” (Smith, 1979, p. 41).

            Preceding and during the time of Quintilian, the influence of Greek culture had become entrenched in Roman education, and as late as 92 B.C. there was still opposition to the non-utilitarian nature that the Greeks had introduced to Roman education, but this new education gained popularity, and Augustus retained the teachers of the liberal arts when he expelled all other foreigners from Rome (Cole, 1972, p. 59).

            The early Christian schools centered their education on religion, and reading and writing were not well taught (Cole, 1972, p. 90). “Yet a knowledge of Virgil and of Tacitus was obviously indispensable to the grammarian and to the rhetorician, and indeed to all who could claim to be educated, whether Christian or not” (Cole, p. 93). The map of education was prescriptive, with an immediate division between utilitarian and non-utilitarian or liberal. The liberal education was then further divided into the seven liberal arts. The famous Anglo-Saxon educator, Alcuin (735-804), regarded the seven liberal arts “as essential to wisdom” (Cole, p. 119).

            A typical university education during the Middle Ages consisted of “theology, Aristotle, civil and canon law, the seven liberal arts, and medicine” (Cole, 1972, p. 156). Logic and oration were prominent during the Middle Ages at universities since it was seen that the mission of the university was to “draw students to their greatest rational potential” (Cass, 1974, p. 20).

            Locke very aptly described why the classics remained so firmly entrenched in education. He says, “Scholastic inertia tended to perpetuate the reign of the classics. Schoolmasters had studied little else themselves; for other fields they possessed no suitable implements, no stock of perfected methods, no established course of study. This argument, however weak in logic, was potent in practice” (Cole, 1972, p.231).

Beyond Intellect — Character Education

            Throughout the ages, there has been a constant return to the concept of character education. This approach extended beyond the acquisition of knowledge — relating to matters of the soul and the heart.

            Sir Thomas Elyot (1490 - 1546) did not propose a class-conscious education, but the best possible education for all. To him, the ideal childhood education should have a period of training in “sweet manners and virtuous customs” and that children should be taught in “a most gentle manner.” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 143).

            During the Reformation new views about education became prominent. The Calvinist education had a distinct character and can be described as follows: “Such qualities as industry, rigid exactness, moral training, conscientiousness, universality in the sense that the schools were for all rather than for the few, as well as a certain contentiousness and love of argumentation, may be enumerated as permanent characteristics of Calvinistic or Puritan education” (Cole, 1972, p. 196).

            Johann Heinrich Alsted (1588-1638) expressed the popular notion of young minds being a clean slate. He said, “Men are by nature like a tabula rasa, on which nothing is written, and on which anything you please may be inscribed. Therefore, O ye schools, inscribe the characters of piety and humanity!” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 173). This concept of a tabula rasa was popular among other scholars like John Locke as well. Alsted further said, “Ye schools, have therefore well-skilled sculptors, to model man, and remodel him as a progressive revelation of the image of God!” (Cole, 1972, p. 212). Beyond the concept of a clean slate, the strong emphasis on the development of the young person’s morals was a consistent message with educational thinkers.

            Comenius (1592-1671) expressed the same concept when he said, “From infancy, he maintained, children are to be trained in godliness, always according to their capacity and by mild means. Such an education, united with the elements of all the sciences, might renew the kingdom of God upon the earth” (Cole, 1972, p. 219). Comenius was modern in his thinking about how to learn. He suggested that “pupils might teach each other what they have learnt, and they might have competitions between themselves” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 196). In his many views about children’s education he was a strong believer in teaching children piety and virtues. He said, “The whole household should present to the child good examples of temperance, neatness, cleanliness, courtesy, and honesty, because children are imitative” (Curtis & Boltwood, p. 204-5).

            John Locke (1632-1704) stressed the character building role of education. He said, “Virtue is harder to be got than knowledge of the world, and if lost in a young man, is seldom recovered” (Cole, 1972, p. 225). His view of the key aspects of education is supposed to be, is as follows: “The essentials in education of a gentleman’s son are (1) virtue, (2) wisdom, (3) breeding, (4) learning” (Cole, p. 227). About breeding he had the following to add, “The tincture of company sinks deeper than the outside” (Cole, p. 227). In his work Some Thoughts, he “ranks vigor of the body as a main aim of education together with his other main aims — morality and knowledge” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 237).

            Rousseau (1712-1778) as an educational philosopher had a vital impact upon many scholars after him. He is known for his views that it is culture that corrupts humans. He viewed education as follows, “As plants are formed by cultivation, so men are formed by education” (Cole, 1972, p. 233). He further stated that “The child’s mind is plastic; but should not be misused by engraving upon it the names of kings, dates in history, terms in heraldry, astronomy, and geography” (Cole, p. 239).

            Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) explains the need for moral education as follows, “But is man by nature morally good or bad? He is neither, for he is not by nature a moral being. He only becomes a moral being when his reason has developed ideas of duty and law. One may say, however, that he has a natural inclination to every vice, for he has inclinations and instincts which would urge him one way, while his reason would drive him in another” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 296). In Kant’s theory “moral and aesthetic truths are self evident” and that “all humans recognize them as being characteristic of humanness” (Cass, 1974, p. 37).

            Robert Owen (1771-1858) was an enlightened humanist, and as a successful businessman he reduced the work week, abolished child labor, introduced pensions, public recreational facilities, and did many more things to address the plight of the poor. In his views the principal aim of education is the building of a moral character (Smith, 1979, p. 171).

            Johann Herbart (1776-1841) as a philosopher did not gain the same measure of prominence as his contemporaries Kant and Hume, but his contributions were profound. As an educational philosopher “held that the purpose of education was virtue” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 359).

            Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) also stresses the moral essence of education. He says, “It is not improbable that human nature includes an original or innate sense of right and wrong”(Cole, 1972, p. 263). According to Froebel, character is built upon “the realization of the oneness of all things with God. Character is developed by putting forth the best in our natures, which leads to appropriate return upon ourselves” (Cole, p. 272).

            Dewey (1859-1952) joins so many educational philosophers before him in supporting the role of moral education. “He pours scorn on systems which claim to have the development of character as the main aim, and yet treat the main part of school work as having nothing to do with character” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 490). He concludes about such a system that “not the teaching as such, but the reinforcement of it by the whole régime of which it was an incident, made it effective” (Curtis & Boltwood, p. 490).

            Derek Bok, former president of Harvard, argues that we have serious social problems in society that higher education does not address. To solve these national problems he suggests that we need a citizenry who share a strong sense of moral and civic responsibility. As with the many scholars through the ages, the mission of character building, citizenship, and moral development runs through virtually all educational philosophies. According to Bok, even though universities paid lip service to educating moral citizens of a free society, they did little to achieve this goal (Beaty, 2002).

Utilitarian Education

            Through the ages an understanding of the need for a utilitarian education has improved, yet it is still treated with mental reservation by many educators. Augustus Francke (1663 - 1727) believed in free universal education for all children. His efforts helped shape the school system of today’s Germany. He founded the Volksschule for little children, the Gymnasium for tuition-paying children, and a more science-based school, the Pädagogium. He pioneered the establishment of a teachers’ training college. Christopher Semler, on his staff, at the University of Halle, and Julius Hecker, one of his students, shaped the Realschule, which was the practical alternative to schools centered on studying the classics. These new schools taught practical subjects like “mechanics, modern languages, architecture, drawing, anatomy, natural sciences, accounting, mining, and manufacturing processes” (Smith, 1979, p. 122). To this day there is a class-consciousness associated with there different educational options. The non-utilitarian emphasis is more elitist, and those of lesser intellectual means are seen as suitable candidates for utilitarian schooling.

            Robert Owen believed in teaching character. He also believed that technical and vocational subjects were important (Smith, 1979, p. 173).

            About Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) it was said that

“learning had come to be regarded as a decoration, an ornament, comparable to the useless trinkets beloved of savages, rather than as a philosopher’s stone to be applied to the practical problems of life. ‘We are guilty of something like a platitude when we say that throughout his after-career, a boy, in nine cases out of ten, applies his Latin and Greek to no practical purposes.’ But people feel that they must conform to public opinion. A boy must have ‘the education of a gentleman’. A girl must have ‘accomplishments’, dancing, deportment, the piano, singing, drawing, and it is thought ladylike to have a knowledge of French and German. Deference is paid to the opinion of others, rather than to the intrinsic value of knowledge” (Cole, 1972, p. 274).

            Spencer felt that science was the knowledge of most value to humanity. He says, “Science not only underlies all that is best and worth while in life, but it trains the memory in a casual and not in a mechanical way; cultivates powers of judgement, constantly exercising the individual reason; it exercises sincerity and perseverance, and encourages true religion and virtue. With Huxley, Spencer fought a hard but winning battle for the place of science in education” (Cole, 1972, p. 277). In opposition to Spencer’s science dominated curriculum, other educational thinkers of the time like T. H. Huxley and J. S. Mill believed that “a balanced curriculum should contain both literary and scientific studies” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 428).

            Dewey is known for emphasizing the need for problem-driven education. He is of the opinion that a person “starts thinking when circumstances offer a choice of routes to a desired goal, he starts thinking whenever a problem arises” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 480). Some of the essence of Dewey’s views about education could be described as a “pluralistic, problem-solving, relative, democratic system” (Cass, 1974, p. 59). Smith (1979, p. 189) provides a good synopsis of some of the main points of Dewey’s views of education. He says, “Dewey believed that public education, properly administered, could improve society, that the ideal school should be a miniature, purified society of its own, that education should develop fully the individual’s interest so that he could participate efficiently in his school and community, that the student should make use of construction, tools, games, and play, observation of nature, self-expression (not mere obedience to other people), and purposive activities as the proper means of learning and self-development, that students should learn about social institutions and ways of living by means of reasonable participation and work in school and community, and, finally, that education exists to perpetuate the institutions, customs, skills, and knowledge transmitted from one generation to succeeding generations.”

            Hare (2002) expressed Dewey’s understanding of context within education as follows, “Dewey, it is true, did as much as anyone to explain and promote the value of reflective thinking in schooling, but as he put it himself, “thinking cannot, of course, go on in a vacuum; suggestions and inferences can occur only to a mind that possesses information as to matters of fact.” He labeled as false any opposition between information and understanding, and held that "the real desideratum is getting command of scholarship — or skill — under conditions that at the same time exercise thought.”

            Michael Beaty (2002) discussed the philosophical views of educator, Derek Bok. He reported that Bok emphasizes that in higher education the focus is on “(1) new discoveries, (2) highly trained personnel, and (3) expert knowledge.”

Holistic or Whole-Person Education

            Throughout the ages many scholars had a holistic view of education. They included many of the essential components that any good education is meant to address.

            Diderot (1713-1784) expanded on the purpose of education in his Plan d’une Université pour le Gouvernement de Russie. He said,

“But what is the (true) aim? — . . . it is to give the sovereign zealous and faithful subjects, to the Empire serviceable citizens, to society educated, honorable, and even lovable individuals; to the family good husbands and good fathers; to the republic of letters certain men of good judgment, and to religion edifying, enlightened, and peaceable ministers.” (Cole, 1972, p. 244)

            Diderot believed the university should be open to all, because, he says, “the number of cottages and other individual residences being to that of palaces in the relation of ten thousand to one, the betting is a thousand to one that genius, talents, and virtue will spring rather from a cottage than a palace” (Cole, 1972, p. 245).

            Pestalozzi (1746-1827) saw the domains of education as belonging to “three groups, the intellectual, the practical or technical, and the moral” (Cole, 1972, p. 256, and Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 338). “Pestalozzi distinguishes between the natural man, guided by his inclinations, the social man, guided by law, and the moral man, guided by principle” (Cole, p. 257). Another way in which his views have been expressed is that education “falls into three categories, experiences affecting the head, experience affecting the hand, and experiences affecting the heart” (Cass, 1974, p. 46). This approach by Pestalozzi to identify the domains of education is akin to the central focus of this dissertation, which is the exploration of the domains that are encompassed by education.

            Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) did a comparative study of education in England versus education on the European continent. He greatly influenced the restructuring of England’s education system. Arnold was much interested in the role of culture in education. He saw it as “a study of perfection” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 456). Like unto religion, he believed that culture “places human perfection as an internal condition” (Curtis & Boltwood, p. 457). He recognized the moral element in human nature that religion addresses, but he believed that culture goes beyond this; that it addresses the greatness of humanity — that spiritual condition worthy to excite love, interest, and admiration” (Curtis & Boltwood, p. 457). He concludes that “culture with its gifts of sweetness and light is dependent on education” (Curtis & Boltwood, p. 459). His view then of education was to unify the stratified layers of English society through education in promoting both sweetness and light, or in an interpreted fashion, love and truth. In a time when the value of the study of natural science became popular due to scholars like Spencer, Huxley, et al., he raised this thought-provoking issue: “To have the power of using, which is the thing wished, these data of natural science, a man must, in general, have first been in some measure moralized” (Curtis & Boltwood, p. 461).

            Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) formed his school on the principle of freedom for the pupil. He believed that with love, pupils should be instructed in intellectual, emotional, and moral issues” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 500, and Smith, 1979, p. 192).

            Dewey stressed the value of community. He said, “To learn to be human is to develop through the give-and-take of communication an effective sense of being an individually distinctive member of a community” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 475). He places value on the conditions of freedom and amity that have to exist.

The Scientific Approach

            Comenius is remembered for breaking with a tradition that stretched back for one millennium. He countered the notion that the natural sciences should be studied incidentally to the classics” (Cole, 1972, p. 219).

            In the early part of the 20th century, many American scholars viewed the scientific approach to be at the heart of finding knowledge. They felt “artistic and moral values are self-evident or that they are mere habits or customs, patterns of conditioned responses” (Cass, 1974, p. 55).

            The emphasis on the scientific method as a basis for education came as part of the Renaissance as the field of scientific discoveries blossomed, and these developments inspired new thinking. Scholars like T. H. Huxley and J. S. Mill, and H. Spencer promoted the importance of science as a foundation in education. Spencer, for example, argued that science should be the central emphasis of education. The scientific method operates within the domains of Fundamentals and Instructions.

The -isms

            In the 19th and 20th centuries many new philosophical and educational approaches were introduced. Some of the major philosophical movements of the 20th century took an approach to address the how in living and learning. Some of these movements include Existentialism, Behaviorism, Gestalt Theory, Cognitivism, and Constructivism. These theoretical approaches to education are not discussed in this dissertation, because they do not focus on the what (descriptive realm) in education, but on the how (prescriptive realm). The results of this investigation will, however, inform the adherents of these diverse theoretical approaches, it will formalize and clarify the different contextual environments within education. This contextualization will better expose the particular needs within a specific educational event.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

            The taxonomy of educational objectives proposed by Bloom (1913-1999) and associates in the late ‘50s provides a triadic model of instruction. This broad view of education delineated all educational objectives to be directed to at least one of the following: the psycho-motor domain, the cognitive domain, and the affective domain. Bloom’s taxonomy is frequently quoted in research and seen as an essential departure point in education. Several scholars have suggested the expansion of Bloom’s taxonomy.

            Holleman (1985) proposed a fourth domain to be added to Bloom’s taxonomy, namely induction. He argued that actual induction into tasks for which students are being prepared are not covered under the three domains of Bloom’s taxonomy. The domain of Fundamentals, introduced in Chapter III, addresses to some extent the concept of induction.

            Huit (1996) stated that “psychology has traditionally identified and studied three components of mind: cognition, affect, and conation.” In this dissertation it is argued that the conative domain is an important domain within the realm of psychology. Under the heading “A Broad Perspective,” later in this chapter, the integration of the conative domain into the proposed model will be explained.

            Romiszowski (1999, pp. 462-3) also proposed a fourth domain to be added to Bloom’s taxonomy. He said there is, “the potential for redefinition of the universe of learning objectives into more than three traditionally accepted domains, adding a fourth domain related to the interpersonal skills area. This gives a model with four content-related domains.”


            The review of literature presented many different traditions in educational thinking. The following paragraphs will give a brief synopses of these traditions, culminating in a broad perspective of the field in order to consider the contributions of scholars thus far in establishing a map of educational objectives.

            Utilitarian education did not rise to prominence until the Renaissance. Since then the concept has been rendered in diverse ways. In some educational settings it is integrated along with liberal arts education, and in other settings the pupil has to choose, either a liberal arts education, or a utilitarian-centered education. This form of education centers on the acquisition of problem-solving skills. In the FIT model this type of education belongs to the domain of Fundamentals and Instructions.

            In the review of literature, character education has been emphasized as a key objective of education. It is often discussed in the context of the liberal arts, but it is also treated independently of liberal arts. This type of education centers on the development of the human soul, rather than the mastery of a particular skill. In the FIT model, character education would belong to the domain of Teachings, yet it includes components of Fundamentals and Instructions (detailed in Chapter III).

            The notion of a non-utilitarian Liberal Arts education as a superb education has prevailed from the earliest times in recorded history. The review of literature indicates that from the earliest times through to modern times, a non-utilitarian Liberal Arts education has remained a strong contender as a choice for receiving a good education.

            The content of a Liberal Arts education fits under all three domains. Liberal arts as a field, depends on Fundamental skills to be in place to be a worthy student candidate to enter into this field. It strives to build reflective skills needed for problem solving, and liberal arts reflects on the nature of the human condition. This notion is supported by the following quote. The president of Williams College in Massachusetts, John E. Sawyer (1961), said in his induction address that

no education which truly aspires to be a preparation for living can afford to ignore the fundamental continuities that exist between the cultivation of specific areas of specialized knowledge, expertise or skill (without which we could scarcely endure) and that more fundamental and wide-ranging attempt to penetrate by our reason the very structures of the natural world, to evoke the dimensions and significance of the beautiful, to reach towards an understanding of what it is to be human, of one's position in the universe, and of one's relations with one's fellows, moral no less than material.

            The scientific method is the basis for educational research. This approach appeals to proof, to what we can objectively verify. This logical approach to what we know dominates the approach of many disciplines within education.

            The concept of a holistic education was addressed by a number of scholars throughout the ages. This approach considered the wide variety of educational options, and proposed what was deemed as essential and relevant. The following concepts and focal areas are repeated, based on quotations for scholars mentioned earlier in this chapter. The listing of each scholar’s quotation is followed by a the domain or domains of the proposed FIT model to which it pertains:

            Diderot suggested that the purpose of education is as follows (Cole, 1972, p. 244):

          it is to give the sovereign zealous and faithful subjects (Teachings)

          to the Empire serviceable citizens (Teachings and Instructions)

          to society educated, honorable, and even lovable individuals (Teachings)

          to the family good husbands and good fathers (Teachings and Instructions)

          to the republic of letters certain men of good judgment (Fundamentals, Instructions, and Teachings)

          to religion edifying, enlightened, and peaceable ministers (Teachings)

            Pestalozzi’s (1746-1827) perception of the domains of education as falling into three groups (Cole, 1972, p. 256, and Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 338), namely

          the intellectual (Fundamentals and Instructions)

          the practical or technical (Fundamentals and Instructions)

          the moral (Teachings)

            Another way in which his views have been expressed is that education divides into three categories (Cass, 1974, p. 46),

          experiences affecting the head (Fundamentals and Instructions)

          experience affecting the hand (Fundamentals and Instructions)

          experiences affecting the heart (Teachings)

            Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) recognized the moral element in human nature that religion addresses, but he believed that culture goes beyond this; that it addresses the greatness of humanity — that spiritual condition worthy to excite love, interest, and admiration” (Curtis, 1961, p. 457). He concludes that “culture with its gifts of sweetness (Teachings) and light (Instructions) is dependent on education” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 459). His view then of education was to unify the stratified layers of English society through education in promoting both sweetness and light, or in an interpreted fashion, love (Teachings) and truth (Instructions).

            Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) formed his school on the principle of freedom for the pupil. He believed that with love (Teachings), pupils should be instructed in intellectual (Fundamentals and Instructions), emotional, and moral issues (Teachings)” (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 500, and Smith, 1979, p. 192).

            Dewey stressed the value of community. He said, “To learn to be human is to develop through the give-and-take of communication an effective sense of being an individually distinctive member of a community” (Fundamentals, Instructions, and Teachings) (Curtis & Boltwood, 1961, p. 475). Dewey places value on the conditions of freedom and amity that have to exist.

The Big Picture of Educational Objectives

            All these approaches, and the diverse possibilities within them, aid the perception that education is a diverse matter, yet it does not provide a clear map to the objectives of education. As is often the case, this investigation does not propose to have found something that nobody has ever seen before, but it does claim to redefine the perspective and the conceptual approach to that which has been known for centuries. It is precisely the ability to put known material in a new perspective that clarifies the coherence, the synthesis, and the context that has been there all along, yet it was not recognized.

            When Bloom (1956) suggested the three domains, in what is known today as Bloom’s taxonomy, it was not a new concept that had not been on the lips of other scholars. Pestalozzi presented these concepts some 150 years prior to Bloom when he described education as pertaining to “the head, the hand, and the heart” (Cass, 1974, p. 46). This seems to be a close mapping to the taxonomy that Bloom and his colleagues suggested, namely cognitive (the head), affective (the heart), and psychomotor (the hand).

            In considering which terms to use to describe the objectives of education, the first argument proposed is that the three domains from Bloom’s taxonomy are not the only domains to be considered, but that there are two additional domains. The second argument is that these five domains are the domains of human faculties and not the most suited terms to describe the objectives of education. They are thus not rejected or diminished in their value, but they are recast within the objectives of education as presented in this dissertation.

The Two Domains Omitted by Bloom’s Taxonomy

            The view of the individual could set independent of a social context, or it could be set in the context of the social context. The domain pertinently applicable to the individual including the social context would be the socio-communicative domain. A focus on the individual independent of the social context would include four domains, namely the cognitive, the affective, the psychomotor, and the conative domain.

The Socio-communicative Domain

            The individual’s ability to communicate understanding of instructions would belong to the cognitive domain. If I say four, four, with an answer of 16, versus four, four, and an answer of one, it would be within the cognitive domain that the understanding would occur and from where the explanation would be forthcoming.

            The issue of human relationships and the ability to work with people is part of the socio-communicative domain. Like with any of these five domains, mental ability is like the electricity that drives them all. In other words, the cognitive, the affective, the psychomotor, and the conative domains might be involved in some form in the socio-communicative domain, but it does not diminish the value of the latter domain. The challenge is to understand how they integrate in diverse contexts.

            As a comparison, we might consider how electricity could be used to produce heat, generate light or create motion. These are profoundly different phenomena driven by the same power. So does mental power drive these different domains.

            Some people might be gifted in the other domains, but lack in the socio-communicative domain. If we create a caricature of some highly gifted computer programmers, we might stereotypically be looking at a male programmer who likes to be set up in the basement without any bright lights. This person might be gifted intellectually (cognitive), stable emotionally (affective), skilled in sports (psychomotor), and be self-regulated and displaying impressive volition to succeed (conative). Yet, this person might be found lacking in the ability to display a prosocial behavior and to relate well to others (socio-communicative). This caricature helps to isolate the socio-communicative domain.

The Conative Domain

            The conative domain refers to the individual’s measure to employ self-regulation and volition to strive towards a goal (Huitt, 1999). Huitt (1999) also claims that “conation refers to the connection of knowledge and affect to behavior.” As mentioned above, the individual can develop the conative domain independent of a social context. The conative domain has some differences with the three domains mentioned in Bloom’s taxonomy. These three domains are like working environments in which the growth of new knowledge and experience takes place. The conative domain seems to be seated at a deeper level and acts as a force from within the learner to self-regulate, to strengthen resolve, and to persevere. It is a human-centered quality — in other words, this is what the person brings to the table as a key trait to succeed in the quest for learning and accomplishment.

            The following scenario would help the reader to see the conative domain as a domain that can exist independently. A seasoned hiker decided to cross Alaska on foot during the summer. He got stuck on a remote plain with little provisions left. Some local Inuit people crossed his path and invited him to forego his determination to go west and to join them on their trek southward. Emotionally he was drained, logically he could not justify that what he was doing made any sense — either in the possibility for him to survive the ordeal, or in why he needed to do so, yet with an unexplained resolve he refused their offer and continued on his westward trek.

The Five Domains of Human Faculties

            A fundamental argument of this dissertation is that the five domains mentioned above (cognitive, affective, conative, psychomotor, and socio-communicative) are not best described as domains of the objectives of education, but rather as the five domains of human faculties (DHFs). The next chapter introduces three domains, presented as the domains of educational objectives. It is within these three domains that the five DHFs operate.

            Over the centuries there has been a dualistic approach to education, one side relating to the intellect, and the other side relating to morals and character. The FIT model will place concept of the objectives of education in a new light as it is juxtaposed with the five DHFs. The models presented in the subsequent chapters of this dissertation will not detract from the value of these DHFs, but it will integrate them into a new frame of reference, creating a new map of educational objectives.