Focus on Special Collections: Jerome Bruner’s MACOS Curriculum Project

Christina Egan, cataloguing the MACOS materials

I consider myself very fortunate to be able to collaborate with some of the most wonderful people in the world – not just researchers but also the librarians who I work with everyday. My most recent collaboration has been with our cataloguers, Christina Egan and Dianne Stacey.  Christina and Dianne have just finished cataloguing one of the most interesting of our Special Collections, Jerome Bruner’s MACOS or Man: A Course of Study Curriculum Project. The materials were donated to the library by Mr. Barry D.Varley-Tipton (see: in July 2013.

Man:  A Course of Study (commonly referred to by the acronym MACOS or M.A.C.O.S) is the brainchild of the American psychotherapist and Harvard academic Jerome Bruner. Bruner believed that it was possible to teach children to be more humane and eliminate racism and ethnocentrism by studying another culture closely. He also believed that you can teach children complicated ideas using the ‘spiral curriculum’ method which, simply put, introduces the same theme in increasing complexity over a period of time.

The successes of this collaborative Special Collections project have been partly due to our shared  interest in making this material available more widely. I am indebted to Christina for masterminding the inclusion of additional terms which enhance the catalogued records and which will make it easier for the user to find additional online content. Not only did Christina and Dianne ensure that the catalogue records contain all the necessary bibliographic and descriptive information as is custom and practice – but they also included information about content that we have which the MACOS site lacks and vice versa.Now that the collections is fully catalogued, I hope you will explore these materials which realised Bruner’s pedagogic theories.

About Nazlin Bhimani

Research Support and Special Collections Librarian, UCL Institute of Education, London
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4 Responses to Focus on Special Collections: Jerome Bruner’s MACOS Curriculum Project

  1. Pingback: Jerome Bruner’s MACOS Curriculum Project at the UCL Institute of Education Newsam Library

  2. Pingback: Happy 100th Birthday to Jerome Bruner!

  3. Pingback: American Educationalists in the UCL IOE’s Special Collections

  4. Pingback: An Advent Calendar highlighting the Newsam Library & Archives Special Collections

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