William Marquis Kyle

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Name: William Marquis Kyle

Epoch: Early 20th Century (the 'Long Early Twentieth Century')

Grouping Field: Humanities (Ideas Formatted as Ideas) and Social Science (Models)

Location Grouping: Individual's Work Location

Map Coordinates: 27°28'38.2"S 153°01'44.6"E

Years At Location: 1938-1961

One Historical Setting: Prof. William Marquis Kyle, Department of Philosophy, University of Queensland Old, George Street, Brisbane City (1938)

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Information

William Marquis Kyle was a lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Queensland from 1924, and was Professor of Philosophy from 1938.

Impact On Brisbane Society

William Marquis Kyle was a product of Queensland education: a young pupil teacher in the Department of Public Instruction, after he himself was educated at Brisbane Grammar School; he was on the staff of the Central Technical College from 1920, and taught a wide range of subjects for the Queensland Senior examination and commercial Junior examination. Kyle, however, sought to develop a career at what was then an emerging crossroad of psychology and ethics, both fields of philosophy. His 1921 B.A. Second Class Honours thesis in ‘Mental and Moral Philosophy’ was on the topic of ‘The Nature of Experience’. He joined in the work of Bevil Molesworth, as a lecturer for the Workers’ Educational Association. Kyle also worked with Elton Mayo and Michael Scott Fletcher in the Department of Philosophy. Fletcher described Kyle as someone “with sound scholarly attitudes”. Kyle particular interests were metaphysics and ethics, and would (assumingly) be conventional Kantian thought. His innovations were, however, in psychology and education, and he taught a course in the History and Theory of Education in 1928. He took a visiting appointment at the University of Sydney’s Departments of Philosophy and Education, and was exploring ideas on establishing a psychology laboratory, also supported by Scott Fletcher.

In 1931 Kyle visited the Institute of Industrial Psychology in London and his interest was shifting to teaching methods in industrial psychology and vocational guidance programs for state education. Kyle’s psychology laboratory was established in 1932. From this work, Kyle helped to establish a language laboratory, at that stage to be used principally for the study of phonetics. Kyle was then closely involved in the design of the first Diploma in Education course which began in 1937. He was largely responsible for the Divinity courses (from 1953) of the denominational colleges with the university’s accreditation.

The twist of Kyle’s educational impact was its skills innovation for education and applied psychology while keeping other areas of philosophy fairly stagnated. There is (currently) no evidence to show that the Queensland generation of formal philosophers, in this era, were keeping abreast in the global innovations of metaphysics, philosophy of science, and ethics; unlike the untrained philosopher, Jack McKinney, who, although outside of university education system, had kept up with the readings of the leading philosophers of the age.

Citations

Gregory, Helen. Vivant Professores: Distinguished Members of the University of Queensland, 1910-1940, University of Queensland Library, St. Lucia, Qld, 1987.

Thomis, Malcolm I. A Place of Light & Learning : the University of Queensland’s first seventy-five years, University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, Qld, 1985.

Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church Heritage Committee Project. [http://heritage.saintandrews.org.au/william-marquis-kyle/].

Image Citation

William Marquis Kyle. Archive: Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church Heritage Committee Project. [http://heritage.saintandrews.org.au/william-marquis-kyle/]

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