JEROME “JERRY” BRUNER is Research Professor of Psychology and Senior Research Fellow in Law at New York University. As a co-founder and past director of the Harvard University Center for Cognitive Studies, Bruner’s pioneering research on perception and cognitive processes laid the foundation for social science scholarship for more than a half-century. Having served as a member of the President’s Science Advisory Committee in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, Bruner was an influential architect in the development of new social studies curriculum for the middle grades and the early childhood program Head Start.
For more information, visit Jerome Bruner’s Website. To learn more about Jerry Bruner from his family and friends, visit his Reflections. To view photographs from Jerry Bruner’s personal collection, visit his Photo Gallery.
Visit the video below to watch a short overview of the interview with Jerry Bruner. Otherwise, see all four of the full interviews with Jerry Bruner below.
Video Interviews with Jerome “Jerry” Bruner:
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Fondly recalling the close-knit neighborhood of his youth, Dr. Jerome “Jerry” Bruner remembers fun-filled days spent playing with “the gang” of other young boys on Seneca Street in New York City. Bruner, the son of Polish immigrants, attended public schools with his two siblings on the outskirts of the city and later graduated from Duke University. Both a talented athlete and inquisitive scholar, Bruner expressed an early interest in research, initially examining the behavior of lab rats. Watch this clip to learn more about Dr. Bruner’s unparalleled contributions to the field of education over the last six decades.
Co-founder and director of the Harvard University Center for Cognitive Studies, Dr. Jerome “Jerry” Bruner and his colleagues encouraged discourse between educational researchers and scholars who held seemingly incompatible views on learning and development. Through his research at the center, Bruner inspired a cognitive revolution in psychology, influencing the work of other scholars and students around the world. Always fascinated by the idea of sea travel as a young boy, Bruner was the first (and only) professor to sail his own boat across the Atlantic Ocean to accept an academic position at Oxford University. Watch this clip to enjoy stories from Dr. Bruner about his travels and share his desire to “develop a sense of the possible.”
Often seen by his students riding a bicycle around the university campus, Dr. Jerome “Jerry” Bruner spent many of his rides “thinking of his next big idea.” Praised by his former students and colleagues for his selfless service as a scholar and mentor, Bruner appreciates his students as individuals. Also a competitive croquet player, Bruner insists that he can “beat the stuffin’ out of anyone” who plays the game. Acquainted with all the leading scholars of the current and last century, Bruner describes those teachers and colleagues who have influenced him the most. When watching this clip, also be prepared to share Dr. Bruner’s enthusiasm for the latest ideas in educational research.
The recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, Dr. Jerome “Jerry” Bruner values the praise of his students and colleagues who describe him as a visionary in the field of educational psychology and beyond. Adamant in his belief that “behavior cannot be chopped out of context,” Bruner insists that “the world that you see is what you expect to see.” Inspired by the art of conversation, he can still recite pages of his favorite poetry from memory. Watch this clip to hear Dr. Bruner’s advice for graduate students and his dreams for the future.