Biology in Human Affairs

By Edward M. East; Walter V. Bingham et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter IV
EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY

by LEWIS M. TERMAN

PSYCHOLOGY as a scientific discipline is only two generations old, the first laboratory having been founded in 1879. Educational psychology is considerably younger, for it was only natural that the early workers in the new field should be completely engrossed in devising investigational methods and in laying the broad outlines of the science as a whole with little regard to its practical values. When later the importance of psychology for education began to be recognized, treatises were written which explained the applications of psychological laws to the teaching process. For some time educational psychology was thus nourished almost entirely from crumbs that fell from the table of the so-called "pure" psychologist, with the result that the latter was often inclined to regard it with a certain amount of contempt. When later the problems of educational psychology began to be investigated on their own account, it was found that the line between pure and applied science is more imaginary than real and that science itself is largely dependent for its growth on the motivation that has its source in practical issues.

To-day educational psychology is no longer applied psychology in the old sense of the term. It is one of the most important aspects of the general science, just as psychopathology is, and just as animal behavior is. Its methods, devised for such specific purposes as investigating indi

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