When work was begun on this book more than two years ago, it was plangned to write a revision of Gates Psychology for Students of Education. Although the authors were free to use any material in this volume, the final manuscript was almost wholly new. The content and purpose of the present book, moreover, are less appropriately designated by the original title than by the phrase "educational psychology" which was therefore adopted, for reasons to be indicated below.
The present volume provides a survey of the facts and principles of educational psychology which, in the opinion of the authors, will be of most value to students preparing for the teaching profession. As is explained in Chapter I, this treatment of educational psychology is different from a statement of the familiar "principles of general psychology" and suggested "applications." The present volume is the result of an attempt primarily to offer material which will help the teacher to see his professional activities with deeper insight and in broader relationships and to carry forward his work with more competence and satisfaction.
Certain objectives were followed for the purpose of making the book of the greatest possible professional value. In the first place, it was agreed that the most important problems of education should be brought forward and grappled with in the light of the findings of educational psychology even if the data were not as yet very extensive. Contrariwise, other issues would be omitted or minimized even if the experimental findings were very extensive and final. Thus, for example, the processes of acquiring meanings, of generalizing, thinking . . .