Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Introduction to the Special Section

Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Introduction to the Special Section

Article excerpt

In this special section of The Career Development Quarterly, the authors pay tribute to the contributions of David Valentine Tiedeman (1919-2004) to the theory and practice of career counseling and development and vocational psychology. Tiedeman is honored as laying the foundation for the contemporary theory and practice of career construction. The articles published in this section emerged as a result of a special symposium dedicated to honor Tiedeman and his work that was held at the 2006 National Career Development Association Global Conference in Chicago.

Every generation produces a few leaders in each profession who become giants in their field. Not necessarily recognized as such in their own time, they are frequently celebrated a generation or two later for the contributions that they earlier made. David Valentine Tiedeman (1919-2004), who is today recognized by many of the leaders of career counseling and vocational psychology as a forerunner of 21st-century career counseling, is one such giant in our field. This special section of The Career Development Quarterly honors him for the ideas that he has left with us, although he was often highly criticized or ignored at the time when he presented them.

In his article, Mark Savickas (2008) eloquently puts Tiedeman's contributions into perspective:

When individuals of deep scholarship and intellectual daring lunge ahead of the learned community whom they are addressing, they may not receive the honor that they deserve. Instead, they may blend undistinguished into the scholarly landscape and somehow become taken for granted. Something like this has happened to the scholarly contributions of David Valentine Tiedeman (3919-2004). Being the first psychologist to systematically apply constructivist epistemology to the comprehension of"careers, Tiedeman broke with intellectual traditions to lead the counseling profession in a new direction. As he cleared a path into the future, he identified what was to be avoided and articulated what was to be done. When others lagged behind, he moved forward by himself, (p. 217)

The Genesis of This Special Section

The articles published in this section emerged as a result of a special symposium dedicated to honor Tiedeman and his work that was held not long after his death at the 2006 National Career Development Association (NCDA) Global Conference in Chicago. That symposium occurred as a result of a chance meeting between Mark Savickas and Lee Richmond at the NCDA conference 1 year earlier. There, Savickas and Richmond quite literally "bumped into each other" in a hotel hallway. Richmond then had the opportunity to tell Savickas how much she enjoyed the Festschrift he had been involved in planning for Donald Super. Richmond said that she wished something of that caliber could be done in honor of David Tiedeman. "David was a thinker way ahead of his time," Savickas said. "Thirty years ago, he had ideas about social construction theory and aligned it to constructing careers. Today, we think this is new when in actuality the profession is catching up with him!" Then, he suggested that because Richmond had been Tiedeman's friend, she might organize a symposium in Tiedeman's honor at the 2006 NCDA conference. Then, when Savickas offered to be the lead speaker and prepare a major presentation, Richmond started to work on creating such a session.

Martha Russell, the incoming president of NCDA, said she liked the idea. NCDA Executive Director Deneen Pennmgton and her staff set aside a place for the symposium. Anna Miller-Tiedeman, David's wife, named three people for the panel (in addition to Savickas) whose professional lives, she thought, were most influenced by David. The three people were JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey, David Jepsen, and Rich Feller. All named were persons whose lives had been touched by and whose professional careers were influenced greatly by Tiedeman's work. Anna said that David had loved each of them. …

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