Education: A First Book

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BiblioBazaar, 2008 - History - 308 pages
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This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

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About the author (2008)

Educational psychologist and author of the intelligence test bearing his name, Edward L. Thorndike also is known for his work in educational statistics. He studied under William James (see also Vol. 4) at Harvard University and carried out experiments on animal intelligence with some chickens that he kept in the basement of James's house---his landlady having refused to let him keep them in his room. Thorndike's first papers were on "The Psychology of Fishes" and "The Mental Life of Monkeys" When he received his doctorate from Columbia University in 1898, the statistical treatment of test results in psychology was experimental. He became an instructor in genetic psychology at Teachers College in 1899. He believed that "everything that exists exists in quantity" and could be measured as a key to scientific progress in education. He devised scales for measuring excellence in reading, English composition, handwriting, and drawing, as well as intelligence tests for various grade levels. The former dean of Teachers College James E. Russell said of him: "His service to pedagogical procedure has revolutionized educational administration." Thorndike's "Law of Effect," which had its origin in his early tests on animals, was strengthened by his later experiments on human learning. He concluded that the important factors in learning are repetition and reward. His techniques of animal experimentation and his methods of psychological measurement were important advances in U.S. psychology before World War I, and he often is thought of as the founder of modern educational psychology.

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