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The Value of Research in Education


by Edward L. Thorndike - 1931

I SHALL not take the reader's time with evidence that research has been of value in education. Probably no well-informed student of education has any doubt on the matter. If he has, a comparison of recent books about education with those of twenty or forty years ago, or of present instruments of instruction with the textbooks of twenty or forty years ago, should remove his doubts. The extension of scientific investigation to philanthropic work, business, education, and other fields of human engineering, though very recent and scanty in facilities and personnel, has demonstrated its effectiveness. I address myself to the more profitable task of suggesting ways in which it may be of greater value.

I SHALL not take the reader's time with evidence that research has been of value in education. Probably no well-informed student of education has any doubt on the matter. If he has, a comparison of recent books about education with those of twenty or forty years ago, or of present instruments of instruction with the textbooks of twenty or forty years ago, should remove his doubts. The extension of scientific investigation to philanthropic work, business, education, and other fields of human engineering, though very recent and scanty in facilities and personnel, has demonstrated its effectiveness. I address myself to the more profitable task of suggesting ways in which it may be of greater value.


The first is to extend it to more fundamental questions. In the case of linguistic education, we should, for example, not remain content with discovering better ways of teaching reading and composition, better ways of learning a foreign language, better tests of capacity and achievement, and the like. We should also bring the forces of all the relevant sciences to bear on the problems of the nature of language and other similar systems of symbols, the ways in which they change, and especially the ways in which they improve, and the manner in which they live and behave. In the case of so-called character education we should not only collect case histories of problem children, test and compare methods of treatment, devise better methods of diagnosis, analyze significant forms of conduct and the like, but should also study the springs of conduct in man and other mammals, and the processes by which habits, attitudes, interests, and ideals are formed, reformed, weakened, upset, and distorted. In almost every field of education, we may profitably start researches at deeper levels.


The second is to affiliate our researches more closely with those of biology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, history, business, government, and other branches of the study of man. We are in danger of becoming provincial. There is a temptation to operate methods of educational measurement and educational experimentation in isolation in a way that is likely to be relatively sterile. Biologists are reaching over into chemistry and physics so as to do better justice to their problems, and we should follow their example. Until very recently, almost all research workers in education did have, by the force of circumstances, mastery in at least one of these other fields. They need it now more than ever. The best results may be expected if the necessary cooperation can all go on in the brain of some one worker who masters what he needs. If it cannot, the cooperation of several will be required. Education should especially support research in the more fundamental of these sciences of man. Their discoveries will probably always profit education more than will the discoveries of educational science itself.


The third way to increase the value of research in education is to treat the research workers more wisely, and in particular, to encourage, or at least permit, a reasonable catholicity. Sound productive work may be done in educational research by methods varying all the way from abstract symbolisms, like those of mathematical physics, to concrete factual observations--from the most elaborate experiments to simple reflection. Just now we seem to have too little shrewd observation. The number of pregnant observations reported year by year seems to be too small in comparison with the number of systematic tests or surveys or experiments. We also are perhaps too uncharitable toward the investigator who advances ill-supported ideas and theories, or over-ambitious ideas and theories. I confess to an irritation at such, accompanied at times by the feeling that I could suggest better ideas and theories if such were desirable in the case at hand. But it may be disheartening to an alert, fertile, and optimistic intellect to restrict him to the presentation of evidence and the computations of certainties and probabilities. Perhaps an allowance, say of one suggestion for every score of settled facts, should be made!


It is to the credit of scientific method and to the great advantage of the world as a whole that by sound methods and industry an investigator of mediocre ability may do very useful work. But in the long run the rapid advancement of any science will require gifted intellects. To such intellects almost anything should be allowed or forgiven. And this makes necessary a benevolent personal catholicity in the treatment of these research workers. They will not often need forgiveness, since they will usually be loyal, cooperative, patient, sensible, and well-endowed with minor virtues. But if one of them is selfish, petulant, temperamental, or eccentric, we should suffer him gladly for the good he does. Dr. James E. Russell once said that sheer ability was one thing that was important because it was irreplaceable--had no substitute; and that is especially true of creative ability in research. Those in charge of educational research in universities, state and city systems, and elsewhere should treasure great ability even at considerable discomfort to themselves.


The fourth suggestion for increasing the value of research in education is one made by Whitney in the case of research in engineering, in words to this effect: "It is good to force nature to answer your questions, but it is still better to modestly study her ways." It is good to seek for facts that we need in order to decide what to teach, to whom to teach it, when to teach it, and how to teach it. But it may be better to use our insight and ingenuity in trying to see what learners are and how they learn. It is good to compare this and that popular system of management with careful and adequate tests to determine the results of each. But it may be better to try to penetrate into the mysteries of management with no ulterior motive, keeping our minds sensitive to everything that management has to tell us, including things nobody has bothered about or even thought of. Certain great discoveries in science have been made almost or quite by accident, but it was a gifted scientist to whom the accident happened. He was ready to be taught by nature, even by accidents. We should not be so bound up in the problem as we see it as to be insensitive to the facts as they really are. This, I fear, is not very clear, and may be taken as an advocacy of a mystical contemplation of educational processes or as a mere watchful waiting in the hope that some fact of consequence will turn up. That would be folly. What I am trying to describe is a most active, alert, resourceful, and even aggressive sort of investigation, which is, however, devotedly attached to the reality studied, subservient to it in a sense, and sensitive to every significant feature in it.


In these ways educational research may do better, but if able persons undertake it in the spirit of science, they will do well by whatever methods they use. Disinterested curiosity and impartial reflection and rigorous verification are sure to advance knowledge, and the advancement of knowledge is sure to benefit practice. This is true in education, for it is true everywhere.

THE RESULTS OF THE WORK OF THE DIVISION OF PSYCHOLOGY


THE major investigations made by the Division of Psychology of the Institute of Educational Research since its organization, and the resulting publications,1 have been as shown below. The publications which are marked with an asterisk were done by individuals, but with more or less aid from the facilities of the Institute.

A. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ALGEBRA


This investigation included the nature of algebraic abilities, the means of measuring them, their constitution, the amount and distribution of practice required to bring them to the desired degree of strength, the conditions favorable to their development, and the like.


"An Experiment in Learning an Abstract Subject." E. L. Thorndike and C. B. Upton. Journal of Educational Psychology, 13: 321-329, 1922.


*"The Psychology of Errors in Algebra." P. M. Symonds. The Mathematics Teacher, 15:93-104, 1922.


The Psychology of Algebra. E. L. Thorndike, M. V. Cobb, J. S. Orleans, P. M. Symonds, Elva Wald, and Ella Woodyard. The Macmillan Company, 1923. xi + 483 pp.


Some of the material presented in this volume appeared also in articles in the Journal of Educational Psychology, The School Review, School Science and Mathematics, The Mathematics Teacher, The Journal of Experimental Psychology, and School and Society.


*Special Disability in Algebra. P. M. Symonds. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 132, 1923. vii + 88pp.

B. STUDIES IN VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE


This investigation studied improved means of educational and vocational guidance for boys and girls from twelve to sixteen, the special purpose being to provide teachers and social workers with convenient means for measuring certain abilities related to success in school work, office work, and work at skilled and semi-skilled trades.


In 1922 and 1923, 1,753 pupils then in Grade 8 were given a comprehensive examination such as may be expected to improve educational and vocational guidance. It consisted of (1) tests of so-called general intelligence, (2) tests of accuracy and speed in various forms of clerical work, and (3) tests of skill in handwork. With the aid of a grant from the Commonwealth Fund, the careers of these children in school or in industry have been followed to see how far the predictions and recommendations made on the basis of the examination have proved correct and helpful. Many visits have been made to the home of each child or to the school, if the child is still attending school. They are being followed through ten years, at the end of which both a school history and an industrial history will be available for over a thousand of them. The school histories already confirm the expectation from previous studies that the intelligence tests predict school success sufficiently accurately to be of notable practical service. They indicate that if philanthropic motives lead communities to require school attendance to a given age or to a given grade or to some combined age-grade station, a new type of education should be provided for the less intellectual third of the children. From much of the present curricula for Grades 6 to 10, these children may learn only discouragement and failure.


Tests for Vocational Guidance of Children Thirteen to Sixteen. H. A. Toops. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 136. xii +159 pp. Publication of the results of the complete investigation is expected in 1932.


'*"Theoretical Principles Underlying Tests and Measurements in Vocational Guidance." H. A. Toops. Proceedings and Addresses, National Education Association, 63: 873-889, 1925.


*"Some Fancies and Facts about Human Abilities and Their Significance for Trade Education." H. A. Toops. Ungraded, 9: 1-14, 1923.

C. NEW-TYPE EXAMINATIONS IN ALGEBRA AND ANCIENT HISTORY


This investigation included the preparation of so-called "new-type" examinations for consideration and trial by the College Entrance Examination Board, undertaken at the request of its executive committee. A series of forty examinations in elementary algebra was planned, to be of equal difficulty, of known reliability and significance, and free from the "personal equations" of the examiners. Eight of these were constructed in detail, and four have been subjected to trial in the case of a thousand or more pupils. A similar series of examinations was constructed in ancient history.


Algebra Tests: to Quadratics, Forms A, B, C, and D.


Algebra Tests: Quadratics and Beyond, Forms A, B, C, and D. By the Staff of the Institute of Educational Research, Teachers College, 1921. Published by the Institute of Educational Research.


The I. E. R. College Entrance Examination in Ancient History, Form A. Ben D. Wood. Published by the Institute of Educational Research, Teachers College, 1921.

D. COOPERATIVE INVESTIGATIONS FOR THE CLASSICAL INQUIRY


The Institute cooperated with the American Classical League in its study of the teaching of Latin. We organized and analyzed the data collected by the League on the influence of the first year's study of Latin upon range of English vocabulary, and upon logic and carefulness in reading English.


Dr. Grinstead and his coworkers made a census of the occurrence of each word in over five thousand ordinary book-pages (1,700,000 words in all), and thereby extended the Thorndike list of the 10,000 most important words in English. He showed that, except for the five hundred commonest words of all, over half of the words at any level of importance are of Latin derivation. A pupil learning Latin words may thus in a very real sense be said to be learning English. The gains in knowledge of English from the actual present study of Latin are, however, not large. Tests of extent of English vocabulary and of ability to comprehend paragraphs were given to pupils studying Latin and to pupils of the same initial ability not studying Latin. The tests occurred at the beginning of Grade 9, six months later, a year later, and two years later. The gain of the "Latins" was very little greater than that of the "non-Latins" in either trait, about 21 to 20.


The bulk of this work, carried on by Dr. Wren J. Grinstead, Mrs. G. J. Ruger, Miss Ethel Newcomb, and Miss Mabel Wilcox, was incorporated in the Report of the Classical Inquiry. In addition, the following articles were published.


"The Influence of First Year Latin upon Range in English Vocabulary." E. L. Thorndike. School and Society, 17: 82-84, 1923.


"The Influence of First Year Latin upon Ability to Read English." E. L. Thorndike. School and Society, 17:165-168, 1923.


"The Effect of First Year Latin upon Knowledge of English Words of Latin Derivation. E. L. Thorndike and G. J. Ruger. School and Society, 18:260-270, 1923.


*"PossibIe Transfer of the Study of Latin to English Vocabulary." J. S. Orleans. School and Society, 16:559-560, 1922.


"The Gains Made in Ability in English by Pupils Who Study Latin and by Pupils Who Do Not." E. L. Thorndike. School and Society, 18:690, 1923.


"On the Sources of the English Vocabulary." W. J. Grinstead. Teachers College. Record, 26: 32-46, 1924.

E. FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES IN MENTAL MEASUREMENT


The results of the investigation of fundamental principles in mental measurement include:


I. A thorough examination of the entire problem of measuring intellect, bringing to bear extensive experiments and critical analyses in connection with the following topics:


1. The present status of the measurement of intelligence.


2. The measurement of difficulty.


3. The measurement of intellectual difficulty.


4. The measurement of the intellectual difficulty of a single brief task.


5. Measurement by a consensus of experts.


6. Levels of intellect.


7. A scale for intellect with equality of units.


8. The absolute zero of intellect.


9. Measurements of altitude or level of intellect, width or range of intellect, and area or total capacity of intellect.


10. The interrelations of altitude, width, and area of intellect.


11. The significance of scores in the intelligence examinations now in use.


12. The transformation of arbitrary scores into scales with equal units.


13. The relation of intellect to age.


14. The nature of intellect.


15. The form of distribution of intellect in man.


16. Applications to mental measurements in general.


This material has been published in a volume entitled The Measurement of Intelligence. The techniques presented are, in the main, applicable to the measurement of mental abilities in general.


II. A series of graded tests forming an instrument by which precise measurements of the "level" or "altitude" of certain forms of intellect may be secured in terms of truly equal units and from an approximate absolute zero. This series (now well known as the CAVD test) is useful, first, to interpret and standardize the measurements obtained by the many intelligence examinations now in use, and second, to improve the construction of all such examinations in the future.

ill. An inventory of several thousand tasks or test elements which are suitable for use in intelligence examinations, with a measurement of the difficulty of each. This inventory will spare future workers in this field much labor and will improve the examinations made. This inventory is available in mimeographed form.


IV. A series of special investigations and reports closely allied to the general report, by Dr. J. R. Clark, Dr. L. M. Hunsicker, Dr. J. S. Orleans, Dr. J. W. Tilton, and Dr. Ella Woodyard. The Institute cooperated in the case of each of these by furnishing materials and guidance.


"The Construction and Interpretation of Correlation Tables." E. L. Thorndike. Journal of Educational Research, 7: 199-212, 1923.


"The Variability of an Individual in Repetitions of the Same Task." E. L. Thorndike. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 6:161-167, 1923.


"The Selection of Tasks of Equal Difficulty by a Consensus of Opinion." E. L. Thorndike, E. O. Bregman, and M. V. Cobb. Journal of Educational Research, g: 133-139, 1924.


*Content and Form in Tests of Intelligence. E. M. Bailor. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 162, 1924.

x + 74 pp.


*A Study of Intelligence Test Elements. L. E. Vincent. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 152, 1924. vii + 36 pp.


"On the Form of Distribution of Intellect in the Ninth Grade." E. L. Thorndike and E. O. Bregman. Journal of Educational Research, 10: 271-278, 1924.


*A Study of the Nature of Difficulty. J. S. Orleans. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 206, 1926. v + 39 pp.


*Relations of Speed, Range, and Level to Scores on Intelligence Tests. John R. Clark. Published by the author, New York, 1925.


*A Study of the Relationships between Rate and Ability. L, M. Hunsicker. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 185, 1925. vii + 52 pp.


*The Relation Between Dissociation and the. Higher Mental Processes. J. W. Tilton. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 218, 1926. vii + 55 pp.


*The Effect of Time upon Variability. Ella Woodyard. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 216, 1926. v + 56 pp.


The Measurement of Intelligence. E. L. Thorndike, E. O. Bregman, M. V. Cobb, Ella Woodyard, and the Staff of the Division of Psychology. Teachers College, Columbia University, 1926. xxvi + 616 pp.

F. MENTAL DISCIPLINE IN HIGH-SCHOOL STUDIES


Over ten thousand high school pupils were measured in May, 1922, and again in May, 1923, in respect to their abilities in selective and relational thinking, generalization, and organization. A record was taken of what subjects each pupil had studied in the intervening year. We thus have means of answering the question, "What difference did it make to a pupil's gain in general intellectual ability during the year, whether he took geometry or history, Latin or biology, chemistry or cooking?" This is the most extensive investigation of the disciplinary values of studies that has been made.


The results are in pronounced opposition to the traditional view that certain subjects produce much more general improvement in ability to think than others; and that, among the subjects taught widely in high schools, algebra, geometry, and Latin are the three that do this to the greatest extent. On the contrary, a year's work made up of arithmetic, bookkeeping, stenography, and typewriting will result in a gain almost as great as that due to a year's work in Latin, algebra, and geometry. Studying physics and chemistry appears to be more beneficial to general intellectual character than studying Latin or mathematics. The chief factor determining the amount of gain is not what is studied but who studies it. Very able pupils who take cooking, sewing, gymnastics, and dramatic art for a year will show a greater gain in intellectual power than very dull pupils who study the most favorable combination of subjects. In fact, the very able pupils would be superior in gain even if they had to stay out of school that year to work. The following articles were published.


"Instruments for Measuring the Disciplinary Values of Studies." E. L. Thorndike. Journal of Educational Research, 5:269-279, 1922.


"The Diversity of High School Students' Programs." E. L. Thorndike and Eleanor Robinson. Teachers College Record, 24:111-121, 1923.


"Intelligence Scores of Colored Pupils in High Schools." E. L. Thorndike. School and Society, 18: 569-570, 1923.


"On the Improvement in Intelligence Scores from Fourteen to Eighteen."' E. L. Thorndike. Journal of Educational Psychology, 14:513-516, 1923.


"Mental Discipline in High School Studies." E. L. Thorndike and the Staff of the Institute of Educational Research. Journal of Educational Psychology, 15:1-22 and 83-98, 1924.


"The Disciplinary Values of Studies in the Opinion of Students." E. L. Thorndike. Teachers College Record, 25: 134-143, 1924.


"A Second Study of Mental Discipline in High School Studies." C. R. Brolyer, E. L. Thorndike, and Ella Woodyard. Journal of Educational Psychology, 18:377-404, I927.

G. THE PSYCHOLOGY AND EDUCATION OF GIFTED CHILDREN


In cooperation with Mr. Jacob Theobald and Miss Jane Monahan, of Public School 165, Manhattan, Miss Cobb, Dr. Taylor, Dr. L. S. Hollingworth, and Dr. Orleans conducted an experiment in the education of young children who are highly endowed intellectually. The natures and needs of such children were studied intensively, and various forms of subject matter and methods of instruction were evaluated for use at high levels of intellect. More specifically, studies were made of mental and physical growth, of size, strength, speed, special talents, achievements, personality, and heredity. In the study of needs, additions to the standard curriculum have been introduced experimentally. The main experimental work with these gifted children, begun in 1922, was brought to completion in 1925, but Dr. Hollingworth has been able to continue the collection of data relating to development and achievement through high school and in college from a considerable number of them.


"The Special Opportunity Class for Gifted Children, Public School 165, Manhattan." M. V. Cobb et al. Ungraded, 9:121-128, 1923.


"Stanford Achievement Tests with a Group of Gifted Children." M. V. Cobb and G. A. Taylor. Twenty-third Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, 275-289, 1924.


"Size and Strength of Children Who Test above 135 I.Q." L. S. Hollingworth and G. A. Taylor. Twenty-third Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, 221-237, 1924.


"Introduction to Biography for Young Children Who Test above 150 I.Q. (Stanford-Binet)." L, S. Hollingworth. Teachers College Record, 26:277-287, 1924.


"The Regression of Siblings of Children Who Test at or above 135 I.Q. (Stanford-Binet)." M. V. Cobb and L. S. Hollingworth. Journal of Educational Psychology, 16:1-7, 1925.


"Tapping-Rate of Children Who Test above 135 I.Q. (Stanford-Binet)." L. S. Hollingworth and J. E. Monahan. Journal of Educational Psychology, 17:505-518, 1926.


"Musical Sensitivity of Children Who Test above 135 I.Q. (Stanford-Binet)." L. S. Hollingworth. Journal of Educational Psychology, 17:95-109, 1926.


"Neuro-Muscular Capacity of Children Who Test above 135 I.Q. (Stanford-Binet)." J. E. Monahan and L. S. Hollingworth. Journal of Educational Psychology, 18:88-96, 1927.


"Children Clustering at 165 I.Q. and Children Clustering at 146 I.Q. Compared for Three Years in Achievement." L. S. Hollingworth and M. V. Cobb. Twenty-seventh Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, 3-33, 1928.


*"The Systematic Error of Herring-Binet in Rating Gifted Children." Herbert A. Carroll and L. S. Hollingworth. Journal of Educational Psychology, 21:1-11, 1930.


*"The Daily Programs of Thirty Gifted Children." Genevieve L. Coy. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 38:123-138, 1930.


*"Das Kind besonders hoher Intelligenz als Sender-problem der sozialen Einordnung." L. S. Hollingworth. (Translated by S. Parker.) Proceedings of the First International Congress for Mental Hygiene, Washington, D. C., 1930.


*A Study of Young Gifted Children in Senior High Schools. Edna E. Lam-son. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 424, 1930. viii + 117 pp.


*"Juvenile Achievement as Related to Size." L. S. Hollingworth and Howard A. Gray. Teachers College Record, 32:236-244, 1930.


*"Achievement of Gifted Children Enrolled and Not Enrolled in Special Opportunity Classes," Howard A. Gray and L. S. Hollingworth. Journal of Educational Research. (Accepted for publication, but not yet printed. Will be printed in 1931 or 1932.)


*"Personality Development of Special-Class Children." L. S. Hollingworth. Schoolmen's Week Proceedings, University of Pennsylvania, 31:442-446, 1931.

H. CHARACTER EDUCATION


The study of character education was the most extensive of our investigations, but the three volumes by Dr. Hartshorne and Dr. May reporting its results are so well known that no description of it is needed here. The formal final report appears in three volumes as follows:


Studies in Deceit. H. Hartshorne and M. A. May. The Macmillan Company, 1928. xxi + 414 pp; viii + 306 pp.


Studies in Service and Self-Control. H. Hartshorne, M. A. May, and J. B. Mailer. The Macmillan Company, 1929. xxiii + 559 pp.


Studies in the Organization of Character. H. Hartshorne, M. A. May, and F. K. Shuttleworth. The Macmillan Company, 1930. xvi + 503 pp.


Other publications are the following:


"Objective Methods of Measuring Character." M. A. May and H. Hartshorne. Pedagogical Seminary, 32:45-67, 1925.


"First Steps Toward a Scale for Measuring Attitudes." M. A. May and H. Hartshorne. Journal of Educational Psychology, 17:145-162, 1926.


"Personality and Character Tests." M. A. May and H. Hartshorne. Psychological Bulletin, 23:395-411, 1926.


*The Social-Ethical Significance of Vocabulary. Gladys Schwesinger. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 211, 1926. ix + 73 pp.


*A Study of International Attitudes, of High School Pupils. G. B. Neumann, Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 239, 1926. vi + 120 pp.


*"Slang as an Indication of Character." Gladys Schwesinger. Journal of Applied Psychology, 10:245-263, 1926.


Six articles in Religious Education, 1926 and 1927, on the general subject of "Testing the Knowledge of Right and Wrong," subsequently published under this title as Monograph No. 1, by the Religious Education Association. H. Hartshorne, M. A. May, and Others.


"Personality and Character Tests." M. A. May, H. Hartshorne, and R. E. Welty. Psychological Bulletin 24:418-435, 1927.


"Experimental Studies in Moral Education." M. A. May and H. Hartshorne. Religious Education, 12:712-715, I927.


"The Character Education Inquiry, Teachers College, Columbia University." H. Hartshorne and M. A. May. Religious Education, 22:958-961, 1927.


"Research in Character Education." H. Hartshorne and M. A. May. Phi Delta Kappan, 9:129-130, 1927.


"Personality and Character Tests." M. A. May, H. Hartshorne, and R. E. Welty. Psychological Bulletin, 25:422-443, 1928.


"Sibling Resemblance in Deception." M. A. May and H. Hartshorne. Twenty-seventh Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education. Part II, 161-177, 1928.


"An Inquiry into the Possibilities of Scientific Character Study." H. Hartshorne and M. A. May. International Journal of Religious Education, 4: No. 6, 1928.


*"What We Know about Character Education." M. A. May. Association of American Colleges Bulletin, 14:187-197, 1928.


"What Science Offers on Character Education." M. A. May. Religious Education, 23:566-583, 1928.


*"A Group Test of Home Environment." E. M. Burdick. Archives of Psychology, No. 101, 1928. iii + 115 pp.


* Measurement of Socio-Economic Status. V. M. Sims. Public School Publishing Company, 1928.


*Score Card for Measuring Socio-Economic Status. V. M. Sims. Public School Publishing Company, 1928. v + 33 pp.


*"An Experimental Study in Certain Cooperative Tendencies." J. B. Mailer. Religious Education, 23:361-363, 1928.


"Personality and Character Tests." M. A. May, H. Hartshorne, and R. E. Welty. Psychological Bulletin, 26:418-444, 1929.


*"A Method for Correcting Coefficients of Correlations for Heterogeneity in the Data." M. A. May. Journal of Educational Psychology, 20:417-423, 1929.


*"A Few Principles of Character Education." H. Hartshorne. Religious Education, 24:813-815, 1929.


Cooperation and Competition. J. B. Mailer. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 384, 1929. x + 176 pp.


A Personal Attitudes Test for Boys. L. Sweet. Association Press, 1929.


The C. E. I. Tests with Accompanying Manuals. H. Hartshorne. Association Press, 1930.


Two articles constituting a Summary of the Work of the Character Education Inquiry. H. Hartshorne and M. A. May. Religious Education, 25:607-619 and 754-762, 1930.


*"Sociological Implications of the Character Education Inquiry." H. Hartshorne. American Journal of Sociology, 36:251-262, 1930.


*"Recent Improvements in Devices for Rating Character." M. A. May and H. Hartshorne. Journal of Social Psychology, 1: 66-77, 1930.


"Science and Character." H. Hartshorne. Religious Education, 25: 546-554, 1930.


*"A Comprehensive Plan for Measuring Personality." M. A. May. Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress of Psychology, 298-300, 1930.


*"Character Education in the Schools." M. A. May. Proceedings of the Ohio State Educational Conference. Ohio State. University Bulletin, 35: 179-189, 1930.

I. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF INTERNATIONAL AUXILIARY LANGUAGES


The investigation of the learning of a language, supported by a grant from the International Auxiliary Language Association, produced a series of tests for measuring ability in the two leading auxiliary languages, Esperanto and Ido. These tests were given to as many students of these languages as were available.


The investigation also dealt with the special problems of learning the grammar and vocabulary (including the formation of derivatives and compound words) of a language. Special attention was also given to the logical aspects of languages notably the grammar and the use of prefixes and suffixes.


A report of the early work was published in 1927 by the International Auxiliary Language Association, as follows:


Progress in Learning an Auxiliary Language. E. L. Thorndike and L. H. V. Kennon.


The final report or a summary of it will be published at an early date.


There has also appeared a short paper:


"On the Learning of Rules in the Study of a Foreign Language." E. L. Thorn-dike. The German Quarterly, 4:89-95, 1931.

J. ADULT LEARNING


The investigation on adult learning discovered that from about the age of twenty-five on, there is a falling off in ability to learn, but it is so small as to offer no discouragement to practical enterprises in adult education. On the contrary, our findings suggested the wisdom of facing frankly a choice between, on the one hand, the indiscriminate addition of more and more education for all boys and girls in their teens and, on the other hand, the provision of educational facilities at all ages for those who really desire them and can use them for the common good.


Adult Learning. E. L. Thorndike, E. O. Bregman, J. W. Tilton, and Ella Woodyard. The Macmillan Company, 1928. x + 335 pp.


"The Relation of Earning Power to Age in Professional Workers under Conditions of Nearly Free Competition." E. L. Thorndike and Ella Wood-yard. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 21:293-309, 1926.


"The Effect of Violent Price-Fluctuations Upon the Salaries of Clergymen." E. L. Thorndike and Ella Woodyard. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 22:66-74, 1927.

K. THE FUNDAMENTALS OF LEARNING


A full report of this work is being published in a volume of some seven hundred pages under the following title and authorship:


The Fundamentals of Learning. E. L. Thorndike and the Staff of the Division of Psychology of the Institute of Educational Research. Teachers College, Columbia University, 1931.


Parts of it have already appeared in the American Journal of Psychology, The Journal of Experimental Psychology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.


"The Refractory Period in Associative Processes." E. L. Thorndike. Psychological Review, 34:234-236, 1927.


*The Influence of Regularly Interpolated Time Intervals upon Subsequent Learning. Irving Lorge. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 438, 1930. vi + 57 pp.

L. STUDIES IN ENGLISH VOCABULARY AND ENGLISH CONSTRUCTIONS


One of the first projects undertaken was an inventory and census of English construction. This census provides knowledge of the importance of each construction (save the rarest). The results should improve the means and methods used in teaching reading and composition both to natives and to foreigners.


"Difficulty, Reliability, and Grade Achievements in a Test of English Vocabulary." E. L. Thorndike and P. M. Symonds. Teachers College Record, 24: 438-445, 1923.


"An Inventory of English Constructions with Measures of Their Importance." E. L. Thorndike, with the assistance of E. Newcomb and L. H. V. Kennon. Teachers College Record, 28:580-610, 1927.

M. INTELLIGENCE TESTS FOR COLLEGE GRADUATES


At the request of the faculty of the Columbia University School of Law, this Division became responsible for the preparation of the General Placement Examinations required of all candidates for admission to the Law School from June, 1928, on. This action by the law faculty was an outcome of their very careful study of the whole problem of the choice, from an already highly selected group--all college graduates--of those best deserving the opportunities of the Law School. The classes graduating in 1925, 1926, and 1927 had taken informally, at or near the time of their admission to the Law School, a set of tests arranged by Professor Thorndike, and the predictive value of these tests was studied along with all other available data. The preparation of suitable tests for this purpose, for a group already so highly selected and so far advanced in education, is obviously a task of extraordinary difficulty. Its importance, however, equals its difficulty.


We hope to make the Capacity Tests for students of law available to law schools throughout the country by the spring of 1932, providing annual tests, different in content, but equivalent in significance and difficulty, for use, under suitable restrictions, by any institution desirous of exact information concerning the caliber of its student body.


It would be interesting to add a list of the publications of past members of the staff of this Division of the Institute. It would be extensive and of very high quality. We hope that the opportunities of the Institute were of some value in stimulating and encouraging these workers.







1I was asked to add notes about these publications, stating in a general way their contributions to knowledge and practice. This is impossible within our limits of space, which are reached by the statements describing the investigations and the list of the publications themselves.--E. L. T.



Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 33 Number 2, 1931, p. 96-99
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 7182, Date Accessed: 5/20/2022 11:37:39 PM

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