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ERIC Number: EJ742129
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 30
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
Luella Cole, Sidney Pressey, and Educational Psychoanalysis, 1921-1931
Petrina, Stephen
History of Education Quarterly, v44 n4 p524-553 Win 2004
In addition to contemporary boundaries and identities of educational psychology is the historiography of progressive education. Historians have too readily played into the hands of practitioners, accepting antagonisms between Freud and Thorndike, psychoanalysis and behaviorism, liberty and discipline. In its final analysis, this article embraces revisionism. Rather than antagonists, psychoanalysis and behaviorism are complementary and consolidated, working in tandem to individualize students within the confines of mass education. In this article, the author argues by presenting descriptions of Luella W. Cole and Sidney L. Pressey's work at Ohio State University (OSU). By 1931, Cole and Pressey were well recognized in educational psychology and OSU was a powerhouse in both education and psychology. Exemplifying the hybrid nature of educational psychology, these two psychologists' practices at OSU were nonetheless common and indicative of relations between education and psychology at the time. If psychoanalysis was primarily oriented toward personality and counseling, and behaviorism toward performance and testing, Cole and Pressey thoroughly mixed the two in practice. They recognized that personality was inseparable from mundane educational practices--personality was normalized in the minutiae of everyday schooling. They denoted educational psychology as a psychotherapeutic practice in regulating normal, scholastic conduct and thought. They practiced child guidance, mental hygiene, common and special education as well as abnormal, clinical, educational, experimental, individual, and social psychologies. Their practices had as much to do with behaviorism and abnormality as with psychoanalysis and normality. At this same time, abnormal, clinical, and educational psychologists became increasingly interested in the maintenance of normality. From a base of attention to abnormality, Cole and Pressey defined educational psychology as a practice attending to normality through a regulation of healthy, normal scholastic conduct and thought. Furthermore, educational psychology focuses on the eradication of the scholastic errors and personality quirks of individual students, through the use of remedial apparatus and through counseling. (Contains 1 table and 61 footnotes.)
History of Education Society. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Educational Policy Studies, 360 Education Building MC-708, 1310 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 217-333-2446; Fax: 217-244-7064; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio