Page:The Cambridge History of American Literature, v3.djvu/440

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422
Education

magazines devoted to this field afford channels of publication. Of this literature the features of two distinct types may be mentioned.

The field of child and adolescent psychology was developed by President G. Stanley Hall; none of the numerous investigations or publications in these fields but bear the distinct impress of the work of this pioneer, or at least owe a great debt to him. His Adolescence (1904), with its great store of accumulated data and its vast range of observation, represents, though often in an ill—digested form, the results of several decades of research of this entire school of investigation.

ln the later development of scientific method, that of exact quantitative measurement, particularly as applied to groups, the methods of Galton have been applied in the field of education. The chief exponent of this work has been Professor Edward L. Thorndike. His Educational Measurements and Principles of Psychology laid the foundation for this type of educational literature. A new type of literature, rapidly expanding, has been produced. Much of this, fostered by educational endowments, university departments, and the national Bureau of Education, has appeared in the form of school or institutional surveys. Such surveys attempt to measure by accurate scientific standards the efficiency of organization, the character of instruction, the value of specific methods, the amount of acceleration and of retardation of pupils, the practical value of the school plant, and a variety of phases of school work hardly thought of previously in any definite quantitative way. All of this promises a new era of scientific progress in education.

On the philosophical side, modern science has given to education a more pragmatic and realistic interpretation. Many volumes of exposition, logical or sociological in character, have appeared. The closing decades of the century witnessed a revival of interest in this field, chiefly under the leadership of Dr. William T. Harris,[1] United States Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906. Through official reports, public addresses, and published volumes he was chiefly responsible for the popularity of German philosophical interpretation, particularly of the Hegelian character. In a more general field President

  1. See also Book III, Chap. XVII