Henry Davidson Sheldon (review date 1904)
SOURCE: A review of Educational Psychology, in The Dial, Vol. XXXVI, No. 428, April 16, 1904, pp. 263-65.
[In the following excerpt, Sheldon praises Educational Psychology but points out that progress in the field will be slow despite Thorndike's work.]
Students of genetic psychology or child study have long been waiting for some well-organized general survey which should present in readable form the results of the many studies in this field. Prof. E. A. Kirkpatrick, in his Fundamentals of Child Study, has attempted to meet this demand and at the same time write a text-book for class use in normal schools and colleges. The larger half of his book is devoted to a discussion of the different human instincts from infancy to manhood; the author by this method avoids the necessity of marking off and characterizing the periods of growth. Aside from instincts, the subjects dealt with are physical growth and development, native motor activities and general order of development, development of intellect, heredity, individuality, abnormalities, and child study applied in schools. Appended to each chapter is a list of questions bearing on the text but not covered by it, designed to stimulate independent thought among the students. Each chapter also contains a bibliography, well adapted for class use, of the materials used. The general bibliography at the beginning of the book is by no means as judiciously selected, works of great value by such men as Preyer, Baldwin, Sully, and Compayré being mentioned by the side of Wiggin's Children's Rights and Du Bois's Beckoning of Little Hands. This, however, is a matter of small importance. Considering the difficulties of the subject, Professor Kirkpatrick's book must be pronounced a success of the first order. The author's thorough knowledge of psychology has protected him from crude generalizations; his sense of proportion is good; the material is well digested, and the practical suggestions that he ventures upon from time to time are...
(The entire section is 846 words.)