Term of Art: Child Study Movement

“child study movement: A movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that advocated the study of children’s interests, emotions, needs, and physical development as the basis for determining their educational program. The child study movement was launched by psychologist G. Stanley Hall, who was the first president of the American Psychological Association and of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. The movement enjoyed great popularity among teachers and parents in the early 20th century and brought increased attention to the needs of children. However, it eventually lost its luster because of the poor quality of the research on which it was based: much of the research consisted of interviews with children conducted by enthusiastic amateurs.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

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