Sir Fred Schonell

Found in the papers of L.R. Reeve (see A.J. Balfour for background on him) this piece about the Australian writer and educationalist Sir Fred Schonell. He was also the author of several books aimed at teaching children to write and spell. The site Old School Reading Books suggests that some of these have become collectable. Reeve, having met the great man, had presentation copies of some of these...


Professor Hamley once stated that the late Sir Fred Schonell was the best secretary the education section of the British Psychological Society had ever had. How right he was.
  Hamley, like Schonell, was an Australian, but there was no exaggeration in his assertion, for although Schonell’s unruffled manner was rather deceptive I also, whose knowledge of earlier secretaries is possibly greater than Hamley's, can announce that he was nearly perfect, and his professional career is a record of almost unbroken success. Moreover, although he and I were mutual members of three societies in London and frequently used to have a chat, I have to admit that until I read an obituary appreciation in The Times I was unaware of a great deal of his unusual career. I knew he was born in Perth, but it was news to me that he was one of the first graduates of the University of Western Australia to achieve a Hackett overseas scholarship.
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William McDougall, F.R.S.

From the L.R. Reeve papers (see A.J. Balfour).

William McDougall*
I repeat my belief that H. G. Wells is the most quoted writer in my reading life, but the late William McDougall, F.R.S., must surely be the most mentioned author in the realms of British psychology. The great Lancastrian's name is also prominent in educational and social psychology, not only in Great Britain but in Europe, America and Australia.
  The well-known behaviourist Watson may be in the running for supremacy in America, for I believe his reputation is growing, and probably Freud's profile is becoming blurred. McDougall however, has a substantial following in the United States, partly because he was lured across the Atlantic to Harvard University, then to Duke University, Durham, N.C., and due to his authoritative well-written publications. Moreover he was a magnificent lecturer: a man whose attractive voice, commanding presence and deductive powers were irresistible to most people. When I wrote about W. H. R. Rivers and his two assistants, William McDougall and C. S. Myers joining an expedition to the Torres Straits in 1898, I could have added that each of the three men deserved first-class honours in Elocution.
  Having asserted that McDougall's reputation is so strong I have to admit that in 1969 Professor Hearnshaw of Liverpool, stated that the great psychologist's influence has almost if not completely vanished. I have no figures to fortify my theory, but if Hearnshaw is right how is it that recently one of McDougall's publications, An Introduction to Social Psychology once out of print, has been reprinted and re-published? Besides, did Hearnshaw forget America? Furthermore, did any other Englishman do more to establish British psychology on an experimental and physiological basis? Before I leave the three young adventurers I must refer to the fact with which I agree, that Rivers and McDougall were both critical of some of Freud's conclusions on the human race. Although I saw Myers scores of times in London, I never knew his opinion of the notable Viennese psychoanalyst. Usually his contributions in my hearing concerned industrial psychology.
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Why do children ask questions?

 Found in Intellectual Growth in Young Children by Susan Isaacs (Routledge, London 1930) this collection of children's questions. Susan Sutherland Isaacs (1885 - 1948) was an educational psychologist. Basically she bellieved that children learn best through play. For her, play involves a perpetual form of experiment..."at any moment, a new line of inquiry or argumemt might flash out, a new step in understanding be taken". This is where the chapter on questions comes in. It was actually written by her husband Nathan Isaacs (1895 - 1961). He was a metallurgist but collaborated on her later work. The piece after the selection of questions goes some way towards explaining their significance.

 Why do ladies not have beards? 

 Why are the funnels (on a boat) slanting?

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