On May 25th, 1957, Robert Ladd Thorndike, eminent educational psychologist, was appointed Head of the Department of Psychological Foundations and Services at Teachers College, Columbia University effective September 1957. Dr. Thorndike joined the staff in 1936 and was appointed a full time professor in 1948. He was member of the scientific advisory panel for the United States Army, as well as Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and an Associate of the American Psychological Association. He served as president of the American Educational Research Association (1974-1975) and Psychometric Society (1952-1953).
Dr. Robert Thorndike's tenure at Teachers College lasted until 1976 when he retired. Prior to teaching here, Dr. Thorndike was as an instructor (1934) and then an Assistant Professor (1935-1936) at George Washington University. Born September 22, 1910 in Montrose, New York to Edward Lee Thorndike and Elizabeth Moulton, he earned his B.A. from Wesleyan University (1931), and his M.A. (1932) and Ph.D (1935) from Columbia University. Like his father who also long served on the faculty of Teachers College, he conducted research in psychology, focusing on animal and human behavior. He was known for his authoritative textbooks on research procedures and psychometrics, which included selection and construction of testing; cognitive ability, and cluster analysis.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Dr. Franz Boas Quits Columbia After 40 years: Anthropologist, 77, Noted for Exploding European Theory of Racial Purity (1936, Mar 20). New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Urges engineering Personality Study: Panel Sees It Needed with Technical Competence. (1949, Dec 04). New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Teachers College Gets New Psychology Head. (1957, May 26). New York Times (1923-)
- Study to Ask Why Teachers Resign: Columbia Project Will Also Seek the Reasons Others Remain in Profession. (1959, Apr 04). New York Times (1923-)
- School Hearings Next Week. (1971, Jan 23). New York Amsterdam News (1962-)
- Cohen, M. (1973, Nov 19). Data Back More-Intelligent-Children Theory. Boston Globe (1960-)
- Are the 60's to Blame for Education's Decline in the 70s? (1976, Sep 14). The San Francisco Examiner (1902-2007)
- Cohen, M. (1978, Mar 03). Educators Flunk Competency Tests. Boston Globe (1960-)
- Hildebrand, J. (1978, Sep 19). Some Rays of Hope for U.S. Verbal Skills. Newsday (1940-)
- Cook, J. (1990, Sep 25). R.L. Thorndike, Psychologist, 79; Developed Scholastic-Ability Tests. New York Times (1923-)
Tips (select works by Robert L. Thorndike):
- Thorndike, Robert L. (Robert Ladd). Applied Psychometrics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982. 5th Floor Stacks & Loft ; BF176 .T46
- Thorndike, Robert L. (Robert Ladd). A Comparative Study of Children’s Reading Interests : Based on a Fictitious Annotated Titles Questionnaire. New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, 1941. Stacks / TCANA; LB1139.R4 T5 1941
- Thorndike, Robert L. (Robert Ladd). The Concepts of Over- and Underachievement. New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1963. Stacks ; LB1028 .T45 1963
- Thorndike, Robert L. (Robert Ladd), and Elizabeth P. Hagen. Measurement and Evaluation in Psychology and Education. New York: Wiley, 1955. Stacks ; LB1131 .T59 1959. Note other editions.
- Thorndike, Robert L. (Robert Ladd). Personnel Selection : Test and Measurement Techniques. New York: J. Wiley, 1949 Closed Stacks Research ; BF431 .T46 1949
- Thorndike, Robert L. (Robert Ladd). Reading Comprehension Education in Fifteen Countries ; an Empirical Study. New York: Wiley, 1973. Stacks ; LB1050 .T46
- Thorndike, Robert L. (Robert Ladd). Research Problems and Techniques. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off, 1947. Closed Stacks Research ; UG633 .R4 1947
- Thorndike, Robert L. (Robert Ladd), Elizabeth P. Hagen, and Jerome M. Sattler. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, Fourth Edition : Guide for Administering and Scoring. Chicago, IL.: Riverside Pub. Co., 1986. 5th Floor Stacks & Loft ; BF432.5.S8 T49 1986
Robert Ladd Thorndike at His Desk, Robert L. Thorndike Faculty File, Courtesy of Teachers College, Columbia University
Poster Image, Portrait of Robert Ladd Thorndike, Robert L. Thorndike Faculty File, Courtesy of Teachers College, Columbia University
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