On This Day … 25 October

People (Births)

  • 1918 – David Ausubel, American psychologist (d. 2008).
  • 1927 – Lawrence Kohlberg, American psychologist and author (d. 1987).

People (Deaths)

  • 1826 – Philippe Pinel, French physician and psychiatrist (b. 1745).

David Ausubel

David Paul Ausubel (25 October 1918 to 09 July 2008) was an American psychologist. His most significant contribution to the fields of educational psychology, cognitive science, and science education learning was on the development and research on “advance organisers” since 1960.

Education

He studied at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated with honors in 1939, receiving a bachelor’s degree majoring in psychology. Ausubel later graduated from medical school in 1943 at Middlesex University where he went on to complete a rotating internship at Gouverneur Hospital, located in the lower east side of Manhattan, New York.

Following his military service with the US Public Health Service, Ausubel earned his MA and PhD in developmental psychology from Columbia University in 1950. He continued to hold a series of professorships at several schools of education.

Psychiatrist

In 1973, Ausubel retired from academic life and devoted himself to his psychiatric practice. During his psychiatric practice, Ausubel published many books as well as articles in psychiatric and psychological journals. In 1976, he received the Thorndike Award from the American Psychological Association for “Distinguished Psychological Contributions to Education”.

What is an Advance Organiser?

An advance organizer is information presented by an instructor that helps the student organize new incoming information. This is achieved by directing attention to what is important in the coming material, highlighting relationships, and providing a reminder about relevant prior knowledge.

Lawrence Kohlberg

Lawrence Kohlberg (25 October 1927 to 19 January 1987) was an American psychologist best known for his theory of stages of moral development.

He served as a professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Chicago and at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Even though it was considered unusual in his era, he decided to study the topic of moral judgment, extending Jean Piaget’s account of children’s moral development from twenty-five years earlier. In fact, it took Kohlberg five years before he was able to publish an article based on his views. Kohlberg’s work reflected and extended not only Piaget’s findings but also the theories of philosophers George Herbert Mead and James Mark Baldwin. At the same time he was creating a new field within psychology: “moral development”.

In an empirical study using six criteria, such as citations and recognition, Kohlberg was found to be the 30th most eminent psychologist of the 20th century.

Philippe Pinel

Philippe Pinel (20 April 1745 to 25 October 1826) was a French physician who was instrumental in the development of a more humane psychological approach to the custody and care of psychiatric patients, referred to today as moral therapy. He also made notable contributions to the classification of mental disorders and has been described by some as “the father of modern psychiatry”.

An 1809 description of a case that Pinel recorded in the second edition of his textbook on insanity is regarded by some as the earliest evidence for the existence of the form of mental disorder later known as dementia praecox or schizophrenia, although Emil Kraepelin is generally accredited with its first conceptualisation.

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