Leta Stetter Hollingworth 1886 - 1939
Life in 1886 : Leta’s Birth • Sigmund Freud – 30 years old! . Wilhelm Wundt – had founded the fist Psychology Lab eight years earlier Edwin Boring is Born - The Historian of Psychology
Woman’s Fashion - A walking dress. Women’s suffrage was still 34 years away
Labor Unrest - Haymarket Riots in Chicago American Federation of Labor (AFL) formed by 26 craft unions. Samuel Gompers elected AFL president
Bay View Tragedy: 7 workers killed by State National Guard while on peaceful march for establishing the 8-hour day (State’s worst labor violence)
President Grover Cleveland dedicates the Statute of Liberty People Complain about the cost of Telephones. Bell had a monopoly.
Nebraska • Homestead Act of 1862 • Population growth: 2,700 in 1854 to 450,402 in 1880 • Hardships http://www.stockmapagency.com/media/US_State/Antique/T_S-NEBR-NEBR1886-ANT.jpg
Family Life • Mother: Margaret Elinor Danley • Wrote a journal written from Leta’s (infant) point of view from birth to age one.
Father: John G. Stetter • "rollicking minstrel cowboy". • After the death of his Margret he left his three daughters with their maternal grandparents for the next ten years. • Leta had 2 sisters (Ruth and Margaret) • Their mother died when Leta was 3
Leta had now lost both biological parents before her 4th birthday and became a brooding, sensitive child who kept a journal of her thoughts that shows a maturity far beyond her years.
At twelve years old, her father remarried and the children went to Valentine, Nebraska to live with him and their stepmother. Step Mother: Fanny Berling was verbally abusive towards her step-children and completely authoritarian!
University of Nebraska • 1902-1906 • Selected as her class’ “Class Poet” in 1906 “Always and Forever Roses Die”
One thinks when some dear, gladsome time is done, “What if thro’ all the rounds and rounds of years, The heart should lose it!” and the sudden tears Spring hurting to the eyes. Well, this is one Of all those times of which an end must be; How shall its life be kept for you and me? Oh , never weep with him of bitter heart I saw once pausing where white roses die And hide the earth in fragrance where they lie. With darkened eyes he looked, then turned apart, And murmuring “hopeless” to himself he said, “The thorns still sharpen when the flowers are dead.” Another came and stood within the place - Where softly breathing lay the living snow, And looked upon the waste and bending low, Stooped as he loved it. Then I saw his face! He gathered all the petals at his feetAnd thro’ his life they gave him fragrance sweet. So we may know what wisdom is, we read Its mighty meaning in the brow and eyes Of him who knows to keep his paradise In fragrance when the living thing is dead. He looked so calm, for tho’ his eyes were wet His face was placid and without regret. This story runs in sweet and tender ways, For always and forever roses die And all about us fragrant petals lie; The remnants of the precious, perfect days Which come and pass. But mem’ry still may lend A fragrance sweet to gladden to the end.
Leta and Holly (1880 – 1954) • Met at University of Nebraska • She was 17 and he 23 • Shared experiences • Mother died when he was a toddler • Father Remarried • Grandmother kidnapped Holly • Restraining order on the Grandmother • Father Branded Holly with an H on his palm.
Leta and Holly became engaged when she was 19. In 1906, Harry and Leta graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Harry went on to pursue graduate work at Columbia University in New York. Leta earned a Nebraska State Teacher’s Certificate. Stetter's first job as assistant principal of the high school in the DeWitt, Nebraska (1906). Second teaching position a little bit larger town of McCook (1907)
Harry, obtained an assistant professorship at Barnard College and could afford to bring Leta to New York. They were married on December 31, 1908
Unable to secure a teaching job due to her marital status. Court case 1904 – If as single teacher married, she could retain her job – but a married teacher could not be hired. If a married teacher became pregnant – she would be fired.
Leta attempted to pursue graduate work at Columbia but she was unable to acquire a fellowship position or scholarship because of her gender. Holly as making 41.66 per month ($1,000 ~ today in NEW YORK!) 1911 ~ Harry was hired to research the effects of caffeine for The Coca-Cola Company. Leta was hired by her husband as a research assistant, and was finally able to take graduate courses at Columbia.
Columbia University Able to attend due to money from the Coca-Cola study Advisor, Professor, and Mentor: Edward Lee Thorndike “Of the hundred most gifted individuals in the country, not two would be women…Thus, though women should capture the teaching profession, they would hardly fill its most eminent positions…even should all women vote, they would play a small role in the senate.” In 1913, she received her Master’s Degree
While working on her Ph.D. Clearing House for Mental Defectives Administer Binet intelligence tests (self-taught) Bellevue Hospital – consulting Psychologist
In 1913, she received her Master’s Degree and shortly thereafter was appointed the position of consulting psychologist at Bellevue Hospital. Leta went on to earn her Ph.D. from Columbia. She performed so well that she was not required to take an oral examination before receiving her doctorate degree in 1916.
Research in Sex Differences. Hypothesis: greater variability among men while women as a species were less variable. Leta called this : “Armchair Dogma” Did studies at the Clearing House. Adolescence Study – IQ difference - also a bias, Females were diagnosed later because their roles were less challenging.
Infant Study Participants: 1,000 consecutively born males and 1,000 consecutively born females in the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. Method: ten anatomical measurements on each infant. Results: male infants were slightly larger than the females, but there were no differences in variability between the sexes.
Hypothesis: “Functional Periodicity” that women made poor scientists due to their instability caused by their menstrual cycle. Method: measured various skills and ability of 23 females and 2 males for three months. Results: unable to find any significant differences in scores between any phases of the female’s menstrual cycle
Ph.D. Leta earn her Ph.D. from Columbia using the Functional Periodicity Research as her Thesis. She performed so well that she was not required to take an oral examination before receiving her doctorate degree in 1916.
In 1927 Leta published her final article on the subject of the psychology of women. "Suffrage can be used to modernize law, but it has very limited use as an instrument to modernize people“ The "New Woman" is consciously experimenting with her own life to find out how women can best live. "Surely this requires a courage and a genius deserving of something better than blame or jeers; deserving at least open-minded toleration and assistance"
Leta’s Beliefs Eugenics (Negative and Positive) Galton: Positive eugenics used education, tax incentives, and childbirth stipends to encourage procreation among fit people.Negative eugenics sought to limit procreation through marriage restriction, segregation, sexual sterilization, and, in its most extreme form, euthanasia. Marriage and motherhood - yet Leta never had children.
Columbia University’s Teacher’s College • Replaced Naomi Norsworthy • Teachers College 1916-1919: Instructor 1919-1922: Assistant Professor 1922-1928: Associate Professor 1928-1939: Full Professor Listed in American Men of Science five years after receiving her doctorate
P.S. 165 in New York City A group of fifty children ages seven to nine with IQ's over 155 were studied for a three- year period. • Characteristics (e.g., demographics) • Curriculum Continued to stay in contact with this group for the next eighteen years adding to her study the spouses and children of the original participants.
Speyer School • 1934 – vacancy at Speyer School • Diversity (23 national Backgrounds) • Agent of positive social change • Speyer experiment 7 Binet classes2 Terman classes 175 students 50 students IQ: 75-90 IQ: 130+
Gifted Education Philosophies • Recognized the full spectrum of learners • Hands on learning • museums • importance of writing • learning a language • biographies – “people, rather than things, were paramount to the development of humans” (Klein p. 146) • “Evolution of Common Things” • Video (52:28 – 55:02)
Publications • Gifted Children: Their Nature and Nurture – 1926 - the first textbook in gifted education • The Psychology of the Adolescent – 1928 - “goal of adolescence is to evolve into an ‘adequate adult’” (self-sufficiency, ready to handle life’s challenges without crumbling) • Children Above 180 IQ: Stanford-Binet Origin and Development – 1942 - is still influential today
Final Years • Abdominal Cancer • Final trip to Nebraska • 1938 – Hollingworths received honorary doctor of laws degrees from University of Nebraska • Leta selected to give speech at Alumni dinner
She criticized her cohorts for their lack of connection with their subjects pointing out that their main concern seemed to be to get knowledge quickly. She chided them that: "The adding machine has tremendous advantages over the child as an object of intimate association. It has no parents; it does not lose its pocket-handkerchief; it does not kick or yell. All this we grant. Those who really study children -those who would study any individuals - must be prepared to take pains" ~ L. S. Hollingworth
References Klein, Ann G. (2002). A Forgotten Voice: A Biography of Leta Stetter Hollingworth. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press, Inc.