Limit search to available items
Author Skeels, Harold Manville, 1901-1970.

Title A study of environmental stimulation : an orphanage preschool project / by Harold M. Skeels, Ruth Updegraff, Beth L. Wellman, and Harold M. Williams
Published Iowa City, Iowa : The University, 1938
Online access available from:
PsycBooks    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource ( 191 pages : illustrations, plan)
Series University of Iowa studies. Studies in child welfare ; v. 15, no. 4
Studies in child welfare ; v. 15, no. 4
Summary "In this major study of the effects of preschool education on child behavior the four authors have had the courage to see the project through to the end. For this venture, "under controlled conditions," began early to suffer from its initial successes. It will be noted that, on the basis of chronological age, mental age, intelligence quotient, sex, nutritional status and length of residence in the orphanage, one-half of the children of preschool age (1 1/2 to 5 1/2 years) were placed in the new preschool under expert teaching, while an equally matched group was compelled to remain in the crowded, nonstimulating cottage areas. Although even untrained observers could see the differences in behavior which were accumulating, all this was endured for three years. It is believed that the results justify the strict adherence to scientific methods. Certainly no one could have otherwise predicted, much less proved, the steady tendency to deteriorate on the part of children maintained under what had previously been regarded as standard orphanage conditions. With respect to intelligence, vocabulary, general information, social competence, personal adjustment, and motor achievement the whole picture was one of retardation. The effect of from one to three years attendance in a nursery school still far below its own potentialities, was to reverse the tide of regression which, for some, led to feeble-mindedness. Rather, the children were turned toward normality of growth and all-around behavior. Throughout the study there is substantial support for those who regard young children as truly plastic, and very little for those who place great reliance upon the inner forces of heredity as determiners of the rate and extent of development. Since for both the control and experimental groups, the study is close to a minimum of environmental impact (except in a negative sense), what has been done here could be duplicated anywhere. But the next step is not duplication, but to compare extremes. We have in any state institution which is forced to endure understaffing and overcrowding an easy access to poor conditions; that is, to "control" groups. What would happen if a really good model of schooling and adjustment service were applied to experimental groups from infancy to adolescence, carrying on through selected foster homes? For the present, the answer must remain with the reader of this unique report"--Foreword. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
Notes On cover: University of Iowa studies. New series, no. 363. December, 1938
"This project was undertaken for the purpose of studying the effects of preschool education under controlled conditions ... in the Iowa soldiers' orphans' home at Davenport, Iowa"--P. 7
Bibliography "References": page 190
Notes Also issued in print
Subject Iowa Veterans Home.
Child development.
Child psychology.
Child Development.
Psychology, Child.
Form Electronic book
Author Updegraff, Ruth, 1902- author
Wellman, Beth L., 1895-1952, author
Williams, Harold M. (Harold Marshall), 1899- author
Other Titles Orphanage preschool project
Preschool project