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Granville Stanley Hall

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Granville Stanley Hall was born February 1, 1844 on a farm in Ashfield, Massachusetts. His parents were very congregational and religious and his mother, Abigail, wanted him to go into the ministry. Hall used this as reason to further his education, and at the age of nineteen, he had a day long vigil, where he climbed atop a hill, vowing to leave his farm, go out into the world and become something greater (Wilson, 1914).

In 1862, at the age of 18, Hall left his home in Ashfield, for Williston Academy in Easthampton, where he planned to study literature and music. Unfortunately Hall was not happy there and after only one year, transferred to Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He excelled greatly in all courses and in 1866 he began the colleges' first literary club, Junto (Wilson, 1914). A year later, Hall graduated from Williams College, with the intent to study abroad but because of insufficient funds, decided to attend The Union Theological Seminary, where he would study theology and prepare himself to be a clergyman (Wilson, 1914).

After spending only one year there, Hall gathered enough money to travel abroad to Germany, where he spent three years studying philosophy and attending numerous lectures on physiology. In 1871, Hall returned to New York, to complete his divinity degree and served briefly at a country church. Soon after, he secured a position at Antioch College in Dayton, Ohio where he taught a variety of courses including English and Philosophy (Wilson, 1914).

Hall, inspired by William Wundt's, Principles of Physiological Psychology, decided to return to Germany to study and learn from Wundt, but was quickly offered a teaching position in English at Harvard University (Wilson, 1914). This would be his first opportunity to work alongside William James. In 1878, Hall received his doctorate in psychology from Harvard University, additionally, making him the first American to be granted a PhD in psychology (Wilson, 1914).

In 1881, Hall became an adjunct at Johns Hopkins University, and a year later was appointed a professor of psychology and pedagogics. At Johns Hopkins, Hall was the first person at that time, to create the first American psychology laboratory. As a professor, Hall believed it was important during high school, to focus on educating adolescence rather than focusing on basic subjects that would ultimately prepare them for college.

Seven years later, Hall founded the American Journal of Psychology, which was the first psychological journal in America. In 1889, Hall was made the first president of Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, where he resided for the next thirty-one years. While at Clark, Hall still remained active educationally and played a key role in the development of educational psychology. Here he made his first attempt to study the effect adolescence had on education.

In 1892, Hall was appointed as the first president of the American Psychological Association. Two years later, he founded the Pedagogical Seminary, a journal dealing with child psychology (Murphy, 1949). In 1904, Hall published his first work, Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relation to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education. This book focused on adolescence, about issues of femininity and masculinity and coeducation. In addition it focused on what is ideal for adolescents growing into adulthood (New World Encyclopedia, 2010). Hall stated, "The reproduction function, love is born with all its attendant passions--jealousy, rivalry, and all the manifold phenomena of human courtship" (Hall, 1904).

The year, 1909, marked Clark University's twentieth anniversary. This celebration, nicknamed "The Clark Conference", included one hundred and seventy five guests, forty of which were American psychologists.



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