John Edward Wallace Wallin


J. E. Wallace WallinJ. E. W. Wallin was an important contributor to the early history of clinical psychology and to the field of what was then called "mental deficiency". He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1901, among the first to specialize in experimental psychology. He studied with S. Granville Hall in 1901 and 1902 at Clark University and worked with Hall's student Henry Herbert Goddard at Vineland Training School in 1910 (see below for a listing of Wallin's many affiliations between 1893 and 1954).

Wallin opened eight psychoeducational and mental hygiene clinics and six special education departments. Some examples include: (1) His founding in 1910 of a psychological laboratory, at the New Jersey Village for Epileptics, in Skillman, New Jersey along with a state-supported psychological clinic; (2) His founding in 1912 of a psycho-educational clinic at the University of Pittsburgh, and (3) in 1914 his assuming the directorship of the psycho-educational clinic in St. Louis Missouri.

Wallin was a student or faculty member in 28 colleges and universities over his lifetime (see below). He was described as a "gifted scientist with an abrasive temperament" (Zenderland, 1998). He often took issue with the status quo. Among his concerns were:

  1. that teachers should not be learning to use the Stanford Binet. Wallin felt that the administration of the test should be in the hands of expert psychologists located in psycho-educational clinics, offering a wide range of diagnostic services.
  2. That the Stanford Binet not be used as the only measure of intelligence.
  3. That the notion of "fixed intelligence" has unfortunately deprived those with mental deficiency of their right to a good education and to good treatment (Wallin, 1956)

Wallin was a prolific publisher and contributor to the many topics in the field of clinical psychology with a special focus on mental retardation, special education, testing, professional practices (clinical psychology) and a side interest in speech problems of school children. Among his publications in the area of speech pathology was an article on theories of stuttering (Wallin, 1917) and another frequently cited one surveying the incidence of speech defective children in the public schools of St. Louis (1916, 1926).

In 1963 the Council for Exceptional Children established the J.E. Wallace Wallin Special Education Lifetime Achievement. This award had to do with the esteem in which he was held by those in the field of mental deficiency. In the preface to one of his best known books on mental deficiency he was described as "one of the most capable and productive authorities in the field of mental deficiency" (Thorne in Wallin, 1956, p. x).

In 1966, Safford and Safford summarized Wallin's contribution on school services:

Wallin exerted extraordinary positive influence on the introduction of services in schools and in countering negative expectations and prejudices. Like Farrell, he believed schools should excluce no child and should serve an essential role, through psychoeducational clinics, in classifying and separating those with problems. Concerning nature versus nurture, he advanced an "euthenics" position (Wallin, 1914) emphasizing environmental influences on children's physical and mental health, as well as intellectual potential. While he did not hold out hope for cure of retardation, he argued in the tradition of Seguin that "mental improvement" could be expected as a result of effective teaching (Safford & Safford, 1966, p. 217).

Wallin's papers are located in the history of psychology archives at University of Akron. Included in the papers are his correspondence with International Council for Exceptional Children, the Delaware Psychological Association, Correspondence on the Dictionary of Education, and correspondence on aging.

Wallin's biography is listed in:

The American Literary Yearbook. A biographical and bibliographical dictionary of living North American authors. Volume 1, 1919. Edited by Hamilton Traub. Henning, MN: Paul Traub, 1919. 'Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary of Living North American Authors' section begins on page 57. [AmLY]

Who Was Who among North American Authors, 1921-1939. Compiled from Who's Who among North American Authors, Volumes 1-7, 1921-1939. Two volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1976. [WhNAA]

Wallin's Insitutional Affiliations (from Wallin, 1955, p. 1)

Undergraduate work at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, 1893-1897

Ph. D. studies at Yale University, 1897-1899. At Yale, Wallin studied with Edward W. Scripture (courses: educational, physiological and experimental psychology, phonetics, and the psychology of expression-Wallin, 1955, p. 11) and with George Turmbull Ladd (courses: abnormal psychology-Wallin 1955, p. 12). He served as a research assistant to Scripture. He received his Ph. D. from Yale, in 1899.

He then went to Clark University (1901-1902) on a Carnegie Foundation Research Grant obtained by S. Granville Hall. Here he attended lectures by Adolf Meyer on the psychobiological system of mental disorders. Did research with Hall on how students understand clouds.

Michigan University, 1902-1903, where Wallin received an assistantship in experimental psychology.

Princeton University, 1903-1906, where Wallin taught a course in experimental psychology and served as a "demonstrator.' Wallin went there to study with J. Mark Baldwin. But Baldwin left as soon as Wallin got there.

East Stroudsburg State Teachers College, 1906-1909. Here Wallin assumed the headship of the department of psychology and education and the vice-presidency of the college.

Cleveland School of Education, 1909-1910. Wallin was again appointed as head of the department of psychology and education. His job included supervising the training schools.

Vineland Training School, 1910. Wallin visited this institution at the invitation of H. H. Goddard, serving there as Goddard's substitute, while Goddard spent the year on tour in Europe. It was from here and from his visits to Lightner Witmer at the University of Pennsylvania, that Wallin developed his interest in the developmentally disabled.

New Jersey Village for Epileptics at Skillman (1910). Wallin established a laboratory for clinical psychology-the first of its kind associated with an institution for epileptics. There he tested the intelligence, physical abilities, physical attributes (height, weight, lung capacity, grip strength, etc.) of the residents and, over the next 11 years published many of his results.

Pittsburgh 1912-1914.

Harris Teachers College, 1914-1921

Missouri School of Social Economy, 1916

University of Iowa, 1917

University of California, 1918

University of Montana, 1920

Miami University, 1921-1928: At Miami University in Oxford Ohio Wallin was a Professor of Clinical Psychology and the director of the Bureau of Special Education and of the Psycho-Educational Clinic.

New York University 1923, 1933-1934

Virginia, 1929, 1932

Johns Hopkins University, 1929-1930

Morgan, 1929-1930

Chicago, 1930

Atlantic University, 1930-1932

Buffalo State Teachers College, 1931

University of Delaware, 1933-1937

Delaware State College, 1936-1937

Duke, 1937-1942, 1944-1947

Milwaukee State Teachers College, 1948

Upsala College, 1948-1952

University of Miami, 1951

Mercer University, 1953

Western Carolina Teachers College, 1954

Writings of J. E. Wallace Wallin, in chronological order

Wallin, J. E. (1902). Researches of the rhythm of speech. Studies from the Yale Psychological Laboratory. New Haven Connecticut: Yale University, 9, 1-142. (This was Wallin's dissertation study.)

Hall, G. S. & Wallin, J. E. (1902). How children and youth think and feel about clouds. Pedagogical Seminary, 9, 460-506.

Wallin, J. E. (1911). A practical guide for the administration of the Binet-Simon Scale for measuring intelligence. Psychological Clinic, 2, 121-132.

Wallin, J. E. (1912). Danger signals in clinical and applied psychology. Journal of Educational Psychology, 3, 224-226.

Wallin, J. E. (1912). Experimental studies of mental defectives: A critique of the Binet Simon tests and a contribution to the psychology of epilepsy. Educational Psychology Monographs, #7. Baltimore: Warwick & York.

Wallin, J. E. (1912). Experimental oral euthenics: An attempt objectively to measure the relation between community mouth hygiene and the intellectual efficiency and educational progress of elementary school children. Dental Cosmos, 54, 404-413; 545-566.

Wallin, J. E. (1912). The euthenical and eugenical aspects of infant and child orthogenesis. Transactions of the American Association for the Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality, 3, 173-194.

Wallin, J. E. (1913). Functions of a psychological clinic. NY: Wood.

Wallin, J. E. (1913). Psychological aspects of the problem of atmospheric smoke pollution. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh.

Wallin, J. E. (1914). The mental health of the school child: The psycho-educational clinic in relation to child welfare: Contributions to a new science of orthophrenics and orthosemantics. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wallin, J. E. (1914) A schema for the clinical study of mentally and educationally unusual children. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wallin, J. E. (1915). Report of the psycho-educational clinic and special schools in the Annual Report of the Board of Education of the City of St. Louis for 1914-1915).

Wallin, J. E. (1916). Who is feeble minded? Journal of Criminal Law and Crominology, 706-716.

Wallin, J. E. (1916). A census of speech defects. School and Society, 3, 203-216. (A census of nearly 90,000 pupils in the St. Louis Public Schools conducted in 1915.)

Wallin, J. E. (1916, 1926). Speech defective children in a large school system. Oxford, OH: Miami University Bulletin, Series 25. (First published in 1916 under title: Report on speech defectives in the Saint Louis Public Schools. St. Louis, MO: Board of Education of the City of St Louis.)

Wallin, J. E. (1917). Theories of stuttering. Journal of Applied Psychology, 1, 349-367.

Wallin, J. E. (1917). Problems of subnormality. Yonkers-on-Hudson.

Wallin, J. E. (1920). Meeting the needs of the feeble-minded in Missouri. Monthly Bulletin, State Board of Charities and Correction. Jefferson City, MO: Board of Charities and Correction.

Wallin, J. E. (1922). Causative factors of mental inferiority and the prevention of degeneracy. Journal of Psycho-Asthenics, 27, 75-116.

Wallin, J. E. (1922). An investigation of the sex, relationship, marriage, delinquency and truancy of children assigned to special public school classes. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 17, 19-34.

Wallin, J. E. (1922). A study of the industrial record of children assigned to public school classes for mental defectives, and legislation in their interest. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 17, 120-130.

Wallin, J. E. (1924, 1955). The education of mentally handicapped children. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Wallin, J. E. (1927). Clinical and abnormal psychology: A textbook for educators, psychologists and mental hygiene workers. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Wallin, J. E. (1929). Brief survey of special education in the public schools of Baltimore. Baltimore, MD: Department of Education.

Wallin, J. E. (1929). Shall we continue to train psychologists for second-string jobs? Psychological Clinic, 18, 242-245.

Wallin, J. E. (1929). A statistical study of the individual tests in ages VIII and IX in the Stanford-Binet scale. Baltimore, MD: Williams and Wilkins.

Wallin, J. E. (1930). Must we continue to train clinical psychologists for second string jobs? The Psychological Clinic, 18, 242-245.

Wallin, J. E. (1930). Differences in chronological age, mental capacity and sex ratios of children referred from many school systems as candidates for special classes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 13, 29.

Wallin, J. E. (1934). The philosophy of education of the mentally handicapped child. Mental Hygiene, July, 393-408.

Wallin, J. E. (1935). Personality maladjustments and mental hygiene; a textbook for psychologists, educators, counselors, and mental-hygiene workers. NY: McGraw Hill.

Wallin, J. E. (1949). Children with mental and physical handicaps. NY: Prentice Hall.

Wallin, J. E. (1949). Personality maladjustments and mental hygiene. New York: McGraw Hill.

Wallin, J. E. (1953). Vagrant reminiscences of an oligophrenist. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 58, 39-55.

Wallin, J. E. (1954). Education of children of low ability: Corrigenda. School and Society, 80, 119-120.

Wallin, J. E. (1954). The problem of mental retardation. The School Executive, 74, 60-61.

Wallin, J. E. (1955). Odyssey of a psychologist: Pioneering experiences in special education, clinical psychology, and mental hygiene with a comprehensive bibliography of the author's publications. Wilmington, Delaware: J. E. Wallace Wallin. (This self published book lays out Wallin's accomplishments as seen in his own eyes. It also describes his conflicts with people and gives an interesting picture of the testing movement, child study movement, and origins of special education in American. There is an extensive bibliography of Wallin's writings in the appendix.)

Wallin, J. E. (1955). Education of mentally handicapped children. NY: Harper.

Wallin, J. E. (1956). Mental deficiency in relation to problems of genesis social and occupational consequences, utilization, control, and prevention. Brandon, VT: Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Wallin, J. E. (1956). Mental deficiency. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 12, 117-120.

Wallin, J. E. (1957). Missouri was first. Wilmington Journal, July 2 (newspaper).

Wallin, J. E. (1957). Notable advances in the understanding and treatment of mentally handicapped children. Occasional papers. Rock Island, Ill: Augustana College.

Wallin, J. E. (1958). Prevalence of mental retardates. School and Society, 86, 55-56.

Wallin, J. E. (1959). Education of the severely retarded child: A bibliographical review. Washington, D.C.: US Department of Health Education and Welfare, Department of Education.

Wallin, J. E. (1960). History of the struggles within the American Psychological Association to attain membership requirements, test standardization, certification of psychological practitioners, and professionalization. Journal of General Psychology, 68, 287-308.

Wallin, J. E. (1961). A note on the origin of the APA Clinical Section. American Psychologist, 16, 256-258.

Wallin, J. E. (1966). The early development of special educational facilities for handicapped children in the Delaware public schools. Wilmington, Delaware.

Wallin, J.E. (1966) Training of the severely retarded, viewed in historical perspective. Journal of General Psychology, Vol. 74, 107-27.

Writings about J. E. Wallace Wallin

Doll, Edgar (1914) Review of "The functions of the psychological clinic." Training School Bulletin, 11, 10-12.