Lee J. Cronbach's Contributions to Educational Psychology

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Lee J. Cronbach is one of the most prominent and influential educational psychologists of all time. His scholarship has had a profound impact on the discipline throughout a career that spanned over 5 decades, and his name has been associated with many phenomena in the fields of measurement, teaching and learning, and evaluation. Cronbach stated that his “… most sustained line of investigation, with publications extending over more than 40 years, has had to do with methods for appraising the accuracy of psychological or educational measurements and of inferences from them” (Cronbach, 1991, p. 385). Still, measurement issues were but one facet of a monumental intellectual enterprise, whose style Snow and Wiley (1991) so vividly captured: The Cronbach style is first to find the root problems, the hidden difficulties, the tacit assumptions, and the theoretical and methodological conventions that blind the investigator to limits and alternatives and thus impede progress in socially important fields of inquiry. He then learns how to think straight about the core issues by cutting away this excess and malconceived conceptual and methodological baggage to criticize the basic questions being pursued. Often this is accomplished by recasting existing data from some important study, reaching a new synthesis and pursuing implications that go well beyond those of the original investigator. His revision then 290emerges as a carefully tutored central example for a field. He thus raises the level of conceptualization with which diverse investigators work by sharpening the questions that guide them and by reconfiguring the line of investigation, to clarify the meaning of evidence and to improve the opportunities for earlier solid payoff, both theoretical and practical. (p. 1)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducational Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationA Century of Contributions
EditorsBarry J. Zimmerman, Dale H. Schunk
Place of PublicationMahwah, NJ
PublisherLawrence Erlbaum Associates
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315734255, 9781317560425
ISBN (Print)9780805836813
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2002

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2003 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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