Crossing the atlantic to gain knowledge in the field of psycho-pedagogy
the 1922 mission of Ovide Decroly and Raymond Buyse to the usa and the travel diary of the latter
In their chapter (Chap. 4), Marc Depaepe, Lieven D'hulst and Frank Simon deal with a remarkable historical example: "Crossing the Atlantic to Gain Knowledge in the Field of Psycho-pedagogy: The 1922 Mission of Ovide Decroly and Raymond Buyse to the USA and the Travel Diary of the Latter'. They use a recent publication (Depaepe & D'hulst, 2011) reflecting the ubiquitous American influence on the construct of psycho-pedagogical sciences in Belgium, to clarify the extent to which space, in the geographical sense of the word, has helped shape researchers' mental structures, often for a lifetime. The publication contains the travel notes (in the original French and translated into English) of the future professor Raymond Buyse, made during his study trip to the United States—the country of choice for immigrants, at least that is the way in which it is impressed in our collective memory—together with Ovide Decroly in the spring of 1922. These notes are a gold mine for cultural-historical research into mental migration as well as into the related perception of the cultural context from which one wishes to import scientific opinions, ideas, theories, methods and techniques. On the other hand, they also reveal the reverse side of the scientific activity that these men went to study there, from the perspective of the history of science, among other things, as a consequence of their uncensored naiveté and stereotyping. The article is arranged into two parts: the first deals with the study trip and its mission, in relation with the general landscape of an emerging science of education as well as with the individual careers of the travellers and scientists. With some imagination, one can put this section under the heading macro space. The second deals with some more specific aspects of the travel as reflected by the notes of Buyse. With the same imagination, one can call this the micro space of the travel diary.
Depaepe, M. , D'hulst, L. , Simon, F. (2013)., Crossing the atlantic to gain knowledge in the field of psycho-pedagogy: the 1922 mission of Ovide Decroly and Raymond Buyse to the usa and the travel diary of the latter, in P. Smeyers, M. Depaepe & E. Keiner (eds.), Educational research, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 47-60.
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