Educational Studies Department

Education courses have been taught at Davidson College since 1914. At that time, only once course was taught by Professor Currie. Replaced by Dr. Hood, a professor of psychology and education, Dr. Hood was the only education professor until the education and psychology departments were each growing popular enough to have their own professors. In 1920, Davidson hired Luther Bateman Henderson to become the Chair of Education. This position was created because of a generous offer by Mr. Graham’s trust fund and was first held by Dr. Hood. Thanks to Graham’s gift, the Department of Education really began at Davidson.

By 1929, four education courses were being taught each term, and education courses were doing well until Davidson faced a dilemma in 1929. Mr. Henderson was expecting tenure, but in 1929, Davidson informed him that they would not be inaugurating Mr. Henderson as they thought that another professor would be a better fit for the job. This created several issues at the time of Commencement in 1930 and ended with Davidson hiring Professor Price Gwynn to replace Mr. Henderson.

The Psychology and Education Department remained one department until 1948 when Jay Ostwalt was hired to become the Chair of the independent Education Department. Professor Ostwalt was hired and with the help of the Assistant Professor Ives, the Education Department experienced great growth. In 1940, twelve hours of education courses were being taught and by 1950, twenty-one hours of courses were being offered.

As of 2023, the Educational Studies Department offers 43 courses (eight of which are offered in the Fall of 2023), taught by five Educational Studies professors and students can major or minor in Educational Studies.

Works Cited:

Beaty, Mary D. A History of Davidson College. Briarpatch Press, 1988.

“Education.” Davidson College Catalog. 1914-2014.


Author: Meredith Pintler ’16
Date: 11 August 2014
Cite as: Pintler, Meredith, “Educational Studies Studies Department” Davidson Encyclopedia, 11 August 2014.

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