The Indian Personality, Education, and Administration Research project, about which these papers relate, began in August 1941 under a contract between the Department of the Interior and the University of Chicago. The program grew out of discussions beween John Collier, who was the commissioner of Indian affairs; Williard W. Collier's director of education; and Havighurst and William Lloyd Warner, both of the university's Committee on Human Development. Since he had become commissioner, Collier had shown strong interest in using anthropological knowledge for modifying the direction of the administration of Indian affairs.
The Indian Personality, Education, and Administration Research offered a relatively large-scale opportunity to study the effects of policies begun in 1929 and intensified during the New Deal. The policies attempted to promote the development of Indian societies in the modern world from a base of Indian culture. The hope was that the studies would allow further modification of polices to benefit Indian societies and their efforts to cope with the modern world. The contract for the project was drawn up under the terms of a law of June 4, 1936, (49 Stat. 1458). Under it, the Committee on Human Development became responsible for planning and directing the research through a subcommittee called the Committee on Indian Education. Its membership was made up of Havighurst, Warner, and Ralph Tyler.
Implementation of the committee's plans through the work of various researchers in the field was the responsibility of a coordinator. This post was filled by Laura Thompson, an anthropologist known for her work in administrative problems relating to the natives of Oceania. Appointment of field workers, the approval of plans, the provision of money, and other means of carrying out the research were in the hands of Collier. The records suggest an active role by the commissioner, including the choice of tribes that were studied. Collier himself worked through a committee of employees of the Bureau of Indian Affairs composed of himself, Beatty, Rene d'Harnoncourt, and Joseph McCaskill.
Joint meetings of the commissioner's committee and the committee at the University of Chicago worked on problems of common concern. The project was divided into two phases. The first, called Indian Personality Research or Indian Education Research, involved field work, analysis and interpretation of data, and the preparation of a series of monographs on individual tribes and other publications. Some of the field work was carried out by teams of professional researchers, including physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, and anthropologists. They were involved in the adaption and administration of a battery of psychological tests or the training and supervision of nonprofessionals, including teachers and Bureau of Indian Affairs personnel, who were also involved in giving tests or carrying out other investigations.
To support and supplement test findings, interviews and observation in the home, school, and community; medical examinations; and the collection of data concerning school and homelife of the test subjects were carried out. The pilot project for the research was carried out among the Papago Indians with Laura Thompson in charge and Ruth Underhill, of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as one of the fieldworkers. Two important decisions came out of this study. First, it was decided to abandon an idea to embrace cradle to grave coverage among the test subjects and, for practical purposes, to concentrate on school-age children.
Eventually, the study, thus designed, came to include the Dakota of Pine Ridge, Zuni, Sia, Hopi, and Navaho. The Sia project was discontinued at the request of the community. The Zuni research was incomplete at the time the project as a whole was terminated. Altogether, approximately 1000 children served as test subjects, and over 150 persons were involved in the research. Field workers were trained at a seminar held in Santa Fe during May and June 1942. Most of the field investigations were carried out in 1942 and early 1943. The resulting data were transferred to the University of Chicago in 1943 and analyses and interpretation were carried out in 1943 and 1944. Throughout the research, plans were also made for the preparation of data for publication.
The second phase of the project, called Indian Administration Research, concerned the implications of the earlier work for the administration of Indian Affairs and the problems of applying the knowledge. Before the phase began, the University of Chicago withdrew from the work because of the question of the properness of an academic institution becoming involved directly in problems of the government. The Department of Interior then made a contract with the Society for Applied Anthropology to take the university's place. A joint committee of BIA personnel and SAA representatives was formed to direct the new work under the cochairmanship of Collier and SAA president John Provinse. Provinse, who later became a BIA employee, was replaced by Conrad Arensberg.
Laura Thompson continued as coordinator but moved her office from Chicago to Washington. The Indian Administration Research was partly concerned with the preparation of publications left incomplete during the Indian Personality Research. It also involved research to follow up the findings of the first phase of work, but only the work among the Hopi progressed very far. Finally, a report on the entire project was to be prepared by Thompson. In 1945, the project suffered the loss of Collier when he resigned as commissioner of Indian affairs. Collier's superior, Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes resigned the following year.
In 1947, after the loss of such leaders and a growing current of criticism within the government of Collier's policies and criticism among certain anthropologists of the project itself, the project was officially terminated. In spite of this, work on publications by the professional staff continued over the next several years. This included the issuance of Thompson's final report which appeared in 1951. Havighurst, a trained chemist who became an educational psychologist, was a professor of education and human development at the University of Chicago. At the time Collier conceived the Indian Personality, Education, and Administration Research, he was secretary of the university's permanent Committee on Human Development.
Thompson has indicated that he was the de facto leader of the subcommittee on education that directed the initial phase of the research. In addition to taking part in the general guidance of the work, Havighurst was actively engaged as one of the professional researchers of the project. He worked to adapt the Piaget guided interview techniques to the circumstances at hand, participated in the Santa Fe training session, and guided the processing and analyses of the Arthur Point Performance Scale, Goodenough Draw-a-Man, Piaget Immanent Justice, Bavelas Moral Ideology, and Stewart Emotional Response tests.
Register; selected drawing by children included in inventory of artwork in the National Anthropological Archives Available on loan from the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington. D. C. 20560 Generally control to folder level; inventory provides item control of selected drawings.
The records were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Dr. Havighurst.
Addl. KW Subjects:
Papago (Tohono O'odham)
(1) Case files, 1942-1943; (2) Arthur Point Performance Test records, 1943-1944; (3) Stewartʹs Emotional Response Test analysis, ca. 1943; (4) "Drawing test administered 1947 by Borchardt," 1947; (5) free drawings, 1942-1943; (6) administrative material, 1941-1943; (7) printed and processed material, 1939-1954
Havighurst has described the material sent to the archives as being that left by the committee. It will be noted, however, that the test materials included are those in which Havighurst had a special interest and the correspondence is his. Several researchers have noted that the original protocols for the tests are not included. For additional material concerning the project, see the papers of Dorothea Cross Leighton, and Laura Thompson. The papers include small amounts of correspondence of Grace Arthur, Ruth Fulton Benedict, Clara Gonzales, Lester Janke, Dorothea C. Leighton, and Laura Thompson.
Robert J. Havighurst Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland