Re: Sheldon (Shep) White

From: Ellice Forman (
Date: Wed Mar 23 2005 - 05:36:15 PST

Mike and others,
I'm quite saddened by Shep's passing as well. Thanks for letting us know
about it. He was a great inspiration to me when I was a student at the
Harvard Ed School. Emily Cahan and I spent many hours discussing the
chapter she was working on with Shep on the 2nd Psychology.
Ellice Forman

--On Tuesday, March 22, 2005 6:21 PM -0600 Mike Cole <>

> Dear Colleagues,
> I have been notified of the sad news that Shep White, long time professor
> of psychology at Harvard died. He had been ill for some time, but his
> passing is a matter of deep sorrow to those who knew him and his work.
> Speaking personally, I first knew Shep as a mentor to Barbara Rogoff
> and one of the people who put their careers and time on the line to
> help the Project Head
> Start get off the ground. Later I came to kinow him as a supportive and
> caring mentor who was kind enough to write a preface of a book I wrote.
> In that book Shep and his colleaguel, Emily Cahan, are credited with
> tracing the history of the "second psychology", one that included culture
> as a fundamental constituitive of human nature, as a parallel and
> at-least-equal of the first psychology of logical positivism. He counted
> Vygotsky as one of the icons
> of this second psychology.
> In their article, Shep and Emily noted that when anyone moved from the
> first to the second psychology, they were very likely to be perceived
> and treated by their
> colleagues as having moved from "basic" to "applied" psychology. Dewey,
> they wrote, suffered a similar fate.
> In a rare and gleeful irony,. when the prior edition of the Handbook
> of Developmental Psychology was being put together, the editors moved
> from basic to the applied volume of the Handbook. Shep and I had a great
> time celebrating their forsight in pre-visioning our fate. (Ultimately,
> we were too preoccupied with other matters to finish the task, which,
> with, in great fashion, was completed by Patricia Greenfield and a
> colleauge).
> And in a double helix of ironies, the next arfticle in the handbook, in
> the volume on cognitive development (a "basic" approach???) wil be
> authored by a member of lchc.
> Shep's wife, Barbara, his life's companion and a fine psychologist, is
> of course the person who has suffered the greatest loss.
> :.....................((
> mike

Ellice Ann Forman
Department of Instruction and Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 648-7022

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