History of the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences


The beginning of the university education in psychology in Iasi is before the foundation of “Al Cuza” University. Psychology was among the philosophical disciplines taught at the Mihailean Academy and the Socola Seminar. With the founding of the University in 1860, the first university courses of psychology and pedagogy (didactics) were held by Simion Bărnuţiu. His work will be continued by Titu Maiorescu, who will take two cycles of lectures under the title Psychological Research.

Department of pedagogy, founded after 1878, was occupied first by Constantin Dimitrescu-Iaşi (1878-1885) and then for a longer period of time, one of the great names of science education in Romania, I. Găvănescu (between 1888-1932). This was followed by Ştefan Bârsănescu, between 1895 and 1965.

At the end of the 19th century, the department of psychology of “Al. I. Cuza” University was occupied by Constantin Leonardescu, but the main development of the Iasi psychological education is related to the names of Mihai Ralea and Vasile Pavelcu. Special attention deserves Eduard Gruber, PhD in psychology from Wundt, who founded the first laboratory of experimental psychology Iasi in Romania in 1893.

In the post-war communist period, the university education of psychology suffered, being considered “retrograde”, “useless” or even “subversive”, even reaching the closing of psychological sections for a period of about 20 years. During this time, the teaching staff of the psychology and pedagogical chairs have managed to maintain their didactic and scientific research activity at a high level. (Re)Establishment within the Faculty of Philosophy of the departments of psychology and pedagogy at “Al. I. Cuza” University of Iasi after the anti-communist revolution of December 1989 appears as an act of justice. Surprisingly enough, even for the most fervent supporters, these profiles have been a tremendous success among young people (the competition for admission to college has reached the competition of 20 candidates on the spot) proof of their necessity. In 1997, a separation, justified both administratively and epistemologically, by the Faculty of Philosophy, was established, through the establishment of the new Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences.

After having had to overcome the difficulties both due to political sanctions prior to 1989 and those related to a reorganization in a very short time, the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences now faces the future.