Edwin W. Davis, 79, an official of the National Education Association and a former student-guidance counselor at George Washington University, died Oct. 6 at Sibley Memorial Hospital after a heart attack.

Dr. Davis, who lived in Chevy Chase, was born in Dexter, Mich. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and master's and doctoral degrees at Columbia University.

He was the state director of guidance in Vermont before moving here in 1945 to counsel students at GWU. In 1951, he moved to Chicago, where he was a guidance counselor at the University of Illinois. He returned here in 1956 as association secretary for special studies at the NEA. He held that post until he retired in 1968.

Dr. Davis was a former member of the board of the International Foundation for the Creative and Performing Arts and of the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth. He was a member of two honor societies, Phi Delta Kappa and Psi Chi, and a member of the advisory committees of the American Council on Education and the National Testing Service. He also was a member of the Fossils Club and the choir at Bethesda Presbyterian Church.

His wife, Marilyn Parks Davis, died in 1970.

Survivors include three children, Thomas G., of Darien, Conn., Lorraine Sorvino of Tenafly, N.J., and Donald, of Culver City, Calif., and seven grandchildren.