ERIC Number: ED393049
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Unorthodox Thoughts on the Nature and Mission of Contemporary Educational Psychology.
Two assumptions commonly held in educational psychology are questioned. According to the first assumption, mental states and processes are studied in isolation. According to the second assumption, an individuals' psychology, that which is of relevance to education, is often studied out of social and cultural context, rendering suspect explanations that focus solely on the individual learner. These assumptions continue to underlie much of the empirical work in educational psychology, despite increasing interest in socio-cultural, constructivist, and contextual perspectives and theories. Based on a perception of the individual as having an undivided psychology, and as being an integrative part of a wider context, a different conception of educational psychology is presented. A triad of missions for the field is proposed: (1) develop empirically-grounded explanations; (2) provide practial guidance; and (3) design educational settings. This conception leads to an educational psychology the hallmark of which is the study and design of complex composites (learning environments), rather than discrete variables, to complement the study of their separate contributing components (e.g., intelligence, motivation, schemata). A set of tools is presented to show that methodological tools do exist for the study of whole individuals within the wider context of a composite learning environment. Contains 62 references. (JBJ/Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Social Constructivism
Note: Portions of the paper were presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (103rd, New York, NY, August 11-15, 1995).