ERIC Number: ED311017
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-29
Teaching Is Situation Specific but Theory Is Not. Toward a Higher Impact of Research on Practice.
As personality and social psychology research has shown, cross-situational consistency of people's social behavior tends to be rather low. This applies also to teachers' classroom behavior: teachers adapt to situative conditions. However, both situation specificity and teachers' adaptation are not sufficiently taken into account in research and in the analysis of the interdependence of theory--which almost by definition is situation invariant--and practice. An adaptation function must be assumed which "translates" the theory into unique actions which are appropriate for the unique situation. A theory of cross- situational consistency could help to analyze this adaptation function. The framework of a theory of intraindividual (cross-situational) differences based on cognitive social learning theory is presented that could satisfy this need. This theory links the means (i.e., teacher activities) and the goals the subject pursues. It is shown that situation specific behavior is usually related to inverted-U-shaped behavior-outcome relationships, which can be analyzed in terms of power in opposed directions. A research program based on this approach is presented which is designed to improve the applicability of theory (or research) in practice by explicitly taking into account the fundamental differences between theory and practice with respect to the situation specificity problem. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).