The Routledgefalmer Reader in Psychology of Education

The Routledgefalmer Reader in Psychology of Education

The Routledgefalmer Reader in Psychology of Education

The Routledgefalmer Reader in Psychology of Education


The editors of this essential Reader recognise the valuable and varied benefits of connecting the two fields of education and psychology, and have carefully selected contributions to reflect current trends in the subject and examples of how knowledge has an impact on practice. This lively and authoritative book features sections on topics as varied as: * assessment * language * motivation * cognition and development * intelligence * memory * special educational needs Psychology and education have an entwined relationship, but one that is often complex and delicate. Day-to-day pressures of classroom life may often result in the negligence of the importance of child development. It is therefore crucial for students and practitioners to keep abreast of recent educational changes, which raise new questions for educational psychology. With a specially written introduction from the editors, providing a much-needed context to the current education climate, students of educational psychology will find this Reader an important route map to further reading and understanding.


Harry Daniels and Anne Edwards

Psychology and education have an entwined relationship. It is most certainly not a one-way relationship in which psychology produces knowledge, for subsequent application in education. It is a complex and delicate two-way relationship. There is one sense in which some aspects of psychology need interaction with education. Arguably developments and advances take place as psychology responds to the field of education with its ever-changing tensions and dilemmas. Education could thus be seen as a spur to development in some aspects of psychology.

This is not the place to rehearse the analysis of the social and political pressures on psychology as a discipline. It is probably sufficient to note that the tendency of the discipline to present itself as the conveyor of scientific certainty has been enhanced by the opportunity, in the UK at least, to secure higher levels of funding as a science within universities. As a consequence, it may be reasonable to suggest that those aspects of Social, Cultural and Developmental Psychology which demand a close-to-the-field questioning of assumptions and the more reflective and participatory methods of the social sciences may struggle to flourish and expand within UK higher education.

At the same time, teacher training in England and Wales has been progressively stripped of accounts of child development, and even learning, so the intensity of the interchange between psychology and education has been diminished and impoverished. There is a need for renewal and not only in the UK. Education is struggling to come to terms with the pedagogic implications of preparing young people and adults for the demands of a rapidly changing knowledge economy. The questions these societal changes invoke may well act to progress changes in psychology. For example, notions of situated and distributed cognition are invoked in speculations about the most appropriate way to conceptualise social and psychological processes in the collective production of knowledge in educational as well as work settings. As social change demands educational change so educational change raises new questions for psychology. These questions may, and perhaps should, act to change the conceptions and assumptions of psychology as it seeks to accommodate these new challenges.

We are, therefore, not seeing psychology as a set of scientific certainties to be applied in education as a benign and passive field of study. Instead, we are suggesting that both areas of work benefit from mutual interaction. A particular contribution that psychology can make to education is to inform the intellectual tool kits of educationalists and sharpen thinking about the processes of teaching and learning. The contributions selected for this collection rarely offer clear-cut guidance. Rather, they demonstrate that the development of psychological knowledge is socially situated and slowly accumulative and that it frequently occurs in response to observations from the field that disconcert.

This book has, therefore, been planned to provide commentaries from psychology on issues of significance for education. In turn, these educational issues are challenging some

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