Developments in Educational Psychology

Developments in Educational Psychology

Developments in Educational Psychology

Developments in Educational Psychology


Review comment on the first edition

"Wheldall asks himself and his readers what has transpired within the field of educational psychology... and what its relevance actually is for teaching, learning and education. As such it is a 'must read' for all educational psychologists, students of educational psychology, teachers and teacher trainers."

Professor Paul Kirschner, Open Universiteit, British Journal of Educational Technology

What is the relevance of educational psychology in the twenty first century?

In this collection of essays, leading educational psychologists reflect on the seminal developments which have been made in the field over the past twenty five years or so and assess how far we have progressed. Given a broad and personal remit to address a range of issues, the contributors review and critique a variety of topics, including:

  • intelligence;
  • communication;
  • family environments;
  • individual differences;
  • reading;
  • peer learning;
  • classroom behaviour;
  • and higher education.

Providing provocative and challenging insights into the state of contemporary educational psychology, the contributors acknowledge throughout the successes and progression in the field, but with a critical edge and a challenge being thrown down to psychologists of education to make study more seriously informed and as a consequence, reformed.

Now in its second edition this compelling text for students and researchers is thoroughly updated and includes four new chapters.


There is a growing realisation by governments and other agencies that education is in crisis, not least as a result of a largely ideological press for change over recent decades for which there was little or no supporting evidence. There is now a growing appreciation, also shared by governments, that there is a need for what has become known as evidence-based practice. Educational psychology is the greatest hope for implementing evidence-based best practice in schools since it is predicated on a scientific approach to education based on quantitative evidence. This is one of the key features of this text.

The origins of this book lie in a special issue I edited to celebrate the twentyfifth anniversary of the journal Educational Psychology. It comprised ten articles by leading figures in the field who serve on the journal’s editorial board and who wrote about developments in their specialist topics of interest. The special issue was well received (‘about time someone said that,’ was a recurrent comment), as was the subsequent hardback book version of this collection of perspectives. In his review in the British Journal of Educational Technology, Professor Paul Kirchner of Utrecht University described it as ‘a “must read” for all educational psychologists, students of educational psychology, teachers and teacher trainers’.

As a hardback, this edition found its market in libraries rather than among postgraduate students and professionals. Routledge publishers expressed interest in publishing a paperback edition. When my proposal was sent out for review, the feedback was pleasingly positive and suggested that reading and classroom behaviour deserved greater coverage. This was particularly gratifying since these two topics have been my main research interests almost throughout my career. It also provided an opportunity to include some of the work completed by my research students and colleagues reviewing developments in these two key research areas.

What, then, has resulted from this process of revision and expansion? It is clearly not a comprehensive purview of the field as a whole. This collection is more an idiosyncratic overview of recent developments in topics that I consider to be of interest and importance.

The first ten chapters comprise a series of perspectives on general topics within the field of educational psychology and were originally published as the . . .

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