Psychology for the Classroom: Constructivism and Social Learning

Psychology for the Classroom: Constructivism and Social Learning

Psychology for the Classroom: Constructivism and Social Learning

Psychology for the Classroom: Constructivism and Social Learning


Psychology for the Classroom: Constructivism and Social Learning provides a lively introduction to the much debated topics of talk and group collaboration in classrooms, and the development of interactive approaches to teaching. The authors provide a background to research in constructivist and social learning theory, offering a broad and practical analysis which focuses on contemporary issues and strategies, including the use of e-learning and multimedia. Throughout the book theory is linked with its practical implications for everyday teaching and learning and chapters incorporate:

  • the history of constructivist and social learning theory and key thinkers
  • pedagogical implications
  • practical strategies for the classroom
  • constructivist theory and e-learning.

Case studies and vignettes demonstrating best practice are used throughout the text, illustrating how monitored collaboration between learners can result in an effective learning environment where targets are met. Essential reading for practising teachers and students, this book is a valuable guide for those looking to provide effective teaching and learning within a constructivist framework.


The focus of this series of books is the psychological elements of educational practice. The series aims to draw together and elucidate, at more than a superficial level, the major current topics of concern that are related to learning and to other important areas of psychological interest.

In the past teachers in training were introduced, at an entry level at least, to some of the psychology of learning and education. Although this element of the UK teacher training curriculum (TDA, 2007) has not quite disappeared completely, there is a considerably reduced emphasis placed on it in teacher training than was previously the case. Teachers currently in post report that they were not introduced satisfactorily to what they consider important aspects of learning – theory in particular – during their training (Pritchard, 2005). The relative success of Ways of Learning (Pritchard, 2005, 2009), and other books dealing with the same subject matter, can be seen as indicative of a need for more psychology for teachers and teachers in training.

In support of the wider rationale for the series, the work of Burton and Bartlett (2006) has some important points to make. They suggest that there is a danger that new ideas for pedagogical approaches in the classroom are often promoted, sometimes by government agencies, without the detailed research and theoretical underpinning relating to it being considered with due diligence:

The speed with which the internet and television can transmit ideas
and information and appear to afford them (often spurious) validation
should concern us as educators … [they are concerned that] high-profile
education consultants deliver courses on new pedagogies … [the
presentations are] … drawn eclectically from a range of research findings
thought to have practical benefits for learning [and that teachers] generally
enjoy these stimulating sessions and the recipe approach to pedagogic

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