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Education & Language | Educational Research: The Attraction of Psychology

Educational Research: The Attraction of Psychology

Series: Educational Research, Vol. 6

Smeyers, Paul

Depaepe, Marc (Ed.)

2013, VIII, 184 p.

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  • Provocative and original papers that challenge prevailing notions of applied psychology in education
  • A spirited defence of the urgent relevance of philosophical and historical approaches to modern education theory, practice, and research
  • Offers a major contribution to the debate surrounding the constraining effects of applied psychology on educational research

The closely argued and provocative contributions to this volume challenge psychology’s hegemony as an interpretive paradigm in a range of social contexts such as education and child development. They start from the core observation that modern psychology has successfully penetrated numerous domains of society in its quest to develop a properly scientific methodology for analyzing the human mind and behaviour. For example, educational psychology continues to hold a central position in the curricula of trainee teachers in the US, while the language of developmental psychology holds primal sway over our understanding of childrearing and the parent-child relationship. 

Questioning the default position of modern psychology as a way of conceptualizing human relations, this collection of papers reexamines key assumptions that include psychology’s self-image as a ‘scientific’ discipline. Authors also argue that the dogma of neuropsychology in education has demoted concepts such as ‘emotion’, ‘feeling’ and ‘relationship’, so that they are now ’blind spots’ in educational theory. Other chapters offer a cautionary analysis of how misshapen notions of psychology can legitimize eugenics (as in Nazi Germany) and poison racial attitudes. Above all, has psychology, with its focus on individual merit, been complicit in hiding the impacts of power and privilege in education? This bracing new volume adopts a broader definition of education and childrearing that admits the essential contribution of the humanities to the proper study of mankind.

This publication, as well as the ones that are mentioned in the preliminary pages of this work, were realized by the Research Community (FWO Vlaanderen / Research Foundation Flanders, Belgium) Philosophy and History of the Discipline of Education: Faces and Spaces of Educational Research.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » applied psychology - applied psychology in education - developmental psychology - dogma of neuropsychology in education - educational psychology - educational research - educational theory - effect of applied psychology in educational research - experimental psychology - history of education - impact of power and privilage in education - modern education theory - neuroscience - philosophy and history of the social sciences - philosophy of education - philosophy of science

Related subjects » Education & Language - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - Psychology

Table of contents 

1. Making sense of the attraction of psychology: On the strengths and weaknesses for education and educational research; Paul Smeyers and Marc Depaepe.- 2. Struggling with the historical attractiveness of psychology for educational research illustrated by the case of Nazi-Germany; Marc Depaepe.- 3. On the fatal attractiveness of psychology: Racism of intelligence in education; Jean-Claude Croizet.- 4. Psychology in teacher education: Efficacy, professionalization, management, and habit; Lynn Fendler.- 5. The fatal attraction of the language of developmental psychology in child rearing; Stefan Ramaekers and Judith Suissa.- 6. Mirror neuron, mirror neuron in the brain, who’s the cleverest in your reign? From the attraction of psychology to the discovery of the social; Kathleen Coessens, Karen François and Jean Paul van Bendegem.- 7. The vocabulary of acts: Neuroscience, phenomenology, and the mirror-neuron; Paul Standish.- 8. The attraction of neuropsychological findings in contemporary educational thinking, or: Feeling, emotion and relationship as blind spots in educational theory; Volker Kraft.- 9. In defence of the humanities against the exaggerated pretensions of ‘scientific’ psychology; David Bridges.- 10. The theology of education to come; Richard Smith.- 11. Learning is not education; Nicholas C. Burbules.- 12. Attention, commitment and imagination in educational research. Open the universe a little more!; Stijn Mus.- About the Authors.- Author Index.- Subject index.

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