International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Moral Construction of Educational Psychology: The American Case
John G. Richardson, Karen Bradley

This paper examines the historical and social construction of educational psychology. Educational psychology became the dominant theory of learning and teaching during the early decades of the 20th century. The paper argues that the success in defining American public schooling as its professional jurisdiction is owed, in large part, to how educational psychology framed a meta-narrative that spoke to the major economic transformations generally and to the social and cultural problems that came with them. The resilience of educational psychology as the dominant ‘theory’ of schooling extends to the present, repeating the interpretation of (non)learning in terms of individual differences and their moral implications.

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