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Directed development: A deconstructionist history of American educational psychology during the Progressive Era

Posted on:2009-04-20Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:The University of Wisconsin - MadisonCandidate:Curtis, Matthew DFull Text:PDF
This dissertation exemplifies the discursive role that educational psychology played in buttressing the ameliorative and unifying aims of the Progressive movement by exploring and interpreting the works of G.S. Hall, William James, John Dewey and E.L. Thorndike. By adopting a functionalist orientation that stressed the mind's capacity to order and administer organic interactions and thought's ability to rationally regulate the environment, the predominant psychological reasoning of the period positioned the student-child as a conceptual and material space which must be targeted to ensure both wholesome individual development and social progress.;The central problem that this study examines is the processes by which psychology emerged as the keystone or "master science" of American education. It also seeks to elucidate upon the way in which educational psychology hems in the conceptual site of childhood, delimits the process of learning, and pedagogically fabricates student-children, while privileging particular ways of being and becoming. Put somewhat differently, this dissertation demonstrates how educational psychology authors and abridges the account of how we came to know what we know and think about what we think in regards to the learning science and how such sciences have subsequently dictated how the child-learner is to be conceptualized and constituted via educational practice.
Keywords/Search Tags:Educational
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