Past as Prologue: Educational Psychology’s Legacy and Progeny

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Abstract

On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the American Psychological Association, the legacies and progenies of the discipline of educational psychology are explored. To capture those legacies, transformational and influential contributions by educational psychologists to schools and society are described as key themes. Those themes entail: the “psychologizing” of education, engagement in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary inquiry, a focus on learning as a core construct, an investment in measurement and an appreciation of human variability, and a search for evidence-based approaches and practices that work. To project forward, those same thematic areas are revisited 25 years from now as the means of speculating on educational psychology’s future contributions to schools and society. In both the case of the legacies and progenies, potential difficulties or particular challenges are also considered.

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