Discursive Construction of “Good Teaching”: A Crossdisciplinary Framework

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Skills, knowledge (concepts), and dispositions frequently are cited as intended learning outcomes of schooling (e.g., NCATE, 2002). Diverse branches of psychology (behaviorial, developmental, sociocultural) conceive of associated learning processes in theoretically heterogeneous ways. Yet psychologists in each branch, intent upon establishing eventual paradigmatic unity, talk of learning as a unitary construct. As a consequence, educators seek to operationalize “good teaching” (i.e., teaching that supports learning) as a self-consistent set of practices. What do educational theory and practice come to look like if educators choose to take learning theory for what it is rather than for what it hopes to become? This paper explores debilitating consequences of our current integrative discourse about good teaching, and presents a new vision of educational theory unshackled from psychology’s dominance.


Keywords: Learning Theory, Pedagogical Theory, Relation to Practice
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


David Kirshner

Professor, Department of Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice, Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA, USA

I am interested in the relationship between notions of learning and teaching. My perspective is primary sociological as I view psychology and education as fulfilling historically inscribed trajectories that constrain theorizing.
I also am a mathematics educator interested in structural understanding of the symbol system of algebra.

Ref: L08P0242