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Introductory Chapter: Will a Cooperation between Polarized Paradigms in Educational Psychology Be Possible?

Written By

Trif Victorița

Submitted: 21 November 2018 Published: 14 January 2019

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.83593

From the Edited Volume

Educational Psychology - Between Certitudes and Uncertainties

Edited by Victori?a Trif

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1. Introduction

Over the past decades, the educational psychology knowledge was constantly rebranding and revising due to performance pressure and need to solve authentic educational problems. The multiple case studies [1], the mastery experiences, and the different kinds of results from the research nurtured new mutual communities of knowledge in the area. This book comprises a variety of styles, debated issues, many theoretical positions, substantial details concerning knowledge, and tensions between extreme methodological rules, and discusses the most important academic market topics.


2. Why this book?

Even though the contemporary epistemology is very sophisticated [2], this book addresses an alternative position to the fragmented educational psychology knowledge. The following characteristics lead to the current explanations from the educational psychology framework and sustain the intellectual architecture of the book.

2.1. Epistemology

For most of the people, knowledge is relative and the epistemology of educational psychology is cognitively represented at the crossroads between different branches of psychology and educational sciences. In many cases, this view significantly differs from the classic body knowledge. Such assumptions remain endemic without a masterly demonstration. In order to provide some insights, it is necessary to examine the diversity of knowledge [3] and the polarization of various thinking schools from the area of educational psychology:

  • standardized versus unconventional methods of research,

  • passive construction knowledge versus active construction knowledge,

  • global versus local statements, sociocultural view of knowledge versus personal view of knowledge (In terms of reflective judgment, the specific beliefs about the knowledge model is part of the epistemological paradigms.)

  • constraints versus opportunities,

  • reality of educational psychology as “discovered” databases versus reality of educational psychology as “invented” dimension,

  • mediated technology versus nonmediated communications, and

  • domain specificity versus domain generality.

These themes of critical analysis reflect the researches expansion, multiple discourses, and models of academic practices, as well as the uncertainty of the conceptual framework. It is also a general development of ways of thinking practice and mutual empowerment. In different cultures and theories, the data were interpreted both by a nonrelativistic epistemology and by personal dispositions to consider the organization of knowledge.

2.2. Links with other sciences

On the other hand, the contemporary identity of educational psychology is influenced by other sciences’ challenges. These include to assuming the potential of new techniques, strategies, methods, new technologies that impose both new potential risks and benefits. Certainly this is not a ”colonization” of knowledge or values, but a rapid feedback of the researchers under the tyranny of “supercomplexity.” It is a sophisticate and improbable context within the epistemology of educational psychology combining rigorous results, unsolved research problems, new case studies, unoriginal patterns, prospective models, parallel explanations, polemic discussions, conventional assumptions, as well as stable structures of knowledge. This new comprehension of epistemological dimension conveys a conglomeration of contents mixing credible judgment models and spasmodic or uncontrolled contributions to formal science. Obviously, the synchronous and asynchronous shifts regarding past, present, and future knowledge require authors’ metaskills.

2.3. International meanings of educational psychology as academic site effect

The structure of different professional curricula is associated with particular working groups. The topics and the content vary from country to country despite the fact that the goals of transnational students are comparable. Teaching psychology for both psychologists and nonpsychologists is personalized, without separating the objective form from the subjective. The following addresses illustrate the wide spectrum of practices:






The critical analysis of this kind of ICT resources demonstrates the heterogeneity of narratives, the different learning and teaching styles involved, and the hybridity of educational psychology. In fact, there are different cultures of educational psychology.

2.4. Multiliteracy and communication issues

Besides the conventional literacy, the scientific framework review of educational psychology includes written and visual representation of science according to various science activities: video data (oral discourses or interviews, experiments, etc.), written studies, games, online tests, physical activity from the labs, etc. To extend that the qualitative analysis of data collected can be examined from the vantage point of dichotomy popular versus high culture. The discussion about multiliteracy of educational psychology can also refer to the fractioned communities of researchers from the fieldwork and their preferences to multimodal texts negotiation. The critical review illustrates a scientific discourses area evidencing intertextuality. The scientific meanings are related to social semiotics, cognitive or metacognitive approaches, transdisciplinary efforts, neurosciences measurements, computer-mediated communication, etc. Thus, as examined in previous critical exegesis, there are interfered observations, empirical results, experiments, qualitative metrics, ethnographies, communications paradigms, and so on.

In terms of communication language, this complex network reveals meanings uncovered by psychologists, governments, or practitioners from worldwide schools. From stratified knowledge point of view, educational psychology could be considered a milestone involving particular combinations between the multiliteracy parts:

  • soft or classic educational psychology,

  • narrative of science,

  • level of paradigms related to the shift from expanded paradigms to the “paradigms wars,”

  • the conglomeration of knowledge at crossroad between transversal communication (it is related to the exchanges between science and society), vertical communications (there are various generations of authors), and horizontal communication (there are scientific texts produced by peers) in the fieldwork, and

  • contemporary exercises that are difficult to be introduced in a trend (it is about revolutionary conceptions—e.g., J. Bruner decision to attack the folk psychology and pedagogy [4], or other American studies that assume new characteristics of adolescents/new developmental features, etc.).

2.5. Meta-analysis

Despite the fact that it is a social pressure for educational psychology, an essential part of the literature illustrates the interest to knowledge review. Academic resources include consistent critical exegesis of the theories, practices, and current researches. It offers bases of decisions vital for future findings and topics covered in the area as well as for emerged themes and possible trends. The most important studies are examined in terms of declarative knowledge, procedural knowledge, representational knowledge and acquaintanceship knowledge. A possible summary of substantive scientific knowledge in the fieldwork of educational psychology could include various models of epistemological development. As a result, multiliteracy and multimodality reveal multiple directions, mechanisms, and schemes regarding epistemological understanding. As a review result, we suggest a new version of the results in terms of the knowledge semantic network. In this case, the interactive multimodal semantic network could be designed by key terms as expertise of knowledge, received knowledge, subjective knowledge, purpose of knowledge, simplicity of knowledge, absolute knowing, transitional knowing, independent knowing, contextual knowing, separate knowing, connected knowing, ways of knowing, nature of knowledge and truth, source of truth, justification of knowing, etc. This qualitative exegesis supports the idea that scientific discourse of educational psychology is developing under conflicting patterns.

As a consequence of the abovementioned aspects, the hiatus between formal educational psychology and the post—post knowledge (the knowledge after all the currents, trends and theories) requires a possible protection against possible negative effects in real school life. My main scope as editor of this book was not to point out or to hunt unreasonable or past conceptual equipment or discourses, but to produce a volume that would represent a prospective exercise for the international concerns regarding educational psychology.

From the shared knowledge point of view [3], educational psychology is the result of different psychology branches (experimental psychology, clinic psychology, etc.), influences, and stands at the crossroad between positivism and narrative criticism. This overlaps with other explanation: educational psychology as applied psychology. In fact, it is about a “mixture” generated by different generations of psychologists, a multiplicity of discourses (cognitive, semantic, social or cultural discourses; intellectual, practical, and social or personal reasons) generating a new “core curriculum” of educational psychology. In these terms, the book aims to introduce the reader into a contemporary version of science based on hybrid conceptualization, internationalization of students, new technologies, new research in neurodiversity of learning, new insights on brain mechanisms, new case studies, and other psychological costs of challenge into a globalized society assaulted by social dissonances [2].


3. Some explanations regarding the book

This book is based on the need to prepare the educational psychology course—as author—as well as on multiple case studies received from schools during last decade in order to be solved. This volume incorporates an international perspective on the developmental theory literacy and brings together six authors with different topics. Their contributions cover prominent area of research that are important for the complexity of conceptual understanding of science.

The book was not designed as a ”unique” solution to the inhomogeneous educational psychology problems [5] (e.g., divergent learning and teaching cultures, different discourses about cultural psychology, brain plasticity, etc.) [6] but as a tool for teachers, policy planners, and educational psychologists, contributing to the growth of professional reflexivity in the area.

The most important problem of the book might include the key question: How to prepare an international course of educational psychology for a globalized society? We assume the fact that this book structure—as a prioritized conception—is convergent with this question.


4. Purposes of the book

A converging consensus on educational psychology is reflected into the purposes of the book:

  1. to negotiate a global perspective on complex knowledge from the area,

  2. to include chapter-based current research written by authors recognized in the fieldwork,

  3. to provide content relevant for international comparisons. There are multiple cultural accents that justify the need of reflexivity, and

  4. to deal with contemporary prospective in educational psychology.


5. Prospecting future

In order to understand and support the development of educational psychology as well as to establish remedial interventions—in terms of professional accountability—the future conceptual perspective on the fieldwork could be induced by following questions:

Toward a “correct” answer in educational psychology? A possible battle for authentic relevance? Intellectual independence? Many experiences? Cultural reasons? Irregularity of knowledge? Connectivity in multiliteracy? Dissimilar paradigms? New hypotheses in science? Crisis in educational psychology? It is educational psychology a puzzle of rivalry paradigms?

These interrogations could be considered recommendations for implementing new trends in educational psychology knowledge.



I am grateful to my parents and to my students. I also thank the authors of the book for their effort, and many thanks to Sara Debeuc for her support.


  1. 1. Trif V. Case studies as unconventional meanings. In: Bernand Cavero O, Llevot Calvet N, editors. New Pedagogical Challenges in 21st Century—Contributions of Research in Education. Rijeka, Croatia: InTechOpen; 2018.
  2. 2. Cognitive TV. Semantic and Social Dissonances into Assessment. Saarbrucken: Lap Lampert Academic Publishing; 2017.
  3. 3. Trif V. Sharing knowledge system in higher education as a result of psychological reglobalization. In: Global Research Seminar: Sharing Research Agendas on Knowledge Systems. Paris: UNESCO; 2008. pp. 136-138
  4. 4. Bruner J. The Culture of Education. London and Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; 1996. p. 46
  5. 5. Davidson J, Sternberg R, editors. The Psychology of Problem Solving. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2003. pp. 3-30
  6. 6. Trif V. Can Images—As a result of processing metaphorical brain—be processed by quantitative metrics? Open Journal of Social Sciences. 2016;4(3):123-129. DOI: 10.4236/jss.2016.43018

Written By

Trif Victorița

Submitted: 21 November 2018 Published: 14 January 2019