Education and Psychology
Plato, Piaget and Scientific Psychology
By Kieran Egan
Routledge – 2012 – 228 pages
Psychology of education has long held a place in the curriculum for training teachers but what implications can psychological theory legitimately have for educational practice? In this book the author makes a direct attack on the current role of psychology in education, showing important differences between psychologists’ and educators’ interests in topics such as learning, motivation and development, and questioning the validity of many of Piaget’s most fundamental ideas. He compares two developmental theories that superficially have much in common – Plato’s and Piaget’s – and focuses on their implications for learning in the classroom. He shows why Plato’s theory (whether or not we agree with it) serves as a model of a useful educational theory and why Piaget’s theory has no implications for education. He reaches the conclusion that psychological theories and research based on them are irrelevant to educational practice.
Introduction. 1 Education and Psychology: A Sense of Differences. 2 Plato’s Developmental Theory. 3 Piaget’s Developmental Theory. 4 Educationally Useful Theories. 5 Psychology and Education. Conclusion. Notex. Index.