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Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education

Abstract

The role of education psychology in the 21st century must be to provide a research-based pedagogical foundation upon which preservice and practicing teachers can draw to develop the habits of mind necessary to ensure all students learn. Historically, the field of educational psychology is the study of how people learn (Crowel, Podell, & Kaminsky, 1997). However, the work most associated with the field of educational psychology during the 20th century has been the development of tests and measurements to identify learners' capacities and abilities. Much of the work by educational psychologists has been focused on identifying extremes of performance in the population. Thus, educational psychology has been viewed as largely irrelevant by classroom teachers who see the primary role of educational psychologists as that of labeling students who then qualify for special funding and instruction by gifted or special educators. Beyond the introduction to human development and learning theories provided in one or two preservice courses, educational psychology is viewed by classroom teachers as having contributed little to their understandings of learning variations among "average" ability students or to pedagogical decision making.