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The 22nd Annual Vernon Wall Lecture.
THE CHANGING ROLE OF PSYCHOLOGY IN EDUCATIONAL PRACTICE
John Biggs, Honorary Professor of Psychology University of Hong Kong
In the last 50 years or so, the relationship between psychological theory and educational practice has changed from an hierarchical to a metaphoric one. In the 50s and 60s, psychologists dreamt of creating all-inclusive theories that could be applied to education, but examples of resulting enhanced teaching and learning are hard to find. More recently, educationally relevant theory has been derived, not from applying psychology top down, but by studying students learning in context, as in student learning theory (SLT). SLT readily generates hypotheses for good educational practice, as, for example, in the model of constructive alignment. Unfortunately, top down theorising from individual differences psychology still drives much thinking and practice in the assessment of student learning, with detrimental backwash effects on teaching and learning.