Title: Marrying theory building and the improvement of school practice: A permanent challenge for instructional psychology
Authors: De Corte, Erik # ×
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Series Title: Learning and Instruction vol:10 issue:3 pages:249-266
Abstract: Recent research on learning and instruction has substan-tially advanced our understanding of the processes of knowledge and skill acquisition. However, school practices have not been innovated and improved in ways that reflect this progress in the development of a theory of learning from instruction.

It is argued in this article that to be successful in making psychological theory and research applicable to education one should develop a strategy that combines the following basic characteristics:
•good communication with practitioners which means that the relevant outcomes are translated in such a way that they become palatable, accessible, and usable for the teachers;
•an orientation toward a fundamental change of teachers' belief systems about the goals of education and about good teaching and productive learning;
•a holistic (as opposed to a partial) approach to the teaching–learning environment, i.e. all relevant components of the learning environment should be addressed.

Taking this into account a successful approach for bridging the theory–practice gap is presented. This approach con-sists in carrying out design experiments involving the creation and evaluation in real classrooms of complex instructional interventions that embody our present under-standing of effective learning processes and powerful learning environments. In order to make a reasonable chance to be successful, such attempts at fundamentally changing the classroom environment and culture should be undertaken in partnership between researchers and reflective practi-tioners. Such partnership is essential to promote mutual good communication, but also in view of modifying and reshaping teachers' beliefs about education, learning, and teaching. This intervention approach which is illustrated with a recent research example, has a twofold goal: it intends to advance theory building, while at the same time contributing to the optimisation of classroom practices.
Description: Afdeling Didactiek.
ISSN: 0959-4752
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Education and Training
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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