Merging Cognitive and Sociocultural Approaches: Toward Better Understandings of the Processes of Developing Thinking and Reasoning

  • Paul WebbEmail author
  • J. W. (Bill) Whitlow
Part of the Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education book series (CTISE, volume 49)


Educational psychology research in general, as well as in terms of science education in the twentieth century, has generally followed one of three distinct and exclusionary approaches: laboratory-based studies of cognitive processes presumed important for education; observational field studies of classrooms and educational practices viewed from a sociocultural perspective; and psychometric-based analyses of student aptitudes and achievements as measured on standardized tests. However, recent advances in knowledge and theory have led researchers from all of these approaches to adopt more global views of their research, with the result that there is considerable potential for developing meaningful linkages among these different approaches. One such linkage has been an increased concern with understanding how to produce “far transfer” effects as a common goal of most educational interventions, i.e., to prepare students to perform well in new situations by adapting what they have been explicitly taught to solve problems and produce outcomes that are new or different from their specific training. In this chapter we consider some of the promising new directions and important research questions raised by this more integrated view of the nature of educational practices.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nelson Mandela Metropolitan UniversityPort ElizabethSouth Africa
  2. 2.Rutgers University – CamdenCamdenUSA

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