Despite the plethora of different views and approaches in the field of educational psychology, public argument about underlying philosophical and methodological issues in psychologically oriented journals in education is minimal. Trying to fill this void, this special issue's task is to stimulate a healthy state of confusion within the field.
Most of the papers take seriously views that -- in the opinion of the majority of educational psychologists -- would not have been deemed worthy of serious discussion 15 years ago. Postmodernism and narrative inquiry were not even on the intellectual agenda then. And the fact that cognition might fruitfully be considered as occurring not just inside human heads but in the interaction between humans and their environments was, at best, regarded as a quirky view held by a few renegades. Today, these views have not only won a place on the intellectual agenda, but the time has come for them to be subjected to critical scrutiny. Even those who reject these things outright stand to gain -- and become more sophisticated in their advocacy of their own positions -- by becoming familiar with the concerns that are raised, and by the probing questions that postmodernists, narrativists, constructivists and social interactionists direct at the more traditional positions.
Volume 29, Number 1, 1994. Contents: D.C. Phillips, Introduction. C. Bereiter, Implications of Postmodernism for Science, or, Science as Progressive Discourse. D.C. Phillips, Telling It Straight: Issues in Assessing Narrative Research. E. Bredo, Reconstructing Educational Psychology: Situated Cognition and Deweyian Pragmatism. R.S. Prawat, R.E. Floden, Philosophical Perspectives on Constructivist Views of Learning. G.D. Fenstermacher, V. Richardson, Promoting Confusion in Educational Psychology: How Is It Done?