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Theory of learning or theory of education? a response to Smith

Maclellan, Effie and Soden, R. (2004) Theory of learning or theory of education? a response to Smith. Scottish Educational Review, 36 (1). pp. 95-96. ISSN 0141-9072

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Abstract

The explicit aim of our article was to depict teachers' knowledge of such accounts. Because of the very circumscribed aim, we were not, as Smith states in his abstract, considering "applications of learning theory to teaching". While, of course, it is useful to the reader if an article stimulates a range of further ideas and/or helps the reader to make new conceptual connections, the ideas stimulated in the reader are not necessarily accidental omissions by the author(s). We deliberately chose to exclude the literature on the 'complex' relationships between theory and practice since Thomas (1997), Rowlands (1999), and Loughran (2002) are but a few who have rigorously examined that issue. Similarly we would not deny (Maclellan & Soden, 2004, Soden, 2003) that analysing issues involves the variety of interpretative considerations that Smith raises. However, in order to make a contribution to the body of literature, it is necessary both to focus tightly on the issue of concern and to develop that issue within a coherent explanatory framework: ours happened to be a psychological one although others working within different perspectives (such as philosophical, sociological or historical) would doubtless draw on different bodies of literature.