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Science x Education x Technology
Ciencia x Educacio x Tecnologia

This project is divided in three connected clusters which develop several strategies, from case studies to global reviews and exploratory analysis.

1.1. Cold War Pedagogy: Physics, Democracy and Educational Innovation in Europe and the Americas (1945-1975)

A new social history of the making of Cold War physics, built upon an interdisciplinary, comparative, and cross-national analysis of several major projects of pedagogical innovation in science teaching in the Americas and Europe, between the end of WWII and the university reforms of the mid-1970s. Three case studies (Physical Science Study Committee, Harvard Project Physics, Nuffield Physics) in several national contexts that exemplify different pedagogical, scientific and political cultures, and international processes of knowledge co-construction (USA, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Spain, UK, France).

My emphasis is especially on international politics and the role of Latin America and Europe as an experimental field for educational and scientific innovation. I also intend to contribute to a new big picture of physics, by considering the role of twentieth-century pedagogical reforms in disciplinary formation. This project offers a truly international analysis of how scientific and educational knowledge travels and is translated, and of how economics and politics intersect with science education in modern times.

1.2. Past and Present of Educational Technologies

The 1960s and 1970s were a key period for the emergence of new technologies of education such as cinema, television, programmed instruction manuals, teaching machines and computers, and computer programming. Currently, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are an essential element of the development policies and discourses of any national state.

The application of computers to education has attained a fundamental role in the last decades, and Latin America has been a key region as a field of experimentation of techno-educational projects. Often, a reductionist view of ICT considers them as synonymous with computers. However, there are numerous and varied technologies that have intervened in pedagogical practice since the nineteenth century, such as blackboards, textbooks, notebooks, posters, three-dimensional models, scientific instruments, laboratories, museums, projection lanterns, films, radio, or programmed instruction manuals.

The literature on ICT, which has grown considerably in recent years, is characterized by a markedly triumphalist tone, often presenting ICT as a solution to all the fundamental problems of our society and schools. But there are also a number of emerging works that critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of cases of ICT implementation in educational contexts.

There is a broad field of inquiry to develop a critical-constructive view of the role of ICT in education worldwide, that also allows a more mature understanding benefitting from a historically-informed retrospective look of these contemporary technologies. This project aims to build this perspective

through a panoramic effort of recovery, review and analysis of primary and secondary literature with the aim of laying the foundations of a broader research project and the formulation of specific projects around exemplary cases, starting from the first developments in the 60s and projecting the results of this historical analysis into the discussion of current ICT situations and policies in the Latin American and European regions.

1.3. Foundations of Educational Psychology

Pioneering projects of pedagogical innovation developed since the 1950s  helped to create new tools and areas in educational design and practice, among which the emergence of a specialization within the field of psychology applied to education. In this context, there were new evaluation techniques, ways of knowing and working, and major public and private institutions devoted to develop them.

This project deals broadly with how educational psychology emerged and was shaped as a recognized field of knowledge with an essential role in the making of educational practice and reform projects to improve modern pedagogical practices.

Although in some countries educational psychology has reached the status of a discipline with institutional support represented by well-defined departments or research centres in this area, in general, this denomination encompasses a large number of working clusters and practices at the crossroads of psychology and education with theoretical and applied elements. In spite of the efforts in many countries to define and organize educational psychology as a way to strengthen a fundamental tool for the understanding and progress of pedagogical practices, work in this area is often isolated in fragmented disciplinary niches.

The aim of this project is to explore the making of contemporary educational psychology by identifying research trends in psychology of education, theoretical approaches that have guided the performance of educational psychologists, pioneering individuals and institutions,  visions about educational psychology from the perspective of the different actors involved, the role of educational psychologists in some sample national contexts, and the perspectives of development of this professional and disciplinary field.


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