Radical Pedagogy

Radical Pedagogy (2013)

Volume 10 Issue 2

ISSN: 1524-6345




Weaknesses in the Search for the Evidence for the Effectiveness of Applying Psychological Learning Theory to Teaching: The Case of Plant Nutrition

Luke Odiemo Okunya 

Department of Psychology
University of Nairobi                                                                                                                            Nairobi, Keny                                                                                                                    E-mail: lukke7@gmail.com


     It was observed by Thomas Shuell (1996; 2005) that there is a large body of knowledge in psychological learning theory to inform teaching practice. However, there is little evidence to support the need for its application to teaching. He said this was mainly due to the fact the available resources are arbitrarily and selectively applied. In their application there is rarely any systematic linkage between the various sub-aspects of the theory-informed teaching sequence and the accrued learning gains to enable the characterisation the actual effectiveness of the applied learning theory. This review paper sought to establish the validity of the reasons provided as being a hindrance to the development of a reliable evidence base for the effectiveness of psychological learning at informing teaching in the area of plant nutrition. The findings showed that Shuell’s observations have strong validity. The implications for these findings to the search for evidence for effectiveness of theory-informed teaching are presented.
     Keywords: evidence-based practice; theory-informed practice, psychological learning theory