26 August 2010

On being WEIRD

A fascinating study which goes beyond tentative speculation (which has been around for a long time) to explore cultural issues in psychological research. And hence in educational research.

There has been a minor but significant interest in what Hansen (1979) called "educational anthropology" but it has tended to be highly occi-centric (is that a word? It is now. OED take note!) It is a substantial step to recognise that the responses of WEIRD* students are not necessarily the default. Even Biggs (2007) starts from a WEIRD-centric position.

* What does WEIRD stand for? Admittedly it is contrived, but read the linked article at least to find out.

Biggs J and Tang C (2007) Teaching for Quality Learning at University: What the Student does (3rd edn.) Buckingham; OU Press and Society for Research Into Higher Education

Hansen J (1979) Sociocultural Perspectives on Human Learning: an introduction to educational anthropology Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall

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