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Welcome to Critical Educational Psychology, School of Education @ The University of Sheffield. These pages document some of our research activities, recent and forthcoming events.

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Why critical Educational Psychology?

Educational psychology remains one of the prominent ways through which psychological theory and research enter the public sphere. In schools and other educational settings, educational psychologists occupy a potentially powerful position. Their work to support children’s learning in educational institutions engages them in close professional relationships with educational authorities, teachers, headteachers, parents and other professionals from health and social care.  Moreover, educational psychologists are expected to respond to an ever changing educational and social policy landscape in which childhood, learning, teaching and assessment are regularly revised. This leads to huge impacts upon the meaning of education and the experience of learning. Furthermore, educational psychologists are tasked with assessing the specific learning and educational needs of children which inevitably ensures that they are party to the inclusion and exclusion of children from educational settings. Just as educational psychology has developed so has psychology. Increasingly psychology has fostered a number of relationships with political, social and cultural discourses. The contemporary emphasis on the importance of community;  understanding social exclusion, and working towards social inclusion; stakeholder interests in social change and ‘bottom up’ or participatory ways of working; the development of social capital and community participation; urban regeneration, and citizenship, for example, all coincide with the particular emphases within community and critical psychologies of understanding marginalised human behaviour and experience within different social contexts and of working in partnership with those affected by  both psychological work and social changes. Furthermore, developments in relation to what has been termed critical psychology has had a number of impacts upon the ways in which educational psychology theories, conceptualises and practices alongside children, childhood, difference, education and disability.

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