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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Educational psychology passed through a period of uncertainty in the 1990s, but has recently reemerged into the spotlight with current legislation (e.g., No Child Left Behind). This book is meant to rekindle interest in the field with an update on the literature.
Purpose: The aim is to provide an updated review of the educational psychology literature with a particular focus on areas that are of high importance, but receive little public attention.
Audience: Although it is intended for a wide variety of specialists given its interdisciplinary context, the book is targeted mainly at school and clinical psychologists. The editors and contributing authors are at the pinnacle of the field and well chosen to compile this tome.
Features: The book is focused largely on new theories and innovations rather than on providing a comprehensive foundation of the field. This is okay, but it requires readers to be familiar with the topic before delving too deeply into the book. The chapters are well written and use a variety of different techniques to relay the information, including charts, tables, and case examples. The references are current and the new innovations and theories expand the realm of possibilities in educational psychology beyond the typical concrete teaching strategies that might be found in other books. The one area of weakness is the organization. The chapters do not follow, at least to my mind, a logical progression of topics. They jump around to the degree that reading individual chapters as reference sources makes more sense than reading the book cover-to-cover. However, the book generally hits all the high points one would expect.
Assessment: Readers will glean a multitude of new ideas from the theories and approaches presented in this book, ranging from cultural aspects of teaching to Sternberg's WICS model. It is solid in its topic coverage and delivery, but it is not necessarily a flashy book that readers will be clamoring to own.