Conceptualizing a basis for understanding: What differences do differences make?

Judith L. Green, Gregory J. Kelly, Maria Lucia Castanheira, Julie Esch, Carolyn Frank, Marli Hodel, Le Ann Putney, Marisol Rodarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The purpose of our commentary is to offer ways of understanding the differences in theoretical positions and of exploring what difference the differences make. To conceptualize a basis for understanding the theoretical transformation currently taking place in the field of educational psychology, we bring two constructs from the philosophy of science to bear. We suggest that one way to understand the differences is to consider the expressive potential of the research programs. In so doing, we suggest that the research programs be seen as intellectual ecologies created by members within these traditions. We argue that to understand the emic point of view of a tradition, one must become initiated into the discourse within that community and understand the historical development of the ideas within that intellectual ecology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages8
JournalEducational Psychologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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