chapter  2
Science, psychology and subjectivity
Pages 23

Central to the theorisations of modern educational practice is the subject (in a disciplinary sense) of psychology, its construction as a scientific discourse, and the subject which is constructed through that discourse. It is to an analysis of that discourse, to its key place in modernity, and its consequences for the theory and practice of education that we now turn. Psychology’s predominant self-understanding is that it is a science and, moreover, a science of the human, which seeks to discover the ‘laws’ of the human. We shall examine the way in which different varieties of psychology project their own particular constructions of the human subject, constructions which lie at the heart of the modernist project and hence of education, and which are the target of the postmodern challenge. We shall also try to show that ‘mainstream’ psychology through its implication with science, through its capture by the ‘scientific attitude’ and through its consequent failure of reflexivity, constructs subjects in ways which better enables their regulation and control.