Motivation and Experience Versus Cognitive Psychological Explanation
The idea to utilise cognitive neuroscientific research for educational purposes is known as Mind-Brain Education or Educational Neuroscience. Despite some calls for an uncritical endorsement of such an agenda, a growing number of educational scholars argue that it must remain impossible to translate neurological descriptions into mental or educationally relevant descriptions. This paper takes these well-established arguments further by not only focusing upon these different levels of description but going beyond this issue to assess the theoretical foundations of cognitive science as a functional theory of the mind. With relevance to education it is argued that because of its functional character a cognitive-psychological approach to education suffers from an inherent blind spot regarding the actor’s feelings and motivations. The paper concludes with the claim that, because of this experiential poverty, any cognitive neuroscientific approach must face severe limitations when utilised for educational purposes.
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