Educational Psychology

Dr. P. Kalata

AC 314    Briggs 109

894 - 9311, ext. 7621

Office hours posted on office door and given during first class.

Materials: Educational Psychology, 8th edition, by Anita Woolfolk

Educational and Psychology journals and magazines.


Rationale: This is a class devoted to the study of educational systems, their impact on society and the application of psychological theories to education, as well as the interaction of education, psychology and society. Students are expected to be aware of the problems and movements in the field. One way to start thinking about educational psychology is by remembering what went wrong or right with your own education. From your experience, what needs to be changed in school systems? How can schools provide students with the support they need? Or is this too big a job for any teacher or school?

Learning Objectives:

1. Students should be familiar with common educational terms and  be able to define and give examples for these.

2. Students should be familiar with theories of educational  psychology and be able to compare and contrast the most widely  accepted theories.

3. Students should develop personal responses to classroom  situations based on educational theories and common sense.

4. Students, after experiencing types of classroom interaction,  should be able to choose the most appropriate approach for a given  pupil age and instructional material.

5. As a result of gaining knowledge of educational psychology,  students should be able to analysis classroom situations and make  judgments as to appropriate teacher behavior

Learning Outcomes:  For each chapter, you are expected to be prepared to discuss the material covered in the text and lectures

Introduction to the course and overview of educational psychology, chapter 1 in text. At the end of this chapter, a student will be able to

°    define educational psychology,

°    identify the elements of good teaching and the areas of professional knowledge of expert teachers.

Resources:  personal narratives of good teachings and good teachers

Cognitive development and language. (chapter 2)

At the end of this chapter, a student will be able to

°    identify Piaget's four stages and the activities connected with each

°     contrast these to Vygotsky's theory.

Resources: Observations of young children

Personal, social and emotional development.  (chapter 3)

At the end of this chapter, a student will be able to :

°     Identify Ericson's stages

°     Identify Kohlberg's stages of moral reasoning and the alternatives to his theory

°     take a stand on moral education.

Resources: national parents' information network

Learning abilities and learning problems. (chapter 4)

At the end of this chapter, a student will be able to:

°     Discuss the labeling of students,

°     Describe limitations and uses of IQ tests

°     Define the types of ability grouping and the circumstances for using each

°     List appropriate methods for the teaching of exceptional students.

References:  ADHD

 individuals with disabilities

 Learning disablities


 special education

 special needs

Testing, assessment and grading. (chapters 14 and 15)

At the end of this unit, a student will be able to:

°     Describe evaluation and its components

°     Discuss the uses and misuses of testing

°     Describe authentic assessment approaches


Culture and community. ( chapter 5)

At the end of this chapter, a student will be able to:

°     Define culture

°     List the causes of the low school achievement of low SES students.

°     Describe the school's role in gender differences.

Resources: Guidelins for gender balanced curriculum in english language arts, NCTE

urban scchools

rural and small schools, also Native American and Mexican American schools

Behavioral views .  (chapter 6)

At the end of this chapter, a student will be able to:

°     Describe classical conditioning.

°     Describe operant conditioning.

°     Describe punishment.

°    Give examples of each and the possible outcomes.

Cognitive views. ( chapter 7)

At the end of this chapter, a student will be able to:

°     Describe the cognitive view of learning.

°     Give examples of perception and attention in learning.

°     Describe the various stages of memory.

Motivation.  (chapters 10 and 11)

By the end of this chapter, a student will be able to:

°     Give examples of different types of motivation.

°     List Maslow's levels of needs and examples of each.

°     Describe characteristics of mastery-oriented, failure-avoiding, and failure-accepting students.

°     Describe what factors affect motivation.

References: Writing lesson plans with Bloom

Social Cognitive and Constructivist Views  (chapter 9)

At the end of this chapter, a student will be able to:

°     Contrast inquiry, problem basedlearning and cooperative groups.

°    Demonstrate uses of modeling.

References:  theorists


Complex cognitive processes. ( chapter 8)

At the end of this chapter, a student will be able to:

°     Define problem solving and the types of knowledge.

Describe the transfer of learning


Learning environments.( chapter 12)

By the end of this chapter, a student will be able to:

°     Characterize the features of classroom management

°     develop a plan for organizing classrooms.

Resources:  Instructor magazine

lesson plans

Teaching for learning. ( chapter 13)

By the end of this chapter, a student will be able to:

°     Describe the role of planning in teaching.

Describe the appropriate uses of lecture, seatwork, and homework.

General references: ( websites list)

 multiple reading meth


Help for beginning teachers

Learning Outcomes Assessment:  In order to demonstrate achievement of these learning outcomes, a student needs to successfully complete the following:

1. Five quizzes, each worth 10 points of final grade. There will be no makeups for missed quizzes; however, there will be an optional sixth quiz offered.

2. Brief presentation in Educational Psychology

Presentation of educational article, interview with a teacher or counselor,or a review of an educational internet site. Each presentation should focus on questions and concerns connected to material presented in the course: 10 points.

Sign up for a presentation week on the class roster. Your presentations will be given at the beginning of class and should be about three minutes long and definitely no longer than five minutes. In this presentation, you should include the major points made in the journal article or in the interview. The journal article will usually focus on one subject but you may have to direct your interviews to make sure that one or two subjects are all that are covered. For example, you might ask a teacher why he or she chose to teach a particular grade or subject and what important learning tasks occur at the particular level, how the teacher came to this knowledge, and what experiences convinced him or her of this.

 You can review articles from journals such as the Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Review, Social Behavior and Personality and Psychology Review. Psychology Today is really "Psy Lite" to be avoided.

 If you cannot present on your chosen date, it is your responsibility to arrange to change dates with another student or you will lose the points for the presentation.

3. Midterm exam on the material studied prior to midterm date: 15 points

4. Final, covering the material in the semester's second half: 20: points

5. Final project: 25 points. This can be one of the following:

A) a ten page research paper exploring an in depth study of one subject covered in the course and using at least ten sources other than the textbook. Sources must be submitted with the final paper.

B) fifteen hours of volunteer work in an educational setting with approved objectives connected to subjects covered in the course and a three page report discussing how you met the objectives you had indicated at the beginning of your project.

Every student needs to decide whether to write a research paper of at least ten pages or to volunteer for at least fifteen hours of service learning in an educational environment.

If you are writing a paper, you should select a topic to present your research. By __________, you must hand in a brief statement on your selected topic. Research papers are due_____________.. This paper should be at least ten typed pages with at least ten resources on the topic. There should be no more than two internet sources and then only from sites that are maintained by educational or psychological organizations. The citation of sources are to follow MLA or APA format. Please refer to a standard English handbook in writing this paper because the failure to do so will affect the paper's grade. Copies of your sources must be included.

If you are going to be doing service learning, by ___________, you should have the name, address, and phone number of the organization you will be working with as well as the name of the person who has agreed to be your immediate supervisor. In addition, you should hand in at this point, two to three objectives directly related to concepts studied in the course you wish to focus on. In your final paper, you should include how successfully you met your objectives and concrete examples of situations you observed or were part of that illustrate theories and ideas studied in the course. You can find some suggestions for the final Service Learning paper on the Service Learning website, The final review of objectives and your volunteer experience, along with a letter from your supervisor citing the number of hours you completed in the organization doing unpaid service learning, is due by _____________.

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