Education Psychology Notes Dylan Feist
Chapter Six: Behavioral Learning Theory
Learning – relatively permanent change in behavior or knowledge that occurs as a result of
Behavioral theory – emphasizes the relationship between the environment and behavior.
Individual differences reflect different histories.
Cognitive viewpoint – includes constructivist theories. It maintains that the individual plays the
key role in learning.
Sociocultural viewpoint –stresses the nature of the environment and its relationship to
behavior, with an emphasis on the community’s history and experience.
Behavioral Learning Theory
Proposes that learning occurs through a process of contiguity, which is a condition in
which two events occur at the same time.
Classical conditioning – association of automatic responses with new stimuli.
Unconditioned stimulus – a stimulus that, without prior learning, produces an
automatic physiological response.
Unconditioned response – a behavior that is produced in response to a stimulus
without prior learning.
Conditioned stimulus – with experience, it produces a learned or acquired response.
Conditioned response – is linked to a particular stimulus through conditioning by
being paired to the stimulus.
Associationist theories – depend on contiguity.
Operant learner – actions by a learner which influence the learning of a new behavior.
Law of Effect – behavior that produces a good effect tends to become more frequent while
behavior that produces a bad effect is less frequent.
Reinforcer – a consequence of behavior that increases behavior.
Positive enforcer – any event that, when given, increases the frequency of a behavior.
Negative enforcer – any event that, when removed, increases the frequency of a
Reward – anything given in return for another person’s service of achievement.
Schedules of Reinforcement
Continuous reinforcement – provided after every performance.
Interval schedule – schedule based on time.
Ratio schedule – based on number of behaviors performed.
Variable schedules cannot be predicted.
Punishers – consequence of behavior that weakens or decreases behavior.
Positive punisher – when given, decreases the frequency of a behavior.
Negative punisher – when removed, it decreases the frequency of a behavior.
o Teaches aggression, produces negative emotions, undermines the quality of
interpersonal relationships, and exacerbates misbehavior.
Discriminative stimuli – antecedent cues that allow the learner to predict the likelihood of
Antecedent cues set the stage for a behavior to happen. Then, a consequence occurs
as a result of the behavior. Student’s generally respond better to positive controls and poorly to negative controls.
Increased diversity between teachers and students results in differences in definitions of
desirable and undesirable behaviors.
Shaping – reinforcement of gradual approximations of the desired behavior.
Incentive – an environmental event that attracts a person to a particular course of action.
Can include a smile, a prize, or a promise of good things to come, amongst other
Prompts – physical, verbal, or other assists that help a person perform a desired behavior that
he or she would be unlikely to perform without such assistance.
Once a behavior has been prompted and performed, then positive reinforcement can
be used to strengthen it.
Positive reinforcers – the idea is for the student to learn that the particular behavior was
desired. Genuine praise is often used to great effect.
Incentives, rewards, and enforcers can undermine intrinsic motivation, interfere with
learning, and hinder autonomous self-regulation.
Decreasing undesirable behaviors
Verbal reprimands – brief statements that draw attention to undesirable behaviors.
Response cost – a consequence (often visual) of performing the undesirable behavior
causes a reduction.
Differential reinforcement – when the undesirable behavior occurs, the teacher first
identifies the undesirable behavior, and then encourages the desired behavior. When
the desired behavior occurs, the teacher provides a positive reinforcer.
Inductive reasoning – encouraging students to think and learn about their behavior
and how it affects others. The teacher plays the constructivist role of counselor and
avoids the negative role of punisher.
Observational learning – if a teacher knows an undesired behavior will occur, they
can take steps to prevent it from occurring, perhaps by role modeling what she
Scaffolding/Tutoring – teachers assist students efforts to learn desirable behaviors. It
often involves the use of prompts and behavioral supports.
Teachers want to encourage effective self management to place the responsibility onto the
student. Students need to learn to set their own goals, provide self-instruction, monitor their
progress, perform a self-evaluation, and apply self-consequences.
The Fundamental Task of Classroom Management
Is to create an inclusive, supportive, caring, engaging, and challenging community in
which students engage in desirable, prosocial behavior.
Teachers can use contracts, group contingencies, or other techniques to do this.
Influences of BLT on Instruction
Mastery Learning – all students can achieve a set of educational objectives with
appropriate instruction and enough time to learn.
o Meta-analysis – a quantitative review and summary of research on a topic.
o Corrective-feedback – partial feedback supports progress and encourages
o CAI – computer aided instruction
o Until technology advances, indivualization of learning cannot occur. Limitations of BLT
Cannot adequately explain complex learning.
Relies on tangible enforcement or reward, which may actually decrease motivation
Chapter Seven: Cognitive Theories of Learning
The cognitive approach to learning explores how individual differences in knowledge and
experience influence the way we interpret the environment and what we learn.
Three main types:
Exogenous Constructivism – constructed knowledge that mirrors information in the
environment. The learner constructs knowledge by learning to represent the
structures that are present in the environment.
Endogenous Constructivism – construction of new knowledge structures from
existing structures, rather than from the environment.
Dialectical Constructivism – the theory that considers knowledge to lie in continual
interaction between the individual and its environment. Example: Vygotsky.
Information Processing Model
Perception – the meaning attached to sensory information.
Feature analysis – identifying the component features of objects and building a
representation of the object from them.
Bottom-up processing – a process in which a stimulus is analyzed into its
components, then assembled into a recognizable pattern, also known as feature
Top-down processing – a type of perception in which a person uses what she knows
about a situation to recognize a pattern.
Gestalt Principles – figure-ground, proximity, continuity, closure, and similarity.
Attention – focus that is selective and limited.
o Filter theory – the brain sifts through all the stimuli.
o Attenuation model – reduce attention from one source to another.
o Capacity model – concerned with the amount of mental effort needed to
perform a task.
o Automaticity – the ability to perform a task without having to think much
o Controlled processes – cognitive processes that require conscious attention.
Sensory Buffer and Short-Term Memory
o Sensory memory – brief memories associated with various senses.
o Short-term memory – a temporary memory storage.
o Maintenance rehearsal – a cognitive process in which one repeats
information to keep it in working memory.
o Elaborative rehearsal – a way of remembering information by connecting it to
something the one already knows.
o Chunking – the grouping of bits of data into larger, meaningful units.
o Decay – loss of memories because information is not used. o Interference – loss of deficiency of memories because of the presence of other
o Primacy – heard first.
o Recency – just heard.
o Serial position effect – a phenomenon in which the likelihood of information
being recalled depends on its position in a list.
Baddeley’s Model of Working Memory
o Working memory – a limited memory system that includes both storage and
o Central processor – directs and monitors attention, thinking, judging, and
o Multiple modalities – various senses
o Episodic memory – long-term memory of particular places and events in a
o Semantic memory – the memory a person has for meaning.
o Declarative knowledge – factual knowledge that can be expressed through
verbal exchange, books, Braille, or sign language.
o Declarative memory – memory for factual or experiential information.
o Procedural memory – memory for how to do things.
Parts of the Brain
o Hippocampus – plays a key role in the storage of new memories.
o The hippocampus and surrounding rhinal cortex are the most important
areas for the consolidation of memory.
o Frontal lobe – important for memory as well.
o Amygdala – negative emotions.
o Proposition – the smallest unit of knowledge that can be verified.
Schemas and Scripts
o Schema – the basic structure for organizing information.
o Propositional network – a set of interconnected pieces of information that
contains knowledge for the long term.
o Script – a schema for the sequence of events in common events, such as
ordering food at a fast-food restaurant.
o Mental model – internal representation of external reality.
o Story grammar – the typical structure of a category of stories.
o Levels of processing theory – a theory that asserts that recall of information is
based on how deeply it is processed.
Encoding, Retrieval, and Forgetting
o Procedural knowledge – knowledge about how to perform a task.
o Conditional knowledge – knowledge that guides a person in using declarative
and procedural knowledge.
o Distributed practice – practice that is interspersed by unequal intervals. This
leads to better long-term retrieval.
o Massed practice – intense practice for a single period of time, which leads to
forgetting long term. o Elaboration – a process through which we add and extend meaning by
connecting new information to existing knowledge in long-term memory.
o Mnemonic strategies – strategies for remembering “nonmeaningful”
information by making it meaningful.
o Pictorial mnemonics – interactive images that combine pictorial and verbal
o Graphical Organizer – a visual display of verbal information. These include
concept maps, mind webs, and knowledge maps.
Most students who need concepts such as these are least willing to try
o Recognition memory – memories are cued, then recognized in long-term
o Recall – information is retrieved directly from long-term memory. It is
generated without cues.
o Spread of Activation – the retrieval of bits of information on the basis of their
relatedness to each other. Remembering one piece of information stimulates
the recall of associated knowledge.
o Interrogating memory is done by using our knowledge of categories or
o Forgetting occurs as a result of interference of decay. When one node of a
network is triggered, related nodes are also triggered as activation spreads
along the links to them.
Categorization is another way in which we narrow the range of information available
to us. It helps to reduce complexity, identify objects, devote less effort to learning,
decide what actions are appropriate, and order and relate classes of objects and
o Concepts – an abstraction with which a person categorizes objects, people,
ideas, or experiences by shared properties.
o Conjunctive rule – uses the relationship and.
o Disjunctive rule – uses the or.
o Conditional rule uses the relationship if-then.
o Biconditional rule – the conditional rule applies in both directions. Example:
if the object is red, then it must be square.
o Criterial attributes – attributes that must be presented for an instance to be a
member of a particular category.
o Abstraction – the process of including recurring attributes and including
o Jerome Bruner:
Reception tasks – students develop hypothesis about the nature of the
target concepts, revising and altering the hypotheses when the data do
Selection tasks – students are shown a positive instance of a concept
and are then asked to pick out another instance of that concept.
Focus gambling – learner focuses on one attribute and gambles that it
is the correct one. Simultaneous scanning – learner keeps all attributes in mind. The
concern is that the problem becomes too complex.
Successive scanning – learner tests a single hypothesis and persists
until it has been proven wrong.
o Teaching Concepts
Overgeneralization – inclusion of a nonmember of a category or class
in that category of class.
Undergeneralization – The erroneous exclusion of some instances
from a category or group.
Natural categories – real-world categories.
Prototype – the best representative of a category.
Graded membership – the extent to which an object or idea belongs to
Metacognition is the process of thinking about thinking. It includes knowledge of
oneself as a learner, knowledge of strategies for success, and knowledge of when one
should use those strategies.
It has three basic components: planning, monitoring, and evaluating.
Students can use self-explanations to test their comprehension of the material.
It creates extra pathways for retrieving information.
Reasoning and Argumentation
Argumentation – the process of taking a position, providing reasons for the position,
and presenting counterarguments.
It helps students understand content, increase interest and motivation, improve
problem-solving skills, and increase argumentation skills.
Requires high quality discourse.
Problems have an initial state, a desired state, and a pathway to get there.
Algorithms – a systematic and exhaustive strategy for solving problems.
Heuristic – a rule of thumb or shortcut for solving a problem.
o Means-end analysis – a strategy for reducing the distance between the initial
and the goal state in problem solving.
o Cognitive rigidity – lack of flexibility in thinking.
o Functional fixedness – being able to consider only the typical function of an
Transfer – the ability to use previously learned skills or information in a new context.
Low road transfer – the automatic application of previously learned skills.
High road transfer – deliberate application of previously learned strategies or
knowledge to a new problem.
Positive transfer – successful application of prior knowledge or skill to a new context.
Negative transfer – interference of prior learning with new learning.
Near transfer – problems are similar to one another.
Far transfer – problems are quite varied. Chapter Eight: Social Constructivism and Learning in Community
Social Learning Theory
Learning from others through vicarious experience.
Main characteristic is efficiency.
Vicarious reinforcement – if someone else is reinforced for a behavior, the likelihood
of the observer engaging in that activity is increased.
Observational learning – learning by observing other individuals.
o Acquisition phase and performance stage.
o Shaping and prompting is required for the behavior to be performed well.
o Observer must see behavior as useful.
o Model must be similar to the observer.
o Cognitive apprenticeship – an instructional strategy in which the learner
acquires knowledge by modeling activities of the teacher and is coached by
Inhibitory/Disinhibitory Effects – model does something that either inhibits or
disinhibits the previously acquired behavior.
Response Facilitation Effects – The model may inspire the learner to perform a
behavior that he or she already knows.
Conditions Necessary for Observational Learning
Attention – learner must attend to the important features of a models behavior in
order to learn from it.
Retention – must retain the information.
Production – practice and feedback improve performance.
Motivation – learner must be motivated.
Social Constructivism and Sociocultural Theory
Dialectical relationship – a relationship in which the participants have mutual
influence on one another or in which the actor changes the environment in some way
and that changed environment subsequently changes the actor.
Emphasizes social participation, authentic tasks in which learning is embedded, and
tools to support learning.
Integration of new knowledge with existing knowledge.
Authentic tasks – tasks that are connected to the real world.
Identification with a community group.
Collective efficacy – a jointly held belief that community is effective when working
Affordance – a property of a tool or artifact that allows a person to act in a particular
way that would not be possible without the tool.
o Example: calculators
The Role of Experience
Instruction is most effective when it takes into account student’s previous
experiences and interests.
Students are more likely to be motivated when the content of instruction is
personally relevant and meaningful to them.
Scaffolding The more competent member scaffolds the learning.
A process that enables a child or novice to solve a problem, carry out a task, or
achieve a goal which may be beyond his unassisted efforts.
Channeling – providing constraints during the task so that the learner has an
increased likelihood of acting effectively.
Two major steps:
o Instructional plans must be developed to lead students to deeper knowledge.
o Plans must be carried out with support.
Seen as planning, coaching, and fading.
Procedural facilitation – a structured approach to improving student’s use of
elements in the writing process.
Assistive technology – any piece of equipment that can improve the functionality of a
child with a disability.
o Example: text to speech software.
Scaffolding can be especially valuable to students with diverse backgrounds.
Instruction Influenced by Social-Constructivist & Sociocultural Theory
Teachers need to value student perspectives, not just understand them.
Problem-based learning – students work in a collaborative group to solve a complex
and interesting problem.
o Goals are to engage students in problem solving processes, develop
motivation, collaboration skills, and self-directed learning skills.
o Teachers have the role of engaging and supporting the students. They must
encourage all to participate and to discuss what they are thinking.
o Students design their own learning environment.
o Individual responsibility, participant structures, community of discourse,
multiple zones of proximal development, and seeding of new ideas.
Learning Out of School
Most time is spent outside of school.
Zoos, museums, libraries, and other institutions.
Social interaction, social norms, etc. characterize these settings.
Personal, sociocultural, and physical contexts characterize learning in these settings.
Often have specific education department.
Many guiding principles to being at a museum (page 281-282).
Teaching with Cultural Institutions
Requires appropriate background knowledge.
Show students a location for deeper understanding.
Zoos, art museums, libraries, science, and history museums.
Chapter Nine: Motivation to Learn
Any force that energizes and directs behavior. The study of motivation is the study of all forces that create and sustain students’
effortful, goal-directed action.
Self esteem is not a crucial motivating force.
Self-efficacy, mastery beliefs, attributes, goals, and self-regulation are cognitive
Psychological needs, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, positive emotions,
and achievement strivings are five needs, emotions, and strivings.
Must consider that different types of motivation exist, some types of motivation
produce better academic functioning than others, and motivation needs supportive
A person’s judgment of how well he or she will cope with a situation, given the skills
one possesses and the circumstances one faces.
High self efficacy is not high ability.
Consequences of Self Efficacy
Selection of activities – students make choices about what activities to pursue and
which environments to spend time in. Students want to spend time in activites that
they feel they can cope with or handle.
Effort and Persistence – self efficacy influences how much effort they exert and how
long they continue to exert that effort. Self efficacy is a motivational resource that
students can fall back on during difficult problems to offset doubt and preserve
motivation and effort.
Quality of Thinking and Feeling – allows the student to remain task focused and
remain clear-headed in their thinking during stressful episodes.
Sources of Self Efficacy
Personal behavior history – memories of what happened in the past when a student
tried to carry out the same behavior.
Vicarious experience – students observe peers and models.
Verbal persuasion – pep talks help to assure students that they can cope with the
situation at hand.
Physiological states – what the body is telling the student.
Environmental factors – factors such as home environment, culture, and special
Mastery Modeling Programs
Empowerment – perceiving the one possesses the knowledge, skills, and beliefs
needed to silence doubt and exert control over one’s learning.
In these programs, an expert works with a group of novices to show them how to
cope effectively with an otherwise daunting situation.
An ongoing corrective process in which the person adjusts his or her sense of
confidence with a task to reflect most accurately the quality of his most recent
Mastery Beliefs (302)
Mastery Belief – extent of one’s perceived control over a success/failure outcome.
Explains student’s motivation to gain control over outcomes.
There are many reactions to failure: o Some see failure as a source of information.
o Others see it as a sign of personal inadequacy.
Learned helplessness – the psychological state that results when a student expects
that school-related outcomes are beyond her control.
Attribution – an explanation of why an outcome occurred. (301)
o Can be either internal or external. Internal means that the outcome is caused
by forces in the self, such as effort or ability. External means it comes from
o Can be either stable or unstable. Stable means that the outcome was caused
by enduring forces such as intelligence or personality. Unstable attribution
means explaining the outcomes as caused by transient forces, such as mood
o Can be either controllable or uncontrollable. Controllable means that the
outcome was a result of one’s direct influence, such as effort or strategy.
Uncontrollable attribution are explanations that are outside one’s control,
such as luck or difficult circumstances.
o Intelligence is internal, stable, and uncontrollable.
o Luck is external, unstable, and uncontrollable.
Explanatory style – a personality like characteristic that reflects the habitual way that
students explain why bad events happen to them. (304)
o Optimistic explanatory style – the habitual tendency to explain bad events
with attributions that are unstable and controllable.
o Pessimistic explanatory style – the habitual tendency to explain bad events
with attributions that are stable and uncontrollable.
Learned Helplessness is preventable and reversible. Teachers must understand that
it is caused by an unresponsive environment and a pessimistic explanatory style.
Hope is a motivational wish for an outcome that one expects to be fully capable of
High self-efficacy and high mastery beliefs.
Highest when there are multiple paths to a goal.
Goal – the object of a student’s ambition or effort.
Difficult, specific goals increase performance.
A difficult goal stimulates more effort.
Specific goals direct attention to tasks and encourage strategic planning.
Implementation intentions – a plan to carry out goal-directed behavior.
Feedback – also called knowledge of results, allows students to keep track of their
progress towards a goal. Negative feedback gets students to work harder and positive
feedback gets students to set higher goals.
Possible selves – a student’s long-term goal representing what he or she would like to
become in the future. They are social in origin and play an important motivational
role in the classroom, especially for adolescents.
Achievement goals – what the student is trying to accomplish when facing a standard
of excellence. (313) o Standard of excellence – any challenge to the student’s sense of competence
that ends with a success/failure interpretation.
o Learning goal – focus attention on developing competence and mastering the
task. They are also called mastery goals.
o Performance goals – the intention to demonstrate high ability and prove
o A student’s understanding of competence is important in determining what
type of achievement goals the student will embrace.
o Students with learning goals want feedback that they can use to learn and
o Students with performance goals want feedback that they can use to judge
their ability and sense of superiority.
o A learning goal has a positive and productive way of thinking, while a
performance goal has a negative and unproductive way of thinking.
Types of Performance Goals
o Performance approach goal – involves striving to show how smart one is and
to attain positive judgments from others.
o Performance avoidance goal – involves striving to not look stupid and to
avoid negative judgments from others.
Multiple Achievement Goals
o Students are likely to have both a learning and a performance goal.
Self Regulation (318)
The deliberate planning, monitoring, and evaluating of one’s academic work.
Forethought – what one thinks about prior to engaging in a task and prior to
receiving feedback about the quality of one’s performance on that task.
Reflection – what one thinks about after engaging in a task and after receiving
feedback about the quality of one’s performance on that task. Education Psychology Notes Dylan Feist
Chapter Ten: Engaging Students in Learning
Motivation is a private experience. Thus, teachers must understand engagement in order to
Engagement – the extent of a student’s behavioral intensity, emotional quality, and personal
investment in a learning activity.
Behavioral Engagement – the extend to which a student displays high attention, strong effort,
and enduring persistence on a learning activity.
Attention is the student’s concentration and on task focus.
Effort is their investment of a full measure of their capacities in what they are doing.
Persistence refers to the investment of effort over time, even in the face of difficulties.
Emotional Engagement – the extent to which a student’s task involvement is characterized by
positive emotions, such as interest and enjoyment.
Cognitive Engagement – the extent to which a student mentally goes beyond the basic
requirements of a learning activity and invests himself in the learning in a committed way.
Voice – a students expression of self during a learning activity so as to influence constructively
how the teacher presents that lesson.
Why Engagement is Important
It makes learning possible.
Engagement predicts how well students fare in school.
Engagement is malleable, meaning certain actions can increase engagement, and
Engagement gives teachers the moment to moment feedback they need to determine
if their efforts to motivate students are working.
Two Approaches to Promoting Motivation and Engagement
1. Unilateral Approach – teacher’s actions have a direct effect on student motivation.
The teacher must offer an attractive incentive, which encourages the student to work
hard to gain it. The teacher models the appropriate behavior and the students
emulate what they see.
2. Dialectical approach – the reciprocal, interdependent, and constantly changing
relationship between a student’s motivation and the classroom conditions that
support vs frustrate motivation. The logic underlying this is that motivation
originates from within the student and the teacher reacts to this motivation. It is
founded on three principles of motivation:
1. Students have motivation of their own.
2. Teachers motivate students when they provide classroom conditions that
nurture student motivation.
3. How well or how poorly teachers involve and nurture student motivational
resources is reflected in the extend of student engagement.
Engaging Diverse Learners
Low-income minority students need to feel a sense of belonging or acceptance.
Without a place in school where their interests, abilities and definitions of success
are honored, they become unengaged in classroom activities. Compliance and obedience based approaches fail to elicit emotional quality, cognitive
investment, and personal voice.
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic Motivation – the inherent propensity to engage one’s interests and to
exercise and develop one’s capacities. It arises out of psychological needs. When
students are intrinsically motivated, they have healthy, productive functioning, such
as initiative, persistence, creativity, high-quality learning, conceptual understanding
of what they are learning, and positive well-being.
Extrinsic Motivation – an environmentally created reason to engage in an action or
activity. These reasons may include stickers, certificates, attention, high grades,
prizes, food, etc.
Often, intrinsic and extrinsic motivated behaviors look the same. The difference is
what energizes and directs the student’s on-task activity.
Hidden Cost of Rewards
Hidden Costs of Reward – the unexpected, unintended, and adverse effects that
extrinsic rewards have on intrinsic motivation, high-quality learning, and
Three Hidden Costs:
1. Loss of extrinsic motivation – the promise of a reward sacrifices intrinsic
motivation for extrinsic motivation.
2. Interfere with learning – distracts the student from the material being
learned in favor of getting the reward. Extrinsically motivated learners prefer
success and quick answers over optimal challenge and search for creative
3. Interferes with development of autonomous self-regulation – after a history
of being rewarded, students have difficulty regulating their behavior when not
offered rewards for doing their schoolwork.
Intangible prizes, such as praise, typically do not produce hidden costs.
Using Extrinsic Motivators Effectively
Cognitive Evaluation Theory – a theory of motivation that explains how external
events such as rewards affect students’ psychological needs for autonomy and
competence and, hence, their intrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivators also need to be informational to support students’ need for
Praise – positive verbal feedback. It helps to nurture competence. It should be used
to provide clear, specific, competence-diagnosing feedback.
Motivating Students with Intellectual Disabilities
Two characteristics of students with intellectual disabilities:
1. Diminished cognitive capacities
2. Low autonomy Controlling Motivating Style – a teacher’s enduring tendency to engage students in
learning activities by promoting their extrinsic motivation and introjected regulation
during the lesson.
Some teachers promote self-determination, such as self-advocacy and decision
making, with the goal of empowering them to voice their preferences and choices.
Autonomy can be supported. When it is, it allows students to develop the capacity to
regulate their own behavior and display positive outcomes such as engagement,
learning, and well-being.
Types of Extrinsic Motivation
Three Main Types
1. External Regulation – not at all autonomous
2. Introjected Regulation – somewhat autonomous
3. Identified Regulation – highly autonomous
Psychological Need – an inherent source of motivation that generates the desire to
interact with one’s environment so as to advance personal growth, social
development, and psychological well-being. The three psychological needs are
autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
Autonomy – the psychological need to experience self-direction in the initiation and
regulation of one’s behavior.
o Perceived Locus of Causality – the person’s understanding of whether his or
her motivated action is caused by a force within the self (internal) or by some
force outside the self (external).
o With autonomy – students experience an internal PLOC and a high sense of
freedom to choose and regulate their actions.
o An autonomy supportive environment is one that supports student
autonomy. Teachers work to identify and support student interests,
preferences, and strivings.
The opposite is a controlling environment, where behavior
modification techniques pressure students to conform to an agenda.
o A teachers autonomy-supportive motivating style benefits students’
motivation, engagement and achievement.
o Why, then, are teachers so controlling?
Some teachers think controlling strategies are more effective than
autonomy supportive strategies.
Teachers feel pressure from above, meaning that performance
standards, large classes, time constraints, etc. all promote a
controlling style method.
Teachers feel pressure from below, meaning that factors in the
classroom, such as apathy and disengagement, promote a controlling
Competence – the psychological need to be effective as one interacts with the
surrounding environment. o Optimal challenge – moderately difficult tasks fully satisfy the competence
need, and difficult tasks generate too much anxiety and frustration for
students to enjoy them, even when they successfully solve them. Optimal
challenge is the key classroom condition that involves the need for
o Positive feedback satisfies competence. Challenge feedback sandwiches are a
learning activity that begins with the presentation of an optimal challenge
and ends with informational feedback to communicate how well or how
poorly one performed.
o One problem to challenges is that some students react with anxiety. They
view the challenges as fearsome threats.
o Failure Tolerance – is the attitude of a teacher who accepts failure and errors
as necessary, inherent, and welcome parts of the learning process. It is rooted
in the belief that students learn more from their failures than they do from
o Flow – a state of concentration in which students become wholly absorbed in
an activity. When challenge matches skill, concentration, involvement, and
enjoyment rise as students experience flow.
Relatedness – the psychological need to establish close emotional bonds and
attachments with other people. It reflects the desire to be emotionally connected to
others and interpersonally involved in warm relationships.
o Students look for someone they can relate to in an authentic, caring, and
emotionally meaningful way.
o Students must perceive that the other person likes them, cares about their
welfare, and accepts and values their true self, rather than a façade.
o Supporting relatedness is important for two reasons:
First, students who feel related to their classmates, teachers, and
school community are more engaged in learning activities.
Second, relatedness to teachers provides the context in which students
will internalize their teacher’s values.
The Engagement Model
High engagement arises from the psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and
Teachers need to nurture the student’s need for autonomy, competence, and
When students experience a needs-satisfying classroom, they have a good day. They
need to have experienced high levels of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
Motivating Students During Uninteresting Lessons When a task is uninteresting, teachers can either increase valuing or increase
o Increasing valuing means ensuring the students understand the lesson’s
value. The teacher must take the time to provide the students with a rationale
as to why they would engage the uninteresting material. Students who
sincerely value a lesson will willingly engage it.
o Increasing interest means using strategies which engage interest. One
example is creating a challenge or goal to strive for. Thus, the engagement is
as much about mastering the challenge/achieving the goal as it is about the
uninteresting task itself.
Curiosity, Interest, and Positive Affect
The learn something new, students need two thing: new information and the
motivation to seek out and learn that information.
Curiosity – is a cognitively based emotion that occurs whenever students experience
a gap in their knowledge. It is important because it motivates engagement-rich
exploratory behavior. When they are curious, they are more likely to explore and
search for knowledge. There are three instructional strategies for inducing curiosity:
1. Guessing and Feedback – a strategy in which the teacher asks students a
difficult question, then announce that students’ answers are incorrect to
reveal a gap in their knowledge.
2. Suspense – a strategy in which the teacher asks the students to predict an
outcome before the student engages in the work that will reveal if their
prediction was right or wrong.
3. Controversy – a strategy in which the ideas, conclusions, or opinions of one
personal are incompatible with those of another, and the two attempt to reach
Interest – a topic-specific motivational state that arises out of attraction to a
particular domain of activity. It enhances a student’s attention, effort, and learning.
o Situational Interest – a topic-specific motivational state the is triggered by an
external factor that produces a short-term attraction to the learning activity.
o Individual Interest – an enduring disposition in which one develops a clear
preference to direct attention and effort towards a particular activity,
situation, or subject matter.
o When students develop an interest, it is due to classroom activities which
involve the needs and preferences of the student.
o Interest and knowledge are intimately related; the more knowledge one has
about a topic, the more interesting it becomes.
Inducting Positive Affect
Positive affect – the mild, subtle, every-day experience of feeling good.
Happy feelings may be the result of an unexpected compliment, making progress on
a project, etc. Students in good moods function much more efficiently and productively than
students in a neutral mood. They are more creative, more efficient in their problem
solving, more flexible in their thinking, and more thorough in their decision making.
Using Technology to Promote Engagement
Teachers can evaluate any piece of technology using the ARCS model:
A = Attention (or curiosity, interst) – it refers to whether the technology
arouses the learners interst.
R = Relevance (or value, identified regulation) – refers to whether the learner
perceives the technology to be connected to his personal goals.
C = Confidence (or competence) – refers to the extent to which the learner
expects to be able to master the learning material.
S = Satisfaction (or motivation) – refers to the learner’s intrinsic motivation
and reactions to the rewards embedded in the technology.
Overall, will the student find this technology motivating?
Some multimedia can simulate real-world learning environments, which can spark
curiosity and stimulate interest.
Calming Anxiety, Protecting Self-Worth, and Overcoming Fear of Failure
Disengagement is an intentional decision. Students withhold their effort when they
fear they will be evaluated too harshly if they perform poorly.
Shame, criticism, embarrassment, and loss of respect are all risks students feel are
associated with attempting success.
Academic standards of excellence are double edged swords: there is a desire to do
well and a desire to avoid it and not embarrass oneself. The anticipation of hope,
pride, and enthusiasm motivate engagement and anticipation of hear, anxiety, and
shame motivates avoidance and disengagement.
Self consciousness reaches a peak during adolescence.
There are three main inhibitions that adolescents express:
1. Anxiety – the unpleasant, aversive emotion that students experience in
evaluative settings. Anxious students display effort-withholding, avoidance-
based behaviors, such as excuse-making, skipping classes, etc. Classroom
conditions that promote anxiety include unrealistic performance
expectations, external evaluation, and situations that exceed coping
2. Self-worth – an evaluation by others of one’s personal worth. They are based
on perceptions of ability, perceptions of effort, and performance
accomplishments. Adolescents sometimes see high effort as an indicator of
low ability. Thus, public displays of academic engagement becomes a threat to
3. Self-handicapping – a defensive self-presentation strategy that involves
intentionally interfering with one’s own performance so as to provide a face-
saving excuse for failure in case one does fail. The goal is to have others
disregard ability as a causal factor in one’s poor performance. The benefit is
that the self is protected. The problem is that sabotaging one’s effort makes
failure more likely. Self efficacy is the antidote to anxiety.
An incremental self-theory is the antidote to diminished self-worth. The idea is to
adopt incremental thinking as opposed to entity thinking.
A mastery goal climate is the antidote to self-handicapping. It places a high value on
effort, improvement, and developing one’s competence.
Tolerance for failure is important in reducing these inhibitions that adolescents
experience. Failure should be accepted, valued, and prized as inherently useful.
Chapter Eleven: Effective Teachers and the Process of Teaching
Teaching – the interpersonal effort to help learners acquire knowledge, develop skills and
values, and realize their potential.
It is reciprocal by nature.
There are three components of teaching. These include the teacher, the child, and the
o Teacher – the individual responsible for ensuring the child masters the
o Child – interests, motivations, current level of knowledge, skill, and abilities.
o Curriculum – the content of what the child is to learn and how to
communicate the content.
o Beliefs are propositions that individuals believe to be true. They stem from
three main sources:
1. Personal experience – the activities, events, and understandings that
are a part of everyday life.
2. Experience with schooling and instruction – the experience that
teachers had when they were students.
3. Experience with formal knowledge – knowledge gained from teacher
o Beliefs shape expectations and responses.
o Custodial – a term that refers to an approach to classroom management that
views the teacher’s role as primarily maintaining an orderly classroom.
o Once established, teacher beliefs are highly resistant to change.
Types of Knowledge
o Content knowledge – knowledge about the subject matter.
o Pedagogical knowledge – knowledge about how to teach.
o Pedagogical content knowledge – knowledge about how to make subject
matter understandable to students (Lee Shulman).
o Experiences teachers have a better stock of pedagogical content knowledge
than beginning teachers do.
Differences Between Experienced and Novice Teachers
o Expert teachers do the following: View the classroom as a collection of individuals instead of a generic
Plan more globally and for longer periods.
Have a more complex view of instructional options.
Run a more smoothly operating classroom.
Evaluate student learning more often and in ways that are more
closely related to the content of instruction.
Attribute failure in a given lesson to problems with planning,
organization, or execution rather than to disruptive behavior on the
part of the students.
Hold complex ideas about the role of students’ existing knowledge and
make significant use of it during instruction.
o Experience needs to be combined with active reflection.
o Teaching experience alone does not make an expert teacher.
o Teaching efficacy – a teacher’s judgment of, or confidence in, his or her
capacity to cope with the teaching situation in ways that bring about desired
o Strong self-efficacy beliefs about teaching leads to improved student
o Individuals develop self-efficacy through verbal persuasion, personal history,
and vicarious experience.
o Novice teachers benefit from the experience of mastery, a positive school
climate, encouragement and support during difficult times, and strong
mentoring by more experienced teachers.
o Teachers with high self-efficacy are less likely to refer special needs students
for evaluation that are teachers with low self-efficacy.
Working in Culturally Different Contexts
o Create learning goals and objectives that incorporate multicultural issues.
o Ensure that your curriculum and activities include a wide variety of ethnic
o Focus on different ethnic groups and their contributions on a rotating basis.
o Include examples from different ethnic experiences to explain subject matter
concepts, facts, and skills.
o Show hoe multicultural content, goals, and activities intersect with subject-
specific curricular standards.
o Instructional goal – a statement of desired student outcomes following
instruction. They have also been called objectives, overall expectations,
achievement targets, desired outcomes, and standards. They can be broad or
general, as well.
o Educational objectives – explicit statements of what students are expected to
be able to do as a result of instruction.
o Taxonomy – a classification of objects according to a set of principles or laws. o Blooms taxonomy – a way of organizing educational objectives according to
the level of cognitive complexity and thought required. Bloom wanted
educators to consider what they wanted to be achieved in their class. He
developed a taxonomy that showed what higher order thinking skills looked
like. These are skills and abilities that go beyond recall and comprehension,
including the ability to apply ideas and concepts, analyze and synthesize
information, and evaluate complex information.
Critics of this system argue that analysis, synthesis, and evaluation are
either not distinct enough or not very useful is assessing different
student’s abilities or progress.
Anderson reorganized Blooms taxonomy:
Knowledge = Remembering
Comprehension = Understanding
Application = Applying
Analysis = Analyzing
Evaluation = Evaluating
Synthesis = Creating
Translating Goals and Objectives into Plans
o Planning involves setting objectives or goals, choosing how to achieve these
goals, making decisions concerning the detail of the approach, making
changes as the plan is carried out, and evaluating the plan after it has been
carried out in order to be better prepared the next time.
o In teaching, there are several layers of plans in order to teach the students a
higher function, such as lesson plans vs unit plans. Cross curricular activity
may also be included.
o The more you plan on something, the more you plan for it.
o Lesson plans typically have several different elements, such as objectives,
materials needed, description of activities, and assessment procedure.
o There are many levels of planning:
Year – statements of the overall approach to the unity that clearly
addresses the goals, standards, and objectives set for the class.
Mid-term – typically these consist of course units.
Instructional Units – these typically occur on a weekly basis and it
consists of the subunits (or topics) embedded in the unit.
Daily Plans – a guide for day to day activities in the classroom.
Beginner teachers typically focus on daily plans more so than
Approaches to Teaching
Strategies are broad approaches to teaching and learning.
Ausubel’s theory of meaningful learning focuses on the learning that occurs when a
student actively interprets experiences.
o Rote Learning – verbatim memorization. The information has little
connection to what