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PSYC 3800 (25)


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PSYC 3800
Jen Lasenby- Lessard

Ch. 1: LEARNING, TEACHING, AND EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY LEARNING AND TEACHING TODAY • New teachers who have completed coursework in development and learning are twice as likely to stay in teaching Dramatic Diversity: Students Today • By 2031 – Canada's foreign-born population will increase from 20% to 25- 28%, and 55% of these immigrants will come from Asian countries • Between 29-32% of population will be members of visible minority groups, nearly twice this population's size in the 2006 census • Diversity is most concentrated in our largest cities. Visible minorities will comprise more than half population in Toronto and Vancouver, but no more than 5% of population in St. John's and Trois-Rivieres or Saguenay • Currently, there are classrooms in Vancouver where more than 80% of children are English language learners • Children come from wide range of religious communities. Participation in religions other than Christianity has doubled since 2006 (from 6 to 14%) and approx. 50% of people with religious affiliation other than Christian identify themselves as Muslim • Currently, approx. 1 in 9 children in Canada lives in poverty. In 2007 – 280,000 children were regular users of food banks, which represents increase of 86% since 1989 • Children in classrooms have diverse abilities and disabilities. Our inclusive policies mean that children with disabilities spend majority of their school day in general education classrooms • Children are surviving diseases as serious as cancer and returning to school, but sometimes with after-effects related to treatment they underwent that have implications for learning • Children's families are diverse, with some children living with a mom and dad, or mom or dad, 2 moms or 2 dads, or grandparents, aunts, or uncles Do Teachers Make a Difference? • For a while, some researchers suggested that wealth and social status, not teaching, were the major factors determining who learned in schools Teacher-Student Relationships • Bridget Hamre and Robert Pianta (2001) – followed 179 children from kindergarten to grade 8 ◦ Concluded that quality of teacher-student relationship in kindergarten predicted a number of academic and behavioural outcomes through grade 8, particularly for students with high levels of behavioural problems • Pianta and colleagues (2008) – followed children from 4 1/2 years through grade 5, found degree of emotional warmth of teacher-child interactions and teacher's degree of skill in recognizing and responding to children's needs consistently predicted child's growth in reading and math • Students who have significant behaviour problems in early years are less likely to have problems later in school if their teachers are sensitive to their needs and provide frequent, consistent feedback • Paula Stanovich and Anne Jordan (1998) – found that teachers who believe it was their responsibility to include and instruct all students in classrooms (including students with disabilities and English language learners) engaged in more academic interactions with their students and were more persistent in helping students succeed in school Teacher Preparation and Quality • Linda Darling-Hammond (2000) – examined ways in which teacher qualifications are related to student achievement ◦ Found that quality of teachers (measured by whether teachers were certified and earned a major in their teaching field) were strongest predictors of student achievement in reading and math ◦ Positive correlation • Point/Counterpoint – Standards for Teachers (pg. 5) WHAT IS GOOD TEACHING? • Reflective: Thoughtful and inventive. Reflective teachers think back over situations to analyze what they did and why, and to consider how they might improve learning for their students. • Teachers must know research on student development, “patterns common to particular ages, culture, social class, geography, and gender” and also need to know their own particular students who are unique to combinations of culture, gender, and geography • Table 1.1 – Correlations Between Teacher Quality Variables and Student Achievement, United States (pg. 7) What Are the Concerns of Beginning Teachers? • Beginning teacher's concerns: how to maintain classroom discipline, motivate students, accommodate differences among students, evaluate students' work, deal with parents, get along with other teachers • “The difference between a beginning teacher and an experienced one is that the beginning teacher asks, 'How am I doing?' and the experienced teacher asks, 'How are the children doing?'” (Codell, 2001) • Table 1.2 – Advice for Student Teachers From Their Students (pg. 9) THE ROLE OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY • Educational psychology: The discipline concerned with teaching and learning processes; it applies the methods and theories of psychology and has its own as well • Field of educational psychology has existed for about 100 years • Some believe educational psychology is knowledge gained from psychology and applied to the activities of the classroom, others believe it involves applying the methods of psychology to study classroom and school life In the Beginning: Linking Educational Psychology and Teaching • Topics that Plato and Aristotle discussed (role of the teacher, relationship between teacher and student, methods of teaching, nature and order of learning, role of affect in learning) are still studied by educational psychologists today • 1890 – William James officially founded field of psychology and developed lecture series for teachers entitled Talks to Teachers on Psychology ◦ Lectures given in summer schools for teachers then published in 1899 • Jame's Student, G. Stanley Hall, founded American Psychological Association ◦ Dissertation was about children's understanding of the world • Hall's student, John Dewey, founded Laboratory School at the University of Chicago, considered father of progressive education movement • Another student of William James, E. L. Thorndike, wrote first educational psychology text (1903), founded Journal of Educational Psychology (1910) • Thorndike shifted from classroom to lab to study learning (proved to be too narrow), took 50 years to return to psychological study of learning in classrooms • 1940s/1950s – study of educational psychology focused on individual differences, assessment, and learning behaviours • 1960s/1970s – focus of research shifted to study of cognitive development and learning, with attention to how students learn concepts and remember • Recently have investigated how culture and social factors affect learning and development Educational Psychology Today • Educational psychology is a distinct discipline with its own theories, research methods, problems and techniques • Educational psychologists study learning and teaching and strive to improve educational practice • Educational psychologists examine what happens when someone (teacher, parent) or something (computer) teaches something (math, weaving, dancing) to someone else (student, co-worker, team) in some setting (classroom, theatre, gym) • Study child/adolescent development; learning and motivation, including how people learn different academic subjects such as reading or math; social and cultural influences on learning; teaching and teachers; assessment including testing Is It Just Common Sense? • Taking Turns ◦ Common-sense answer: teachers should call on students randomly so that everyone will have to follow lesson carefully. If a teacher were to use the same order every time, the students would know when their turn was coming up ◦ Answer based on research: Ogden, Brophy, and Everston (1977) – going around circle in order and giving each child a chance to read led to better overall achievement than calling on students randomly. ▪ Critical factor of going around circle: each child has chance to participate. Without system for calling on everyone, some students may be overlooked or skipped ▪ There are better alternatives than going around in a circle, but if teacher chooses one of these alternatives, they should make sure that everyone has chance for practice and feedback • Classroom Management ◦ Common-sense answer: each time wanderer gets up, teacher should remind students to remain in their seats. If teacher does not remind them and lets them get away with breaking rules, both out-of-seat students and rest of class may decide teacher is not serious about rule ◦ Answer based on research: Madsen, Becker, Thomas, Koser, Plager (1968) – found that more often teacher told students to sit down when they were out of their seat, the more often students got out of their seats without permission ▪ When teacher ignored students out of seat and praised those in their seats, rate of out-of-seat behaviour dropped ▪ When teacher returned to telling students to sit down, out-of-seat behaviour increased again • Skipping Grades ◦ Common-sense answer: No, intelligent students who are year or 2 younger than their classmates likely to be social misfits, neither physically nor emotionally ready for dealing with older students ◦ Answers based on research: Maybe, Samuel Kirk and colleagues (1993) – children who have been accelerated have adjusted as well as or better than have children of similar ability who have not been accelerated ▪ Whether acceleration is best for student depends on many specific individual characteristics: intelligence, maturity, other available options • Obvious Answers?: Lily Wong (1987) – just seeing research results in writing can make them seem obvious ◦ Selected 12 findings from research on teaching, presented 6 of findings in their correct form and 6 in exactly opposite form. About half of wrong findings were rated as “correct” ◦ Follow-up study: participants shown 12 findings and their opposites and asked to pick which were correct. For 8 of 12 findings, participants chose wrong result more often than right one Using Research to Understand and Improve Learning • 2 major tasks of educational psychologists: conducting research to test possible answers, and combining results of various studies into theories that attempt to present a unified view of such things as teaching, learning, development • Descriptive studies: Studies that collect detailed information about specific situations, often using observation, surveys, interviews, recordings, or a combination of these methods • “Descriptive” - purpose is to describe events in a particular class or several classes • One descriptive approach, classroom ethnography, is borrowed from anthropology • Ethnography: A descriptive approach to research that focuses on life within a group and tries to understand the meaning of events to the people involved • Ethnographic methods involve studying naturally occurring events in the life of a group and trying to understand the meaning of these events to the people involved • In some studies, researcher uses participant observation: A method for conducting descriptive research in which the researcher becomes a participant in the situation in order to better understand life in that group ◦ works within class or school to understand actions from perspectives of the teacher and students • Researchers may also employ case studies: Intensive study of one person or one situation ◦ Ex: investigates how teacher plans courses; how student tries to learn specific material • Correlational Studies: ◦ Correlation: A number that indicates both the strength and the direction of a relationship between two events or measurements ◦ Correlations range from 1.00 to -1.00 – closer to 1.00/-1.00, the stronger the relationship ◦ Positive correlation: indicates that the two factors increase or decrease together ◦ Negative correlation: means that increases in one factor are related to decreases in the other ◦ Correlations to not prove cause and effect • Experimental Studies: ◦ Experimentation: Allows educational psychologists to go beyond predictions and actually study cause and effect. Instead of just observing/describing existing situation, investigators introduce changes and note the results ◦ Subjects: In psychological research, generally refers to the people being studied ◦ One common way to make sure that groups of subjects are essentially the same is to assign each subject to a group using
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