1/19/2012 4:31:00 PM
Teachers do research:
o to understand what is high quality research
o learn how to collect efficient research for their own ideas
o help students conduct research
o sometimes it goes against common sense, so it is good to be
informed on current research
o Research design
o Research Question
o Independent Variable
o Dependent Variable
An in-depth investigation of one person or a small group.
Used when there just arent many people to study
May learn a lot about the small group, but its hard to generalize
because they could be weird cases. Vulnerable to observer bias.
Cant make conclusions about them
Used to determine cause and effect.
Participants are randomly selected and randomly assigned to either
a control or experimental group
3 essential characteristics:
o researcher manipulates one variable
o researcher measures whether this variable produces changes
in another variable
o researcher attempts to control for other factors that might
Tell us what factors are associated in a positive or negative way.
Used because they are easier to do, and for ethical reasons.
Advantages: Show relationships that are already established.
Disadvantages: Show an associated not a cause.
The variables can have a positive or negative correlation. Positive correlation: X and Y variables are going up
Negative correlation: X is increasing, Y is decreasing.
3 Types of correlation
o A causes B
o B causes A
o C causes A and B
Carried out by teachers, administrators, etc. to improve the
Goal is to understand a problem or to improve teaching practices
Encourages teachers to problem solve and to think critically about
their own teaching practices.
Image on page 37
Judging Study Quality
Replication Physical Development 19/01/2012 4:31:00 PM
Prenatal Development Period
From conception to birth
Follows a universal sequence that is mainly directed by genetic
influences. But the environment can influence this development to a
Teratogens: any environmental substance or disease that causes
abnormal development of the fetus. They are most harmful early on
in the pregnancy, when the body parts and major organs are being
o Examples: Alcohol, nicotine, prescription drugs, radiation, etc.
Most babies are born between 38 and 42 weeks and usually weigh
between 5 and 10 pounds.
Risk factors increase as the period of gestation and weight
Babies born with a low birth weight are higher risk
Most common causes of low birth weight are prematurity, poor
nutrition, and poor prenatal care. Also maternal age, her health,
time since last pregnancy, etc.
Implications of Being Low-Birth-Weight
Children born with a low birth weight are more likely to have mild
learning disabilities, attention and concentration problems, asthma,
and language delays
o The ability of our brains to change in structure and function
o Our brains are experience-expectant. They are programmed
to do certain things, but the environment affects how this
o Neurons that receive stimulation from the environment
connections and develop others die out. This process is called
pruning. The ones we use develop and flourish, ones we dont
use just disappear.
o This is an issue of debate o We know that our brains have less plasticity as we get older,
but we also know that we can gain new abilities with practice
and can recover function after injury.
Recovery After Injury
o Sometimes after injury certain functions are never regained,
but sometimes other areas of the brain will compensate.
o The earlier the damage is sustained, the more likely they are
o However, sometimes adults can often recover from an injury
Surviving neurons may modify their structure or
New cells may develop
Left Brain Right Brain
o 2 hemispheres of the brain that are connected to each other
through the corpus callosum
o the left side controls the right side of the body. Right side of
the brain controls the left side of the body.
o Some functions are localized to one hemisphere
Left: verbal, math, logical. More active when
experiencing positive emotions
Right: Spatial relations, melodies. More active when
experiencing negative emotions.
o Though often thought true. There is no strong scientific
evidence to categorize individual differences in learning styles
according to left and right brain hemisphere specialization.
o Both sides of the brain influence cognitive functioning than
was previously thought.
Childrens ability to process sensory information
o Vision at birth
Newborns can look at objects an follow it to keep them
They cant see more than 7 or 8 inches in front of them
Adult like vision by 12 months