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PSYC 3800
Jen Lasenby- Lessard

QUESTION 1 1a) What is meant by educational psychology results are obvious This statement implies that research results in the field of educational psychology seem like they are common sense, but it is important to remember that in general when a principle is sated in simple terms it may seem like a very simplistic idea.As Gare suggested, school boards, committees and foundations need to be convinced before they are willing to spend money. As a result some people therefore assume that spending time and money studying educational psychology seems sort of redundant. We see the results of so much research and not the hard work that researchers go through to get such results. We must remember that therefore a statement that may initially seem factually obvious actually has to have quite a lot of research to back it up. 1b) Provide example of research finding that may seem obvious Skipping grades- should bright students be able to skip grades. Common- sense answer: no. likely to be misfits and wouldn’t be physically/emotionally ready for class. Research: maybe. According to Samuel Kirk, Children who have been accelerated have adjusted as well as or better than children of similar ability who have not been accelerated. To determine if acceleration is the best solution for a student depends on intelligence and maturity. 1c) dangers on basing policy and programs on assumptions. The dangers are enormous because making an assumption in this field is huge because an individual’s education is on the line. According to the cooper article policies are often based on the history, tradition and convenience of a society may it may not actually benefit people. Society and culture is constantly changing in addition to new research being discovered to examine the factors such as history, tradition and convenience in relation to education. As an example assuming a child is gifted and in turn accelerating them, when they are not actually gifted can be detrimental to both the emotional and academic aspects of the student. Creating acceleration politics/programs based on the assumption that they are beneficial to all those involved would be a huge mistake. Using actual research leads to a better informed policy, higher quality decisions and more effective practices and thus will as a result improve outcomes. 1d) How might the current trend towards using evidence based practice. One way that can help counteract the idea that research in education is obvious is to publish research articles surrounding educational psychology and making them widely available.Another way to counteract the idea is to educate teachers on the best and most well-researched practices and policies that will be of most benefit to their students. By doing that teachers will be able to better decipher between these obvious facts and actual facts. The hope in informing teachers that there are evidence based teaching strategies which have been proven to be effective is to get teachers to hopefully adopt these new strategies to improve on the quality of their teaching skills. The Cooper article demonstrates countries like the US, the UK and Canada which are implementing the use of research findings into practice. The result was more effective and beneficial policies that are backed by evidence. This will overall help to eliminate bias and preference within organizations and education systems. By providing accountability and certain standards for schools and teachers, evidence based policy has proven to be valuable. 1e) why are some educators reluctant to incorporate? Some teachers and other educators may be reluctant to incorporate scientific research findings into their teaching because they may be ill informed or unsure of the generalizability of research findings.Also since research is largely based on surveys and interviews this puts the reliability of some studies in question. Educators may also be uncomfortable and unsure of how to incorporate the new ways of thinking and teaching. QUESTION 2 2a) define experience-dependent overproduction and pruning Experience-dependent overproduction is a type of synaptic overproduction where the synaptic connections are formed based on the individual’s experience. New synapses are formed in reaction to neural activity in areas of the brain when the person is not successful in processing info. Pruning is a process that occurs in the brain in which it eliminates neurons that are not being used. The pruning process is needed to help support cognitive development. 2b) It is very important for teachers to understand the relation between brain-based research and classroom learning so that proper programs can be implemented for the students. One way teachers can apply brain-based research in the classroom is to implement a program called “fastforward” which are a result of such research. This program is meant to help students get better reading skills by using discoveries in neural plasticity to change the brain’s ability to read printed words.Asecond way that brain based education can be implemented in the classroom is to have the students practice retrieving information. There is importance to study in studying the information that we are learning, but there is also importance in gaining information on the process of retrieving information. 2c) Working memory is the base where new information is held temporarily and combined with knowledge form long-term memory. Working memory holds what you are thinking about at that moment. For example this can provide you with the ability to solve a problem or comprehend a lecture. The central executive is the working component of the working memory, it focuses on the information that is needed for each situation that we are in, retrieves rules for which operations we do first. It supervises attention, makes plans, and retrieves and integrates information and is responsible for monitoring and directing attention and other mental resources. d) 2) Bilingualism and working memory are associated because this complex process is needed to help provide consistent and fluent flow of speech. It is an important aspect of bilingualism because it is needed to comprehend the language that is being spoken. Based on the research done by Bialystock, he concluded that participants who had with high working memory resources performed the task in the experiment better than comparable participants with lower working memory capacity. The results of Bialystock’s study prove that both components are being used in the aspect of bilingualism have an impact on the enhancement of actual processes that are being used. The two systems work together to produce language and work together to focus on the information that is necessary at that time. E) 2) When considering whether or not to enrol a child in French immersion parents should consider whether the second language is going to benefit the child. Parents need to consider whether or not the second language is going to help the child in the long run. Parents also need to consider the overall success of the student. It is important to consider whether or not the child is going to do well in a French immersion program, some students may not succeed in that type of setting and this is important to look at when the thought of enrolment occurs. QUESTION 3 3a) The four forms of aggression are: instrumental aggression, which is a strong action aimed at claiming an object, place or privilege, such as taking the ball from someone at lunch. Hostile aggression is bold, direct action which is aiming to hurt somebody and is unprovoked. Then there are two sub forms of hostile aggression: overt = physical attacks and relational (to bully them socially, affecting their social lives). 3b)According to the textbook, research suggests that the characteristics of aggression differ between boys and girls because boys are more likely to use overt, hostile aggression and females are more inclined to use relational aggression. 3c) The relational approach sees bullying as a relational problem and seeks relationship solutions. The goal of relational approach bullying intervention programs is to enhance their relationship capacity to promote healthy relationships in the present and to lay the foundation for healthy relationships throughout their life. This is achieved through manipulation of the student’s social environments and scaffolding. One positive is that it simultaneously promotes healthy relationships and provides foundation for healthy relationships later on in life. It also considers both the individual and the social setting as responsible and does not seek to punish the child, sets other students up for success by managing the social environment. Astudy found that girls’who believed relationship strategies to work, proved these strategies effective in relieving bullying. 3d)According to the textbook scaffolding is when teachers or others provide support for learning and problem solving in the form of clues, reminders, encouragement or anything else that can help the student to become an independent learner. Pepler defines scaffolding as the focus on providing custom and active supports for the needs of individual children. 3e) Scaffolding allows educators to consider the supports needed to give children the skills, capacities, and social cognitions to move out of the roles of the bully or victim. Each child requires scaffolding according to his or her individual needs and strengths. For those that bully, the first step is to identify their needs in terms of relationship skills. An assessment of individual children’s strengths and challenges is essential to guide effective interventions. Since it is hard for practioniors to scaffold children, there needs to be support from the parents, teachers and peers. For example an adult can anticipate the child who bullies others and what their needs may be and thus sort of coach the child through difficult times. By doing this it may enable the child to interact positively and avoid bullying behaviour in that situation all together. 3f) One thing I could do as a teacher would be to offer a choice to the student who is acting up. As stated in the textbook, many teachers prefer the use of logical consequences.An example of offering a choice would be to say:” You have a choice either stop your behaviour (name the behaviour specifically) or move your seat to the back of the classroom and we will talk about it later. The choice is up to you”. Second would be to listen to the student, and relate what they are feeling back to them.And use the “I” statements concerning their behaviour, such as “it is affecting me, I am having trouble..”. According to the textbook, I statements allows the student to feel that they are in charge of their own behaviour Third, since the student often refuses to do their work. According to the textbook, one way of getting the student to do their work is to tell the student in a clear and assertive, yet unhostile voice to do their work. If they talk back, simply repeat the statement. QUESTION 4 4a) The discrepancy based definition of LD posits that those with LD will have a discrepancy between scores of achievement and scores on an IQ test. This is also commonly referred to as the IQ-achievement discrepancy. It is often used to test for LD across multiple areas: oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skills, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, and mathematics reasoning. 4B) According to Vaughn and Fuchs (2003), the discrepancy based definition of LD does not serve students with LD well because there is a general lack of empirical support for it’s crucial assumptions. Assumptions of the discrepancy-based definition for LD that have not been supported by studies or the literature include: (1) degree of discrepancy from IQ would meaningfully relate to the severity of the LD, (2) academic performance of students with a discrepancy differs from that of students without a discrepancy, (3) discrepancy yields reliable information, (4) findings inform instruction, and (5) use of IQ tests is a necessary procedure for identifying students with LD. 4C) The Response-to-Instruction (RTI) model consists of three phases to identify LD and determine what interventions are appropriate. RTI is a process in which one of the main goals is to identify students who may have learning difficulties as early as possible so that they don’t fall too far behind.Asecond goal is to document what works and what doesn’t with each student planning. Proposes that the validity of a special education classification be judged according to a 3-tiered system. First tier is a strong, well-researched way of teaching all the students; students who don’t do well in this move on to the second tier. Second tier they get extra support and additional small-group instruction; if there is still no progress they move on to third tier. Third tier involves one-on-one intensive help and perhaps a special needs assessment 4D) There are many benefits to the RTI model over the discrepancy based definition of LD. One is that because the whole classroom is “screened” at the same time, identification is accomplished more efficiently as opposed to the discrepancy based definition, often referred to as the “wait to fail” model because it was on just the teacher to notice when any student was not doing as well in a class. Often it takes a long time for teachers to notice these trends early on (because of lack of assessments in elementary school etc.) with the discrepancy definition, however, two, RTI prevents relatively late identification for students who have special needs. Third, It also prevents the imprecise screening through teacher observation, false negatives (ie. unidentified students with LD) who are not provided services or are provided them too late; and the use of identification measures that are not linked to instruction. E) Some questions that Vaughn and Fuchs (2003) address are: (1) In a RTI Model, is LD “real”?-Adisability is typically viewed as a deficit, which resides within an individual. The RTI model may suggest to some that LD are temporary. (2) Do we have validated intervention models and measures to assure instruction validity?- Within the RTI model, various measures are required to evaluate students’performance and responsiveness over time. These tools/measures are available for some, but not all, academic areas. (3)Are there adequately trained personnel to implement a RTI model?- If the RTI model were to be used across countries and thousands of schools then a large sum of trained personnel would be required. To date, the RTI model has only been implemented on a small scale F) I believe that RTI is a more realistic approach for today’s schools compared to the discrepancy model because you are able to assess these students at an earlier age. With the discrepancy definition the student must be of an age where intelligence quotient can be accurately tested, which is approx. 9 years of age. Until then the student is struggling and falling further behind the rest of their class. This is a wait-to-fail theory where the student is unable to get any special education until they have already done poorly and perhaps even failed. This can cause emotional stress on the child as well because they are doing so poorly compared to their peers and can consequentially lead to a lower self-esteem. There are more disadvantages that come with waiting to diagnose these problems which is what you would have to do with the discrepancy theory. QUESTION 5 5a)According to the text, cultural relevant pedagogy is essentially, it is the idea that children need to operate successfully in two worlds: their home community, and the “majority culture”. Therefore, students must experience academic success , but also maintain their cultural competence.At the same time they must develop a critical consciousness to challenge the norm. 5b)Bank’s 5 dimensions of multicultural education: 1) Content integration: using examples and content from a variety of cultures and groups to illustrate key concepts, theories, etc, in their subject area. 2) An equity pedagogy: matching teaching styles to students learning styles = academic achievement of students from diverse backgrounds (racial, cultural, social class, etc.). 3) An empowering school culture and social structure: Examining group and labelling practises, sports participation, and the interaction between staff/students across ethnic/racial lines to create empowering school culture for all 4) Prejudice reduction: identifying the characteristics of students’racial attitudes and determining how they can be modified by teaching 5) The knowledge construction process: helping students to understand how the implicit cultural assumptions within a discipline influence the ways that knowledge is constructed within it. c) 5)Astudy that looks at approaches to multicultural education in preservice teacher education shows that two changes that need to take place in preservice teacher education in order to facilitate multicultural education are 1) Substantially more knowledge and radically different skills for teachers. If all children are to be effectively taught, teachers must be prepared to address the substantial diversity in experiences children bring with them to school--the wide range of languages, cultures, exceptionalities, learning styles, talents, and intelligences that in turn require an equally rich and varied repertoire of teaching strategies. 2) Someone we need to be teaching for universal learning which demands a highly developed ability to discover what children know and can do, as well as how they think and how they learn, and to match learning and performance opportunities to the needs of individual children. 5D.After reading the course material pertaining to multiculturalism, where a number of challenges were presented, I do think it is possible to achieve a truly multicultural education. Canada is a great example of a country that is becoming more and more multicultural every year so why can’t our schools. The textbook states that there is no general agreement to the “best” approach to multicultural education, but with that in mind, is there ever a “best” approach to any sort of education that everyone agrees on? No, of course not! One study that looked at teacher’s expectations versus student’s realities brought up the point that many teachers expect minority children to know less than their non-minority counter parts. The same study showed that children's academic outcomes are strongly influenced by teachers' perceptions. Teachers, as noted in another academic paper about approaching multicultural education, have the responsibility and ability to discover what children
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