Chapter 1: Educational Psychology – Understanding Learning and Teaching
• Expert a person who is highly knowledgeable or skilled in a particular domain
• Effective teachers teachers who are able to produce more learning in their students than would be
expected for the students’ background and ability
o They are experts and possess knowledge and skills that their less effective colleagues do not.
• The essential difference between effective and ineffective teachers is their level of knowledge and skills.
Students taught by effective teachers learn much more than those taught by ineffective teachers.
• Research shows that, other than the home environment, the quality of the teacher is the single most
important influence on student learning.
o Ex. A study where students who had highly effective teachers in 3 , 4 , and 5 grades scored
more than 50 percentile points higher on standardized math tests than students who had
ineffective teachers in the same three grades.
• Educational psychology the academic discipline that focuses on human teaching and learning
• Professional knowledge the body of information and skills that are unique to a particular area of study
• TYPES OF PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE
o Knowledge of content and how the content relates
Ex. Facts on the American Revolutionary War and how it relates to the French and Indian
o Knowledge of content is essential, but understanding how to make that content meaningful to
students requires additional knowledge.
Pedagogical content knowledge an understanding of how to represent topics in ways
that make them understandable to learners, as well as an understanding of what makes
specific topics easy or hard to learn
• Ex. Illustrating the factors that led to the war in a way that students can
• Ex. Folding paper to show multiplying fractions
• Good ways to represent topics:
o Examples – when you’re teaching a welldefined topic; makes abstract
ideas easier to understand
o Case studies – illustrate complex topics that are hard to represent with
Ex. Andy didn’t know what to do. He was looking forward to the
class trip, but if he went, he would miss the football game.
Ex. Mock trial
o General Pedagogical Knowledge a type of professional knowledge that involves an
understanding of instructional strategies and classroom management that apply to all topics and
subject matter areas
Instructional strategies – knowing how to plan effective lessons, involve students in
learning, and check for understanding
• Ex. Calling on all students equally
Classroom management creating classroom environments that are safe, orderly, and
focused on learning; how to plan, implement, and monitor rules and procedures, organize
groups, and intervene when misbehavior occurs • Prevent, rather than stop, disruptions
o Knowledge of Learners
o Knowledge of Learning
• Reflective practice the process of conducting a critical selfexamination of one’s teaching
o Can help us become more sensitive to individual student differences
o Ex. Thinking about learning objectives for lesson, examples to use to help comprehension,
questions to ask, how to respond if answers are incorrect
• Developmental differences changes in students’ thinking, personalities, and social skills that result
from maturation and experience
• Developmentally appropriate practice instruction that matches teacher actions to the capabilities and
needs of learners at developmental levels
• Research the process of systematically gathering information in an attempt to answer professional
o Several forms that each an