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Educational Psychology

Department of Psychology Shaanxi Normal University Zhao Wei Ph.D

Lecture 1 Educational Psychology: A Foundation for Teaching

Main Contents What is Educational Psychology? How to be a good teacher and a good teaching? The Research methods The purpose of Research in Ed Psych What research Methods are used in Ed Psych

Part 1 What is Educational Psych?

Case studies: P1 Case one: Question about the case in the textbook: Why was Ellen Mathis baffled? Why did Leah say that his success on teaching writing was based on Ed Psych? What kinds of knowledge of EP did he use in his writing class?

What is educational Psych?

"Educational psychology is distinct from other branches of psychology because it has the understanding and improvement of education as its primary goal" (Wittrock, 1992, p. 138). study what people think and do as they teach and learn a particular curriculum in a particular environment where education and training are intended to take place" (Berliner,1992, p. 145). An academic definition would perhaps say that educational psychology is the study of learners, learning, and teaching.

More understandings:

the accumulated knowledge, wisdom, and seat-of-the-pants theory that teacher should possess to intelligently solve the daily problems of teaching. cannot tell teachers what to do, but it can give them the principles to use in making a good decision and a language to discuss their experiences and thinking.

What makes a good teacher and good teaching?

Lets take a minute to remember the names of the best teachers about you ever had when you were in the pre-school, primary school and secondary school? What was it about these teachers that make you remember them over the years? What effects did they have on you?

What makes a good teacher and good teaching?

warmth, humor, and the ability to care about people planning, hard work, and self-discipline leadership, enthusiasm, a contagious love of learning, and speaking ability
But these qualities are not enough

What makes a good teacherand good teaching?

Case two : Video Show (Two classes teaching with the same contents are showed to the students, discuss which teacher did better and why? What kind of knowledge of EP were used in the classes )

Good Teacher and Good Teaching

A good teacher are committed to their students. Dealing with a wide range of student ability and challenges understand their subjects and their students thinking Using new technologies and techniques appropriately to accomplish important goals, not just entertain the students. taking good care of the emotional needs of their students.

In short, good teachers carefully plan and teach the basic procedures for living and learning in their classes. They can efficiently correct and collect homework, regroup students, give directions, distribute materials, and deal with disruptions etc.

seven areas of professional knowledge an expert teachers know (Lee Shulman,1987) :

The academic subjects they teach. General teaching strategies that apply in all subjects . The curriculum materials and programs appropriate for their subject and grade level. Subject-specific knowledge for teaching. Knowing the characteristics and cultural backgrounds of learners. The setting in which students . The goals and purposes of teaching.

As a good teacher, He/She needs

Knowing the subjects matters, and Teaching Skill. Mastering the Teaching Skills

Effective instruction is not a simple matter of one person with more knowledge transmitting that knowledge to another. Effective instruction demands the use of many strategies.

Example of mastering the teaching skills

Reading task: (read page 4 ) Creative thinking: How do you teach a class of fourth-graders to learning statistics? Questions: What kinds of teaching strategies were used by Paula Ray

What did Paula Ray do?

(1)She must make sure that the class is orderly and that students know what behavior is expected of them. (2)She must find out whether students have the pre-requisite skills; (3)She must engage students in activities that lead them toward an understanding of statistics, (4)The lessons should also take into account the intellectual and social characteristics of students in the fourth grade and the intellectual, social, and cultural characteristics of these particular students. (5)To see whether students are learning what is being taught, (6)After the series of lessons on statistics ends, Paula should review this topic from time to time to en-sure that it is remembered.

What makes a good teacher is the ability to carry out all the tasks involved in effective instruction (Reynolds, 1995) Warmth, enthusiasm, and caring are essential, as is subject matter knowledge. But it is the successful accomplishment of all the tasks of teaching that makes for instructional effectiveness..

Part Two

Research Methods of Educational Psychology

The purpose of Research in Ed Psych What research Methods are used in Ed Psych

Group Work: What is the role of the research in Ed Psych? List the reasons as many as possible.

The purposes of research in educational psychology

1. is to carefully examine obvious as well as less than obvious questions, using objective methods to test ideas about the factors that contribute to learning (see Gage, 1994)

Common senses in teaching VS Answer Based on Research.





What method should a teacher use in selecting students to participate in a primary grade reading class?


Based on Research

Common senses in teaching VS Answer Based on Research.

Classroom Management.


Students are engaged in an appropriate and educationally meaningful task, but still, some students are repeatedly out of their seats without permission, wandering around the room. What should the teacher do?



Based on Research

Common senses in teaching VS Answer Based on Research.

Skpping Grades.


Should a school encourage exceptionally bright students to Answer Based skip grades or to on Research enter college early?


Common senses in teaching VS Answer Based on Research
In the textbook p11 Mr. Harris teaches an eighth-grade social studies class. He has a problem with Tom, who frequently misbehaves. Today, Tom makes a paper airplane and flies it across the room when Mr. Harris turns his back, to the delight of the entire class. What should Mr. Harris do?

Educational psychologists spend their time to discover the obvious. So that teachers are able to use them to understand their teaching better.

The products of this research

A principle explains the relationship between factors, such as the effects of alternative grading systems on student motivation. Laws are simply principles that have been thoroughly tested and found to apply in a wide variety of situations. A theoryis a set of related principles and laws that explains a broad aspect of learning, behavior, or another area of interest.

The purposes of research in educational psychology Using Research to Understand and Improve Teaching

Research Methods used in Educational Psychology

1. Experiments Case: page 18 Leppers study: Questions: Subjects? Experimental Group? Control Group? Procedures ? Results ? Explanation of the results?

Some Important concepts: Subject Random assignment Treatment Experimental Group Control Group (Internal validity) (External validity) Significant Tests

2.Correlational Studies.
Case: Lahadernes study p 21 Questions: Subjects; Factors: (variables) Results Explanation

Important concepts in Co relational studies

Co relational studies positive correlation negative correlation uncorrelated variables

The advantage and disadvantage of co relational methods:

Advantage: allowing the researcher to study variables as they are, without creating artificial situations Disadvantage telling us that two variables are related, they do not tell us what causes what

3. Descriptive Studies.

purpose is simply to describe events in a particular class or several classes.

Descriptive Studies.
survey interview participant observation case studies Action research

Research Methods

In many cases, both descriptive and experimental research occur together The chose of the research methods depends on the question you are going to study.

The End of Lecture 1