Activities and Materials for Teaching Ed Psych
If you are teaching ed psych, here are some suggestions for activities you might want to present several possibilities
to your students and let each one choose the assignment that holds the
greatest appeal for him or her. One of the following
activities might serve as a useful way to introduce educational psychology
to your students.
The following materials are available to help teaching Educational Psychology
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- What do you know about Ed Psych [.doc] - This is a useful handout for students to write what they already know about educational psychology. Can also be used as a pre-post test.
of Ed Psych Research [.doc] - This handout provides an overview of the different types of ed psych research
EdPsych PowerPoint Presentations
OOPS Survey- Taken from the Ormrod textbook, this survey helps to
identify some common edpsych misconceptions.
Answers to OOPS
Presents answers to OOPS questions and introduces the main types of research.
are examples of projects:
cooperative game that encourages the students to get to know
each other. Below are a few examples:
About the Characteristics of a Good Teacher
the students to write a short paper about the characteristics
of one or more memorable teachers they have had. Some specific
questions that might be worth considering are listed below:
my favorite elementary school teacher? Why?
What subject did I learn particularly well? Why?
What teacher inspired me to work hard? How?
What teacher did I particularly dislike? Why?
What were some of the personal traits of a teacher that I liked
a great deal?
Did any teacher change the course of my life? How?
want to share ideas as a class and use a mind map or other organizational
form to highlight common threads among the responses.
information, contact Olin Campbell)
assignment allows for a semester-long exploration of what constitutes
period invite several students to take 2 minutes to descrbe
an academic teacher who had a significant influence on them.
Have them discuss why the teacher had a significant influence,
how they felt anout what the teacher did for them and what specific
competencies and characteristics made that teacher great.
For a final
project you can ask the students to write a one-page summary
about the most commonly mentioned competencies and characteristics
of great teachers.
information, contact Trav Johnson or Tim Bothell
the students to explore the research webquest found at http://www.webmonster.com/research/
You can assign a short paper in conjunction with this exercise
or simply invite students to discuss some of the interesting
studies they encountered.
information, contact Diana West
Who We Are
the following activity as a semester project. You might want
to invite your students to discuss Parker Palmer's article,
The Heart of a Teacher (listed in suggested readings) before
you announce this assignment.
each student to do something this semester that will make him
or her a better person, hence a better teacher. You might want
to ask your students to respond to the following questions as
they plan their project:
is my individual project?
* Why is this an important area in which to improve? What has
this (problem) cost me?
* How will my life be different whent I accomplish this goal
(now, 2years from now, 10 years from now)?
* Why have I not done this successfully before?
* What is the gift this (problem) has given me?
* Is it really worth it?
* Should I go for broke or strike a balance?
should not choose a goal they already feel compelled to do (I
have to exercise every day!). It must be something they are
anxious to do to become better (more interesting, happy, loving,
congruous, courageous, well-rounded, Christ-like, etc.) people.
Set any additional guidelines that you feel are appropriate.
information, contact Lois Bobo
your students to interview one of their professors or one or
two inservice elementary teachers about how research has influenced
their teaching. They could write a short paper about their findings
or they could work in small groups to compile their information
and report to each other in class. Students might find some
of the following questions useful as they conduct their interviews:
* Do you
teach differently than you did when you began teaching? Why?
* Do you ever read research studies in professional journals?
* How do you stay abreast of the latest research in education?
* How has the study of educational psychology effected your
* Have you ever conducted a research study of your own?
* What kinds of conclusions have you reached through informal
research (your day-to-day observations of your students)?
As you discuss
the value of research in educational psychology, you might want to use
one of the following in-class activities:
an Educational Psychology Pretest
pages 4 & 5 of Ormrod's Educational Psychology: Developing
Learners, Ormrod provides an informal true/false pretest using
questions that researchers in educational psychology have attempted
to answer. You could present these questions verbally and use
student responses as a springboard for discussion. A few of
the questions are listed below, but you will find a complete
copy of the pretest and Ormrod's answers in the IPT 301 file
under Chapter 1:
we compare boys and girls, we find that both groups are, on
average, very similar in their mathematical and verbal apptitudes.
* Students often misjudge how much they know about a topic.
* When a teacher rewards one student for appropriate behavior,
the behavior of other students may also improve. (True)
* Anxiety sometimes helps students learn and perform more successfully
in the classroom. (True)
* The best way to learn and remember a new fact is to repeat
it over and over again. (False)
a Correlational Study
a quick corellational study among your students. Give them each
a 3 X 5 card and ask them to anonymously submit their high school
GPA, their ACT score, the number of children in their family,
and their favorite subject in high school (or any other variables
that might be of interest). Have MiniTab or SAS up and running
and ready to enter the data. Have someone enter the data and
determine the correlation between variables (or enter the data
later and return with the results the next class period).
Different Kinds of Research Studies
examples of relevant correlational, descriptive and experimental
studies. Check the IP&T files under "Research Studies"
students to ask questions they have about teaching and learning
that research studies might help to answer. Have them consider
their own elementary school experiences. Did they learn to read
phonetically? Did they learn through the whole language approach?
Which is better? Why is balanced literacy so popular now? Is
it really more effective? Is it better to learn algorithms first,
then learn underlying principles in mathematics, or the other
way around? Is it better to have a deep understanding of what
multiplication is before you begin to memorize the times tables?
Should school start later in the day so that school children
can get more sleep? Is there any evidence that a block class
schedule works better than teaching every subject every day?
Do older elementary children do better when they stay with one
teacher all day or when they rotate from class to class like
junior high students? What does research say about these things?
record of these questions and come back to them during the semester
a personal example of a question you had that research helped
(or is helping) to answer. The following example is taken from
an IP&T student who began studying educational psychology
because of experiences she had with her own children:
was troubled by the fact that my son wasn't learning to read
in the first grade, but I did not think his teacher was doing
him any good by applying pressure. Still, I wondered how much
of an impact his apparent lack of reading ability might have
on his future performance in school.
research studies I read indicated that reading skill is a good
indicator of future academic performance. However, deeper study
led me to realize that this result was largely a function of
how public schools are typically structured (children learn
to read in first grade, then they read to learn in subsequent
grades and are often left behind in other subjects when they
do not read well). My studies of research on reading led me
to conclude that poor reading ability in early grades is not
a measure of intelligence or an indicator of potential. I happened
on one extensive study titled "School Can Wait" in
which the researchers concluded that children allowed to learn
to read at their own pace without pressure, usually catch up
to and sometimes surpass their peers. This study led me to move
my son into a multi-age school where he could learn at his own
pace. He finally learned to read at about the age of nine. He
is now a junior in public high school taking honors English
and AP classes. Reading is one of his favorite pastimes. His
Stanford reading scores were in the 98th percentile.
that there is still a strong emphasis on learning to read in
the first grade. I am anxious to conduct my own research that
explores the possibility that this emphasis might actually be
detrrimental to some children."
Invite students to browse some of the available online journals
in educational psychology