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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?
   Let’s 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
    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 teacher,and
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
 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
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
   (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
   (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
   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
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
1.     is to carefully     教育心理学
  examine obvious
  as well as less than   研究的目的就是
  obvious questions,     应用客观的研究
  using objective        方法来检验有学
  methods to test        习影响因素的各
  ideas about the
  factors that           种观点,探讨众
  contribute to          所周知的或鲜为
  learning (see Gage,    人知的某些问题.
Common senses in teaching VS Answer Based on Research.

 Taking     Turns          Common
 (发言)                         Sense
       What method
 should a teacher use
 in selecting students
 to participate in a
                            Answer  Based
 primary grade reading
 class?                       on Research
Common senses in teaching VS Answer Based on Research.
    Classroom Management.
                             Common

     Students are engaged     Sense
    in an appropriate and
    meaningful task, but
    still, some students
    are repeatedly out of    Answer Based
    their seats without
    permission, wandering     on Research
    around the room.
    What should the
    teacher do?
Common senses in teaching VS Answer Based on Research.

   Skpping Grades.         Common
     Should a school
    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(原则) explains the
  relationship between factors, such as the
  effects of alternative grading systems on
  student motivation.
 Laws (规律)are simply principles that
  have been thoroughly tested and found to
  apply in a wide variety of situations.
 A theory(理论)is 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

   Using Research to
 Understand and Improve
Research Methods used in
Educational Psychology
 1. Experiments
 Case: page 18
 Lepper’s study:
 Questions:
 Subjects?
 Experimental Group? Control Group?
 Procedures ?
 Results ?
 Explanation of the results?
 Some Important concepts:
 Subject
 Random assignment随机分配
 Treatment
 Experimental Group
 Control Group
 (Internal validity)
 (External validity)
 Significant Tests显著性检验
2.Correlational Studies.

 Case: Lahaderne’s study p 21
 Questions:
 Subjects;
 Factors: (variables)
 Results
 Explanation
Important concepts in Co relational

 Co relational studies
 positive correlation
 negative correlation
 uncorrelated variables
The advantage and disadvantage of
co relational methods:
Advantage:              Disadvantage

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

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