Chapter 1 Educational Psychology and Reflective Practice Themes of the Chapter Learning how to understand learners and to promote their learning helps teachers feel more comfortable and successful. Students are diverse and some have special needs Theory and research play major roles in educational psychology and reflective practice Guiding Questions What is educational psychology? What primary concerns do beginning teachers have? What is reflective teaching, and how is it different from technical teaching? See next slide for more questions Guiding Questions (cont’d) How can teachers recognize, adapt, and respond to diverse learners and students with special needs? How do educational psychologists use theory and research? How can teachers apply research findings to improve their own classroom practice? Overview of Educational Psychology “The scientific study of psychology in education” What teachers do How students learn How teachers can help students learn Critical Thinking To be able to tell fact from opinion To see holes in an argument To spot illogic To evaluate evidence To tell whether or not cause and effect have been established Educational Psychology and Critical Thinking Provide objective, data-based evidence from research Challenge our subjective ways of knowing Use research to make decisions about the practice of teaching Learning A relatively permanent change in behavior or knowledge as a result of experience Depends on many factors: the quality of instruction student motivation student engagement student’s developmental readiness to learn Teaching One person’s interpersonal effort to help others acquire knowledge, develop skill, and realize their potential What Expert Teachers Know Broad and deep subject matter knowledge How-to instructional strategies Knowledge about learning environments Knowledge about educational materials Concerns of Beginning Teachers Classroom discipline Motivating students Special needs Assessment and grading Teaching Efficacy A teacher’s judgment of, or confidence in, his or her capacity to cope with the teaching situation in ways that bring about desired outcomes Beginning teachers generally have lower teaching efficacy than do veteran teachers Teaching Efficacy Categories Efficacy for classroom management Efficacy for student engagement Efficacy for instructional strategies Examples of Statements of Efficacy Classroom management: “I can prevent behavior problems in the classroom.” Student engagement: “I can develop interesting tasks that students will enjoy.” Instructional strategies: “I can teach writing very well.” Metaphors for Teaching Entertainer Circus master Coach Traffic cop Lion tamer Ship captain Choreographer Air traffic controller Party host What Would They Say? Give examples of how teachers might describe their teaching if they adopted the metaphor of teacher as: Entertainer Circus master Coach Traffic cop Lion tamer Ship captain Choreographer Air traffic controller Party host What Would You Say? Complete the phrase “The teacher as a(n)___________________”. Which metaphor captures the spirit of what you would like to accomplish in the classroom? Benefits of Having Metaphors for Teaching Facilitates reflection Serves as a standard for self-evaluation Helps initiate desired changes in teaching Two Modes of Teaching Technical teaching Teaching situation is predictable and calls for routine action • Classroom experience Constructive learning experience Reflective teaching Teaching situation is surprising and calls for conjectures, information gathering, and decision- making. • Knowledge about the teaching and learning situation Constructive learning experience Model for Reflective Teaching: RIDE Reflection Information gathering Decision making Evaluation Your Turn Ms Newby is nervous about teaching and feels that she will not be able to handle students’ misbehaviors How might she solve this problem using the RIDE model? Diverse Learners Response to diversity Equality Accommodation Instruction for Students with Special Needs Individualize instruction Offer personalized scaffolding Rely on direct and explicit instructional practices Meticulously arrange or structure the learning environment Provide external supports, such as calculators, tape-recorded textbooks, adaptive furniture, special lighting or acoustics See next slide for more tips Instruction for Students with Special Needs (cont’d) Closely monitor students’ progress and provide systematic feedback Teach skill-based strategies, such as how to generate questions while reading Use flexible means to reach defined goals Create a caring classroom in which differences are seen as assets Keep integration into the general education environment the priority Theory An intellectual framework that organizes a vast amount of knowledge about a phenomenon so that educators can understand and explain better the nature of that phenomenon Why is Theory Important? Explains a phenomenon Helps teachers create a hypothesis or prediction Helps educators gain new insights Guides research studies Why is Research Important? Provides evidence that assists teachers make appropriate choices in the classroom Research Methods Descriptive studies Correlational studies Experimental studies Action research Descriptive Studies A research method used to describe the educational situation as it naturally occurs – what typically happens, how teachers teach, and how students learn and develop Example research question: “How do Ms. Newby organize the physical layout of her classroom? Correlational Studies A research method used to measure two naturally occurring variables and summarize the nature and magnitude of their relationship in numerical form Example research question: “How is measured intelligence related to school achievement?” Experimental Studies A research method used to test for a cause-and-effect relationship between two variables Example research question: “Is reading program A better than reading program B for teaching first graders to read?” Action Research A research method carried out by teachers in their own classrooms to inform and refine their personal theories of teaching and classroom learning Example research question: “Do I ask boys more questions than I ask girls?” Steps for Conducting Action Research 1. Identify a problem 2. Formulate a plan to address the problem 3. Collect and analyze data to see if the plan worked 4. Reflect on what has been learned 5. Use the new- and improved personal theory of teaching 6. Repeat steps 2, 3, 4, and 5 as needed What Kind of Research? I want to decide if boys in the 6th grade benefit more from cooperative learning than girls? I want to decide if completion of homework is associated with better achievement I want to examine the number of errors present in the 8th grade science book I want Maria to tell me about her experiences in solving a math problem? Critical Thinking of Teachers Supplement their subjective ways of knowing with objective, data-based ways of knowing and go beneath the surface of their idea Guiding Questions Revisited What is educational psychology? What primary concerns do beginning teachers have? What is reflective teaching, and how is it different from technical teaching? How can teachers recognize, adapt, and respond to diverse learners and students with special needs? How do educational psychologists use theory and research? How can teachers apply research findings to improve their own classroom practice?
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