My iBooks Collection

My iBooks Collection
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Friday, January 31, 2014

Educational Psychology: The Basics

Reading a book on educational psychology I got from saylor.org as my attempt to do a crash course refresher of my bachelor degree because - I love my bachelor degree - and I know it can help me in my masteral comprehensive exam (somehow). The book is a Global Text Project and Licensed by Creative Commons Attribution.

The things below are just my notes taken from reading the book. Some definitions of terms are verbatim.. 

I decided to post my notes here for personal future reference.


Learning Theories

"Learning is permanent changes in behavior, skills, knowledge or attitude. A key feature is permanence: learning does not account if it is temporary."

Behaviorism: learning as changes in overt behavior

Classical conditioning (Stimuli & responses) Ivan Pavlov
Extinction - removing of conditioning over time
Generalization - Similar Stimuli activate conditioning
Discrimination - conditioning to specific stimuli

Positive conditioning to the school can elicit intrinsic motivation.

Operant conditioning (reinforcement & operant) B.F. Skinner
Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
Rewards and punishment
Extinction - lack of reinforcement 
Generalization - similar operants, reinforce the behavior
Discrimination - reinforcement on specific operant
Cue - comes before operant, clue to receive reinforcement

Constructivism: learning as changes in thinking

Psychological constructivism: changes in thinking as result of individual experiences

John Dewey: linking prior knowledge and relevance to real world
Jean Piaget: Cognitive Theory 
Assimilation - interpretation of new information in terms of pre-existing concepts and information or ideas
Accommodation - revision or modification of existing information in terms of new information or experience.

I.e. Child learns what a bird is and associates flying objects to birds (assimilation); child learns that not all flying objects are birds (accommodation)

Cognitive equilibrium -balance between reliance on prior knowledge and openness to new information 
Schema - mental representations of objects and experiences

Social constructivism: changes in thinking due to assistance from others
Jerome Bruner: instructional scaffolding - students can learn more given the appropriate guidance and resources
Lev Vygotsky: Zone of proximal development - the distance between novice and expert in the area where change in learning happens

Bloom's taxonomy as a guide to scaffold students

Meta cognition - ability to think and regulate ones thinking (thinking about thinking, self reflections)

Student development

Jean Piaget's Cognitive Development: 
Sensorimotor stage: object permanence the ability to know that an object exists even without sight 
Preoperational stage: make-believe, dramatic play of children
Concrete operational stage: reversibility the ability to think of a process in any order

Decenter - the ability to focus on more than one feature of the problem at the same time
Conservation - the belief that an amount or quantify stays the same even if it changes in apparent size or shape.

Formal operational stage: hypothetical reasoning the ability to manipulate ideas that vary in several ways and do so in their minds. 

Self-concept and relationship development: Erik Erikson's eight psychosocial crises of development

Development of personal development: Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of motivation and needs

Development of knowledge and ethical belief: Lawrence Kohlberg's Morality of Justice


Student diversity

Build on existing student styles but do not lock students into just a particular type of style. 

Learning styles

Cognitive styles
Field dependence - individuals focus on patterns as a whole instead of focusing on the parts of the pattern separately
Field independence - individuals analyze overall patterns into their parts
Impulsivity - reacting too quickly resulting to more errors
Reflectivity - reacting slowly and committing less errors

Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences

Group differences:
Gender roles
Differences in cultural expectations and styles; attitudes and beliefs

Student motivation

Motives as behaviors
Operant conditioning can be used as a way in motivation

Motives as goals
Goals that contribute to motivation
Mastery goal - intrinsic motivation
Performance goal - extrinsic motivation 
Performance-avoidance goal - motivation is avoiding to fail, self-handicapping 

Motives as interests
Interest = intrinsic motivation
Personal interest 
Situational interest

Motives related to attribution
Attribution are perceptions of the cause of success and failure
Locus of attribution - internal locus or external locus
Stability of an attribution - stable-source of success/failure if permanent; unstable-source of success/failure is not permanent 
Controllability - extent to which the individual can influence the success, controllable or uncontrollable 

Motivation as self-efficacy
Self-efficacy - the belief that you are capable of carrying our a specific task or of reaching a specific goal
Low self-efficacy can result to learned helplessness
Self-concept - beliefs about general personal identity
Self-esteem - evaluation of identity

Motivation as self-determination
Maslow's hierarchal of needs 
Autonomy - the need to feel free of external constraints on behavior
Competence - the need to feel capable or skilled
Relatedness - the need to feel connected or involved with others

Expectancy X Value: effects on student's motivations
Expectancy-value model of motivation
student's expectation of success and the value that students place on a goal
Expectancy x Value = motivation

TARGET: a model for integrating ideas on motivation
Task - the value of the task; perceptions on difficulty; authenticity/relevance
Autonomy - degree of responsibility; autonomy strenghtens self-efficacy and self-determination
Recognition - recognizing student's achievements appropriately; praise is for qualities which a student can control (effort instead of intelligence); don't use it too loosely
Grouping - how students are grouped; cooperative, competitive or individualistic; cooperative supports the student's need for belonging
Evaluating - grouping affects how are student's efforts evaluated;
Time - amount of time needed to learn a material or do a task task
(Will update this soon... Need to jump to assessment!)

Bottomline about motivation is to sustain focus on learning.

Teacher-made assessments

Assessment - gaining information about student's learning and making value judgments about their progress
Measurement - answers the question "how much"; information about learning is often assign to specific numbers of grades and involves measurement
Evaluation - process of making judgments about the assessment information

Assessment for learning - formative - priority is designing and using assessment strategies to enhance student learning and development; ex. teachers can use to improve teaching or students can use to improve their learning, informal (observations) and formal (systematic gather of data) assessment

Assessment of learning - summative - assessing students in order to certify their competence and fulfill accountability; provide info how well student has mastered material

Assessment as learning - metacognitive - using assessment as a strategy for learning


High quality assessments
Validity - appropriateness of the interpretations and uses of assessments; involves overall judgment of the degree to which the interpretations and uses of assessment results are justified
Content Validity - How well does the assessment include the content or tasks it is supposed to have?; degree that assessment tasks are relevant and representative of the tasks judged by the teacher to represent their goals and objectives
Construct Validity - more complex than content validity and focuses on making judgments about student's specific skills; construct validation is the process of determining the extent to which performance on an assessment can be interpreted in terms of intended constructs and is not influenced by factors irrelevant to the construct
Criterion-related validity - how well the tests predict another variable


Reliability - consistency of the measurement; How similar would the scores be?
Absence of Bias - bias occurs in assessment when method distorts performance because of personal characteristics

Two types of assessment bias:
1) offensiveness - when items are offensive and may distract test taker from performing well i.e. questions are offensive in some gender or ethnic group
2) unfair penalization - when items disadvantage one group because of differential backgroun experience i.e. items are for people who are knowledgable in sports

Types of teacher-made assessments
Observation - observing student's behavior to gain information about students
Questioning - as questions to keep student's attention, highlighting important details, promoting critical thinking, allowing students to learn from each other and providing information about student's learning
Record Keeping - keeping record of observations; keeping anecdotal records about students provide important information than relying on one's memory

Selected Response Items
True or false - two choices
Multiple Choice - more than 3 choices (do not put too many choices)
Matching - two parallel columns

Constructed response items
Completion and short answer - fill in the blank
Extended response - open ended questions; essay

Scoring Rubrics
Holistic scoring rubric - general descriptions of performance and a single overall score is obtained
Analytical scoring rubric - provides descriptions of levels of student performance on a variety of characteristics

Performance Assessments
- students complete a specific task while teachers observe process or procedure as well as the product
Alternative Assessment - tasks that are not pencil-and-paper
Authentic Assessment - task that students do that are simular to those in the "real world"

Portfolio - meaningful collection of student work that tells the story of student achievement or growth; purposeful collection of student work

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