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If deactivation occurs during the first reading, the reader does not need to undergo deactivation in the second reading. The reader will only need to reread to get a "gist" of the text to spark their memory. When the problem is assigned to the wrong schema, the student's attention is subsequently directed away from features of the problem that are inconsistent with the assigned schema.

Each person has an individual profile of characteristics, abilities and challenges that result from predisposition, learning and development. These manifest as individual differences in intelligence , creativity , cognitive style , motivation and the capacity to process information, communicate, and relate to others. The most prevalent disabilities found among school age children are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD , learning disability , dyslexia , and speech disorder.

Less common disabilities include intellectual disability , hearing impairment , cerebral palsy , epilepsy , and blindness. Although theories of intelligence have been discussed by philosophers since Plato , intelligence testing is an invention of educational psychology, and is coincident with the development of that discipline. Continuing debates about the nature of intelligence revolve on whether intelligence can be characterized by a single factor known as general intelligence , [31] multiple factors e.

In practice, standardized instruments such as the Stanford-Binet IQ test and the WISC [33] are widely used in economically developed countries to identify children in need of individualized educational treatment. Children classified as gifted are often provided with accelerated or enriched programs. Children with identified deficits may be provided with enhanced education in specific skills such as phonological awareness. In addition to basic abilities, the individual's personality traits are also important, with people higher in conscientiousness and hope attaining superior academic achievements, even after controlling for intelligence and past performance.

Developmental psychology, and especially the psychology of cognitive development, opens a special perspective for educational psychology. This is so because education and the psychology of cognitive development converge on a number of crucial assumptions. First, the psychology of cognitive development defines human cognitive competence at successive phases of development. Education aims to help students acquire knowledge and develop skills which are compatible with their understanding and problem-solving capabilities at different ages.

Thus, knowing the students' level on a developmental sequence provides information on the kind and level of knowledge they can assimilate, which, in turn, can be used as a frame for organizing the subject matter to be taught at different school grades. This is the reason why Piaget's theory of cognitive development was so influential for education, especially mathematics and science education. Second, the psychology of cognitive development involves understanding how cognitive change takes place and recognizing the factors and processes which enable cognitive competence to develop.

Education also capitalizes on cognitive change, because the construction of knowledge presupposes effective teaching methods that would move the student from a lower to a higher level of understanding. Finally, the psychology of cognitive development is concerned with individual differences in the organization of cognitive processes and abilities, in their rate of change, and in their mechanisms of change.

The principles underlying intra- and inter-individual differences could be educationally useful, because knowing how students differ in regard to the various dimensions of cognitive development, such as processing and representational capacity, self-understanding and self-regulation, and the various domains of understanding, such as mathematical, scientific, or verbal abilities, would enable the teacher to cater for the needs of the different students so that no one is left behind.

Constructivism is a category of learning theory in which emphasis is placed on the agency and prior "knowing" and experience of the learner, and often on the social and cultural determinants of the learning process. Educational psychologists distinguish individual or psychological constructivism, identified with Piaget's theory of cognitive development , from social constructivism. A dominant influence on the latter type is Lev Vygotsky 's work on sociocultural learning, describing how interactions with adults, more capable peers, and cognitive tools are internalized to form mental constructs.

Elaborating on Vygotsky's theory, Jerome Bruner and other educational psychologists developed the important concept of instructional scaffolding , in which the social or information environment offers supports for learning that are gradually withdrawn as they become internalized. Jean Piaget was interested in how an organism adapts to its environment.

Piaget hypothesized that infants are born with a schema operating at birth that he called "reflexes". Piaget identified four stages in cognitive development. The four stages are sensorimotor stage, pre-operational stage, concrete operational stage and formal operational stage.

To understand the characteristics of learners in childhood , adolescence , adulthood , and old age , educational psychology develops and applies theories of human development. For example, educational psychologists have conducted research on the instructional applicability of Jean Piaget's theory of development , according to which children mature through four stages of cognitive capability.

Piaget hypothesized that children are not capable of abstract logical thought until they are older than about 11 years, and therefore younger children need to be taught using concrete objects and examples. Researchers have found that transitions, such as from concrete to abstract logical thought, do not occur at the same time in all domains. A child may be able to think abstractly about mathematics, but remain limited to concrete thought when reasoning about human relationships. Perhaps Piaget's most enduring contribution is his insight that people actively construct their understanding through a self-regulatory process.

Piaget's views of moral development were elaborated by Kohlberg into a stage theory of moral development. There is evidence that the moral reasoning described in stage theories is not sufficient to account for moral behavior. For example, other factors such as modeling as described by the social cognitive theory of morality are required to explain bullying. Rudolf Steiner 's model of child development interrelates physical, emotional, cognitive, and moral development [43] in developmental stages similar to those later described by Piaget.

Developmental theories are sometimes presented not as shifts between qualitatively different stages, but as gradual increments on separate dimensions. Development of epistemological beliefs beliefs about knowledge have been described in terms of gradual changes in people's belief in: certainty and permanence of knowledge, fixedness of ability, and credibility of authorities such as teachers and experts. People develop more sophisticated beliefs about knowledge as they gain in education and maturity. Motivation is an internal state that activates, guides and sustains behavior.

Motivation can have several impacting effects on how students learn and how they behave towards subject matter: [46]. Educational psychology research on motivation is concerned with the volition or will that students bring to a task, their level of interest and intrinsic motivation , the personally held goals that guide their behavior, and their belief about the causes of their success or failure. As intrinsic motivation deals with activities that act as their own rewards, extrinsic motivation deals with motivations that are brought on by consequences or punishments.

A form of attribution theory developed by Bernard Weiner [47] describes how students' beliefs about the causes of academic success or failure affect their emotions and motivations.

The 20 Best Lessons from Social Psychology

For example, when students attribute failure to lack of ability, and ability is perceived as uncontrollable, they experience the emotions of shame and embarrassment and consequently decrease effort and show poorer performance. In contrast, when students attribute failure to lack of effort, and effort is perceived as controllable, they experience the emotion of guilt and consequently increase effort and show improved performance.

SDT focuses on the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in driving human behavior and posits inherent growth and development tendencies. It emphasizes the degree to which an individual's behavior is self-motivated and self-determined. When applied to the realm of education, the self-determination theory is concerned primarily with promoting in students an interest in learning, a value of education, and a confidence in their own capacities and attributes. Motivational theories also explain how learners' goals affect the way they engage with academic tasks.

Those who have performance approach goals strive for high grades and seek opportunities to demonstrate their abilities. Those who have performance avoidance goals are driven by fear of failure and avoid situations where their abilities are exposed. Research has found that mastery goals are associated with many positive outcomes such as persistence in the face of failure, preference for challenging tasks, creativity and intrinsic motivation.

Performance avoidance goals are associated with negative outcomes such as poor concentration while studying, disorganized studying, less self-regulation, shallow information processing and test anxiety. Performance approach goals are associated with positive outcomes, and some negative outcomes such as an unwillingness to seek help and shallow information processing.

Locus of control is a salient factor in the successful academic performance of students. During the s and '80s, Cassandra B. Whyte did significant educational research studying locus of control as related to the academic achievement of students pursuing higher education coursework. Much of her educational research and publications focused upon the theories of Julian B. Rotter in regard to the importance of internal control and successful academic performance. Therefore, it is important to provide education and counseling in this regard. Instructional design , the systematic design of materials, activities and interactive environments for learning, is broadly informed by educational psychology theories and research.

For example, in defining learning goals or objectives, instructional designers often use a taxonomy of educational objectives created by Benjamin Bloom and colleagues. Bloom [53] discovered that a combination of mastery learning with one-to-one tutoring is highly effective, producing learning outcomes far exceeding those normally achieved in classroom instruction.

The following list of technological resources incorporate computer-aided instruction and intelligence for educational psychologists and their students:. Technology is essential to the field of educational psychology, not only for the psychologist themselves as far as testing, organization, and resources, but also for students.

Educational Psychologists whom reside in the K- 12 setting focus the majority of their time with Special Education students. It has been found that students with disabilities learning through technology such as iPad applications and videos are more engaged and motivated to learn in the classroom setting. Liu et al. The authors explain that learning technology also allows for students with social- emotional disabilities to participate in distance learning. Research on classroom management and pedagogy is conducted to guide teaching practice and form a foundation for teacher education programs.

The goals of classroom management are to create an environment conducive to learning and to develop students' self-management skills. More specifically, classroom management strives to create positive teacher—student and peer relationships, manage student groups to sustain on-task behavior, and use counseling and other psychological methods to aid students who present persistent psycho-social problems. Introductory educational psychology is a commonly required area of study in most North American teacher education programs.

When taught in that context, its content varies, but it typically emphasizes learning theories especially cognitively oriented ones , issues about motivation, assessment of students' learning, and classroom management.


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A developing Wikibook about educational psychology gives more detail about the educational psychology topics that are typically presented in preservice teacher education. In order to become an educational psychologist, students can complete an undergraduate degree in their choice. Most students today are also receiving their doctorate degrees in order to hold the "psychologist" title. Educational psychologists work in a variety of settings. Some work in university settings where they carry out research on the cognitive and social processes of human development, learning and education.

Educational psychologists may also work as consultants in designing and creating educational materials, classroom programs and online courses. Educational psychologists who work in k—12 school settings closely related are school psychologists in the US and Canada are trained at the master's and doctoral levels. In addition to conducting assessments, school psychologists provide services such as academic and behavioral intervention, counseling, teacher consultation, and crisis intervention. However, school psychologists are generally more individual-oriented towards students.

Many high school and colleges are increasingly offering educational psychology courses, with some colleges offering it as a general education requirement. Similarly, colleges offer students opportunities to obtain a PhD. Within the UK, students must hold a degree that is accredited by the British Psychological Society either undergraduate or at Masters level before applying for a three year doctoral course that involves further education, placement and a research thesis. One in four psychologists are employed in educational settings.

In recent decades, the participation of women as professional researchers in North American educational psychology has risen dramatically. Educational psychology, as much as any other field of psychology heavily relies on a balance of pure observation and quantitative methods in psychology. The study of education generally combines the studies of history , sociology , and ethics with theoretical approaches.

Smeyers and Depaepe explain that historically, the study of education and child rearing have been associated with the interests of policymakers and practitioners within the educational field, however, the recent shift to sociology and psychology has opened the door for new findings in education as a social science. Now being its own academic discipline, educational psychology has proven to be helpful for social science researchers. Quantitative research is the backing to most observable phenomena in psychology.

This involves observing, creating, and understanding a distribution of data based upon the studies subject matter. Researchers use particular variables to interpret their data distributions from their research and employ statistics as a way of creating data tables and analyzing their data. Psychology has moved from the "common sense" reputations initially posed by Thomas Reid to the methodology approach comparing independent and dependent variables through natural observation , experiments , or combinations of the two. Though results are still, with statistical methods, objectively true based upon significance variables or p- values.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of human learning. Basic types. Applied psychology. Main article: Neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development. Main article: Constructivism. For broader coverage of this topic, see Educational technology. Education portal Psychology portal. The lack of representation of educational psychology and school psychology in introductory psychology textbooks.

Educational Psychology , 25, — School psychology: Learning lessons from history and moving forward. School Psychology International, 31 6 , Retrieved May 5, Educational psychology: A century of contributions. Schooling as a means of popular education: Pestalozzi's method as a popular education experiment. An introduction to the history of psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Talks to teachers on psychology and to students on some of life's ideals. Education: A first book. New York: MacMillan. How we think. New York D. Bloom's taxonomy of learning domains. School Psychology Quarterly , 15, — Journal of School Psychology , 39, — Undermining children's intrinsic interest with extrinsic reward: A test of the "overjustification" hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 28, — Achievement-based rewards and intrinsic motivation: A test of cognitive mediators.

Journal of Educational Psychology , 97, — A summary of the effects of reward contingencies on interest and performance. The Behavior Analyst Today , 3, — Multimedia learning. Massed versus distributed repeated reading: A case of forgetting helping recall? Journal of Educational Psychology , 82, — Spacing effects and their implications for theory and practice. Educational Psychology Review , 1, — Fading mnemonic memories: Here's looking anew, again! Contemporary Educational Psychology , 25, — When problem solving is superior to studying worked examples. Journal of Educational Psychology , 93, — Educational Psychology 3rd Canadian ed.

Toronto, Canada: Pearson. American Journal of Psychology , 15, — New York: Basic Books. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. New York: Psychological Corp. Hope uniquely predicts objective academic achievement above intelligence, personality, and previous academic achievement. Journal of Research in Personality. Thinking goes to school: Piaget's theory in practice. A three level of theory of the developing mind: Basic principles and implications for instruction and assessment. Williams Eds. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Ferrari and L. Vuletic Eds. New York: Springer.

Intellectual development: Birth to adulthood. New York: Academic Press. The role of central conceptual structures in the development of children's mathematical and scientific thought. Demetriou, M. Efklides Eds. London: Routledge. Educational Psychology: Second Edition.

5 Things to Know Before Taking Psychology Courses

Global Text Project, , pp. Educational Psychology Interactive. Retrieved Epistemological beliefs and approaches to learning: Their change through secondary school and their influence on academic performance. British Journal of Educational Psychology , 75, — Green Education Foundation. The next psychologist I wish to consider is Abraham Maslow [ 3 ]. The top level — self actualisation — surely fits in with the notion that professionals have about themselves. Their sense of who they are, including their sense of worth, is linked to their professional role.

I can think of many doctors and nurses who have relinquished meal breaks bottom level because of urgent clinical demands. Level 4 — approval and recognition — is consistent with the notion of learners seeking to join a community of professionals. I also believed that professionals use their experience to seek to improve their performance and in this I was influenced by the writings of Jarvis [ 5 ], Knowles [ 6 ] and Kolb [ 7 ].

I also believe that reflection is facilitated when practitioners share a common vocabulary that applies to the area under study. If discussing novels with a friend I may refer to characterisation, plot, dialogue, mood and so on. In I undertook formal teaching in Social Psychology. I would like to illustrate this definition by describing a famous experiment — The Good Samaritan Study [ 9 ].

In this study students at a New England seminary were allocated into two groups. Group A were asked to give a short talk on life in a seminary, while those in Group B were asked to give an account of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Half of each group were informed that they were running late and should hurry over to the lecture theatre; the other half was informed that they had some time but should go over early to ensure that everything was prepared.

During the walk to the lecture theatre each student encountered a confederate of the investigators simulating a medical emergency. The investigators measured a number of variables for each group but found that the factor that had most impact on the behaviour of the students in terms of whether they would offer assistance or not was the perception of being early or late. This study, and others of a similar nature suggest that the situation a person perceives them self to be in has a much greater impact on their behaviour than other predisposing factors, such as knowledge, personality attributes etc.

I would like to explore three concepts in further detail: self esteem, the fundamental attribution error and scripts and heuristics. I have chosen these three because they had the biggest impact on changes that I made to my own practice and because they helped me to explain some of my actions to other simulation centre faculty members. I shall begin with self esteem. In the early days of simulation based education experiences a recurring scenario played out.

Individuals holding important educational posts in Scottish Anaesthesia would ask if they could attend and observe. Experienced professionals who do undertake scenario based education may change their behaviour to minimise this risk to their need for competence.

We have all heard these comments, especially if things have not worked out so well during the scenario. Dweck describes a study in which primary school age children were given a problem in mathematics to solve. Some of the group were told that they were very good at mathematics and had above average mathematical ability. Other members of the group were told that they were very hard working and had above average levels of persistence. The more persistent group had nothing to lose because failure to solve the problem would not negate their self-esteem.

What Dweck did was to reframe the mindset from a fixed one to a growth one and I found this concept very helpful when dealing with experienced professionals in scenario based simulation. The focus of the course moves from concentrating on individual performance, without ignoring that component, to thinking about strategies that may work in future clinical encounters. This is explored further in the Vignette in Additional file 1. I am old enough to have experienced teaching by humiliation as a medical student and when I reflect upon the strategies that I and my colleagues adopted to avoid the threats to our self-esteem I can only think that such behaviours say nothing, make up facts, not turn up were not ones that would promote a good educational environment.

Self-esteem deals with how the individual perceives his or her standing or competence. The next area looks at how others may judge an individual. This takes us onto the Fundamental Attribution Error. I shall illustrate with a fictitious example. Let us imagine that Person A is spending the first day in a new healthcare job.

This job is similar to one previously held by that person in a different location. After a few minutes Person A does join the others. During the meal Person A neither joins readily in conversation nor appears to following those topics of conversation discussed by the others. Person A leaves the lunch table ten minutes before the others without comment.

The new colleagues agree that Person A appears to be aloof and unfriendly, almost to the point of being antisocial. However, another colleague who had met Person A previously, expresses surprise and states that such behaviour was not typical from previous encounters. Indeed, Person A was lively, attentive and very popular with colleagues. How might we explain this discrepancy? This colleague talks to Person A and discovers that Person A was up most of the night with a sick child, who required hospital admission but is now in a stable condition.

On the way to work Person A was also involved in a minor road traffic accident, resulting in no personal harm but a future garage repair bill is likely. So which is the real Person A? Is person A the quiet, aloof, retiring individual or the lively, friendly and attentive individual? What is different? So the FAE consists of attributing behaviour to personal predispositions, such as personality factors, rather than attributing the circumstances in which an individual finds them self.

As we have seen previously social psychology suggests that the circumstances, the situation, has a much more important bearing on behaviour than the personal characteristics of the individual. How does this the FAE fit in with my notion of motives? My working model is that we have drivers, such as the need to preserve self-esteem. Social psychologists argue that some aspects of the social situation will activate some of these drivers.


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  • However, they operate at a level that is normally inaccessible to our conscious thought processes. By way of contrast we are aware of differences in people and easily if not always accurately ascribe personality types to individuals we do not know well, even if we have barely met the person. For part of my professional life I was responsible for the development and running of courses for doctors in Scotland who had to carry out clinical and educational supervision roles.

    So what can we do about the FAE in simulation based education? The first and most important point is to be aware of it. As simulation centre faculty will be judging the participants on our courses on first acquaintance; that is what we do as humans. What we must not do is ascribe their behaviours during the scenario to personality or cultural factors without exploring the impact of their perceptions of what was happening in the scenario. Behaviour is more likely to be due to the circumstances occurring during the course and the scenario than due to personal or cultural characteristics.

    In other words, the situation is more likely to elicit a response from deeper drivers than from more superficial influences such as personality characteristics. This approach is consistent with the Advocacy Inquiry method [ 12 ]. This is explored further in the Vignette in the Additional file 1.

    This instant judgement applies equally to our assessment in the work place of trainees that we do not know well. It applies to many aspects of life, especially professional life and this brings me onto the third and final concept of this review — the use of scripts and heuristics. The final concept I mentioned was the use of Scripts and Heuristics. This is a very big area in medical education just now and follows on the work of Kahneman and Twersky [ 13 ].

    Heuristics are rules of thumb that we have developed which allow us make better use of our subconscious mind — described as fast thinking. I think of scripts as a subset of heuristics. The key features of a script are firstly that actors know what they are supposed to do and say and secondly that there are cues letting the actors know when they are expected to respond or react.

    Social Psychologists often use the restaurant script as an example. A typical example may go like this.

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    The above script may win no prizes for literary merit but it contains those two concepts of firstly, knowing what to expect from the occasion and secondly, how to respond to the actions of the restaurant staff. Two other driving forces — minimising ambiguity and reducing cognitive work load [ 14 ] come into play here. We reduce cognitive load by making the process automatic; that is, the pattern and the specifics of the script are transferred from our conscious working memory to our long term memory and can be recalled when appropriate.

    We reduce ambiguity by remembering how the sequence is supposed to play out. Of course, there are different kinds of restaurants with different patterns of expected behaviour — buffet, self service etc. Formica tables, plastic tables and cutlery and several queues at a serving counter will evoke one script, smart furniture, linen napery and the presence of a sommelier will evoke an entirely different script but they are still part of the set of restaurant scripts.

    I find this model, in which a person builds up a repertoire of scripts related to professional encounters, very helpful because it expands on the Novice to Expert model described by the Dreyfus Brothers [ 15 ]. The Novice to Expert model describes changes that take place in the cognitive processes as a professional moves from being a novice relying heavily on rules to becoming an expert making extensive use of cognition.

    The relevance of this model to healthcare was described by Benner [ 16 ]. We can experience something similar in a clinical setting. Let us imagine a medical student with no personal experience of asthma learning the management of someone suffering an acute asthma attack. The student will probably learn guidelines as a basic script but the more patients the student meets and the greater their involvement in the management then the richer the repertoire of scripts for managing a patient with asthma will become.

    At the most basic level the student learns an algorithm, which can be thought of as set of rules, and like all sets of rules are helpful to learners by reducing ambiguity.

    Lessons for simulation-based education from social psychology

    However the guidelines only provide one version of a script and it is only through clinical experience that the scripts become richer and the repertoire of scripts builds up. Some interactions will be common to the majority of these scripts — administer high inspired concentration oxygen, give bronchodilators and so on. Different types of clinicians will have acquired different ranges of scripts for the management of patients with acute asthma — family doctors will acquire a lot of experience of managing patients with asthma and their families and carers but may not see so many severe acute attacks; whereas, intensivists will have a lot of experience of patients with very severe attacks of asthma but much less experience of mild attacks.

    This model — the development of scripts — can help us in our design of scenarios in simulation based education. At the level of the novice, where rules are dictating the interactions in a very basic script, strong cues may be helpful. If our wish as educators is to help the learners establish a basic script in long term memory then knowing when to intervene may be helpful. Certain models of simulator have features such as LEDs that are intended to represent the blue of cyanotic peripheries or the red dots of an allergic rash.

    I am conscious that in my own centre we have often exaggerated physiological values to act as cues to bring out a response from the participants. We have made the heart rate is a bit faster than it probably would be, the blood pressure is a bit lower, SpO2 is a bit lower and so on. I have always held concerns that we may be promoting a behaviourist model of conditioning.

    I think it is less important if learners are exposed to such experiences infrequently but if we wish to reinforce the place of such algorithms in long term memory and choose to delineate the intervention points, the points at which the learner is expected to initiate an action, we may reinforce an inappropriate pattern. Another model that may help explain my concern is that of signal to noise ratio. This may be acceptable for novices who are learning a script that is based on rules.

    However, when we are delivering scenario based courses for more experienced health care professionals then the scripts that we seek to create in our simulated environment may not be faithful to the repertoire of scripts residing in the long term memories of our participants. Such learners are likely to have acquired the ability to discern more subtle signals from the noise. In some cases I suspect that the cues that would activate a particular script in real life may not be able to be recreated in the simulated environment. In some cases this may be down to limitations of the hardware or even the simulated actors, simulated patients or confederates in the scenario.

    As a former obstetric anaesthetist there would be subtle signs but important cues from women undergoing caesarean section under regional anaesthesia that a manikin or even a simulated patient would struggle to replicate. I have no simple solutions for this challenge although I have used the limitations of the manikin and simulated environment as a way of setting an agenda for discussion in courses with experienced clinicians.

    By asking a group what they would expect to observe, and when they would intervene one can help these clinicians explore their own scripts and so reflect upon them. Our scripts are unique to us because they are built from our own experiences. I think that one of the ways of learning from others is to make aspects of their scripts more explicit and I think that one of the strengths of scenario based simulation is to use the scenario as a way of bringing scripts from long term memory into the working space of short term memory. I wrote earlier that this also has the advantage of moving the focus away from that of the performance of the individual learner in a scenario and putting the focus on the discussion generated from the performance.

    I find this especially interesting because it links this model with the cognitive non-technical skills of situation awareness and decision making.