Education | Social Psychology in Education
P566 | 5889 | Dr. Jonathan Plucker
Description of the Course
This course is intended as an overview of social psychology as it
applies to education. Defined very globally, social psychology deals
with the application of psychology to understanding social processes.
We will address the topic of "social psychology" in depth during the
beginning of the course, including the differences between social
psychology and sociology.
In an effort to practice what educational psychologists preach,
assessment will be determined through a variety of means. Specific
criteria for grading include:
· Seven short papers (roughly 40%)
· One annotated bibliography ( roughly 10%)
· One major project (roughly 20%)
· Participation (roughly 30%)
We will discuss specific grading criteria when each project or paper
is assigned, but the basic criteria will always include:
Thoroughness the topic should be treated comprehensively. Ask
yourself, "Have I covered all of the important facets of this topic as
it applies to education?"
Brevity a fine art, and one that is not easily mastered
Elaboration as graduate students in one of the country's top
schools of education, you have the capacity to go above and beyond the
criteria for each project and paper. You should feel free to do so
without my prompting.
When completing the assignments, please keep in mind that the
quality of your writing does matter, if for no other reason than the
quality of your writing matters after you graduate. A well-written
paper is also much easier to read and grade, so please check your
grammar, spelling, etc. I strongly prefer that all assignments are
typed and double-spaced.
There are no due dates for the short papers. However, I
encourage you to turn in at least the first couple papers by the
fourth week of the semester. That way, if I would like you to change
something about your papers, you have ample time to make the
adjustments on the remaining papers.
I prefer not to assign incomplete grades for this class. Of
the many students who have taken incompletes over the past few years,
only one has completed the course.
Aronson, E. (1999). The social animal (8th ed.). New York: Freeman.
Potentially Useful Resources
Aronson, E. (Ed.). (1999). Readings about the social animal (8th
ed.). NY: Freeman.
Feldman, R. S. (1995). Social psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Andreyeva, G. (1990). Social psychology (translated from the Russian
by Thomas Dumstorf). Moscow: Progress Publishers.
Argyle, M. (1992). The social psychology of everyday life. London:
Compendium of Social Psychology Web Resources
Courses Related to Social Psychology
Social Psychology on the Internet
Current Research in Social Psychology
Area-specific Psychology Resources
Schedule, Topics, and Assigned Readings
August 31: Syllabus Review, What is social psychology of education?
September 7: Conformity, Chapters 1 and 2
Sept. 14: Mass Communication, Propaganda, and Persuasion, Chapter 3
Sept. 21: Social Cognition, Chapter 4
Sept. 28: Self-justification, Chapter 5
October 5: Human Aggression, Chapter 6
Oct. 12: Preventing Violence Among Young People: Video and Discussion
NASSP Bulletin special issue, "Positive Ways of Preventing School
Violence," March 2000, Vol. 84 No. 614
Oct. 19: Prejudice, Chapter 7
Oct. 26: Liking, Loving, and Interpersonal Sensitivity, Chapters 8 and
November 2: Individual and small group meetings Monday through
Nov. 9: Video and discussion
Nov. 16: No scheduled meetings
Nov. 30: Final projects discussed, literature review due
Dec. 7: Final projects discussed, Final project due on Dec. 8th
A good course is open to negotiation: If you have an idea for
an activity, would like to talk about a topic that emerges from your
readings, our discussions, or your project, or want to experiment with
the format of the discussions, let me know. Given the experiences and
interests of the class - some of which are very different and some of
which are very similar to my own - we will challenge ourselves most
effectively if we communicate with each other.
Please notify me if you have to leave early or make other
special arrangements. For example, if you need to leave early, I will
make every effort to schedule a short break at the time you have to
Short papers will be completed after each week's observation
activity (to be discussed the first day of class). The papers should
contain concise reflections on your observation in light of the
relevant chapter's material. For example, when reflecting on your
observations of conformity, you should discuss how your experiences
compare to those discussed in the chapter on conformity.
Collections of articles on social psychology as applied to
education are difficult to find (i.e., let me know if you find one
that is less than 20 years old). I would like you to construct your
own annotated bibliography of social psychology articles, books, and
Internet resources that deal with your particular area of interest
and/or specialization (e.g., school psychology, eating disorders,
creativity). Don't be afraid to focus on a very narrow topic (the
task will be easier and perhaps more useful). Please include at least
20 resources, with a minimum of 5 articles, 5 books, and 5 Internet
resources. A good Internet search guide by Kathleen Whitman is on
reserve under Plucker-P540 in the Education Library.
In addition to collecting the resources, please provide
annotated comments on each of the resources (i.e., about a paragraph
in length). Comments should contain evaluative comments about the
article, book, etc., including identification of the aspects of social
psychology which are addressed in the resource.
You may work on the annotated bibliography with other people,
but I will expect considerably more work from a larger group of
The major project is the culminating activity for P566. You
should create a product that provides evidence of understanding of the
material and its relevance. The project may take any form, but I am
especially interested in papers that are intended for publication or
pave the way for such a paper.