Education | Educational Psychology for Elementary Teachers
P251 | 5758 | Amber Esping

Ormrod, J.E. (2002).  Educational psychology:  Developing learners
(4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall.
Jackson, L.D., & Ormrod, J.E. (1998).  Case studies:  Applying
educational psychology.  Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
**NOTE: This book should come packaged (i.e. free) with the Ormrod
text listed above.
P251 Course Packet [Available at Mr. Copy (corner of 10th and Dunn)]
New Spiral Notebook for the "Five-Minute Reflections"

This course focuses on one of the most fascinating subjects you will
ever study:  the human mind. We will explore several theories about
how people learn and examine the ways in which these theories to can
impact your future classroom practice.  Some questions that we will
try to answer include:  What should teachers expect from students at
different ages? Is there ever a "best way" to teach a particular
subject? What does it mean to be a "visual learner" or to have "high
linguistic intelligence"? What do we mean when we say that someone is
"intelligent"? How can a classroom teacher maximize learning in a
classroom filled with students of different abilities? How can
teachers best motivate students at different ages? How does the brain
change during the school years? How can we tell if a student has
learned something? What should a teacher do when a student is acting
out in class? What can teachers do when a student just doesn't "get
it"?  How does "thinking about thinking" help students to learn?  How
do you learn best?  How will your own personal learning style affect
your teaching style?

As you can see, we have a lot to do. This is a survey course, which
means that we are going to cover a lot of territory, but we don't have
time to cover any of it in great depth. The assignments are designed
to be flexible so that you will have opportunities to explore ideas
that especially interest you.

The syllabus has been designed to reflect the five core assignments of
the Praxis Matrix, the Unit Assessment System of the Interstate New
Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), and the Six
Principles of the School Of Education.  Specific standards and
principles are noted in the assignment descriptions.  Welcome to the
At the end of this course, students should understand: many of the
changes that occur during the physical, emotional, moral and cognitive
development of children from birth through the sixth grade several
important learning theories and their implications for classroom
instruction various theories of motivation, and their application in
the classroom strategies for behavior / classroom management
assessment strategies and controversial issues related to assessment
how they (personally) prefer to learn and to teach their own personal
philosophy of teaching and learning

Attendance:  Attendance is very important. You may miss two classes
for any reason without penalty.  To preserve your participation grade,
additional absences will require a 2-page paper on the topic covered
on the day of your absence. This paper must be of high quality.  It
will be due exactly one calendar week from the day you were absent.
If you choose not to turn in the paper on time, your participation
grade will be lowered by 20 points. Frequent tardies will also result
in a lower participation grade.

Prolonged absence due to extraordinary circumstances such as illness
will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. In all cases documentation
will be required. An example of appropriate documentation for an
illness is a physician's note on professional letterhead, accounting
for all days of absence.

Assigned Readings:  You are responsible for reading the assigned
material prior to the day it will be covered in class. The success of
class activities depends on your preparation. You are responsible for
all assigned readings whether you are present in class or not.

Late Papers and Assignments:  All assignments and papers are due at
the beginning of class, on the due date--whether you are present in
class or not. Any item not turned in on time will be docked 1 letter
grade for each calendar day it is late. This means that if an
assignment is due on Monday, and it is turned in on Wednesday, the
best grade possible is a C.  Items turned in more than a half-hour
after class has begun (on the due date) will also be docked  letter
grade.  (i.e. don't miss class to finish your paper!)  Missed exams
will be counted as a zero unless there are extraordinary circumstances
that can be documented in writing or you make arrangements with me
well in advance. I am a reasonable person. If you are having a
problem, come talk to me-just do it early.

Academic Honesty:  The School of Education at Indiana University takes
academic honesty very seriously. Please familiarize yourself with the
policies outlined in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities &
Conduct. This can be viewed at
Students who are caught cheating or plagiarizing will receive a zero
for the assignment and may fail the course.

Email:  You are required to have an email account. Please check it
regularly for course updates and information. I check my email several
times a day-This is the best way to get in touch with me.

Syllabus Changes:  The syllabus is flexible. Modifications will me
made as needed.

Religious Holidays:  I will make reasonable accommodations for any
student who wishes to miss a class for religious observance. If you
plan to miss an exam, you must submit an Accommodation Request Form to
me by the end of the second week of classes.  If you have questions
regarding the Indiana University Religious Holidays Policy, please see   An Accommodation
Request Form can be downloaded from  A
calendar of religious holidays for this semester can be found at

Students with Disabilities:  Modifications and accommodations will be
made as necessary.  Please see the Handbook for Students with
Disabilities for eligibility requirements.

Grading Procedures:
There are 600 possible points in this class. Grades will be based on
the number of accumulated points:
A+ =  582-600 points  (97-100%)		
A   =  558-581 points  (93-96%)		
A-  =  540-557 points  (90-92%)		
B+ =   522-539 points  (87-89%)		
B   =   498-521 points (83-86%)		
B-  =  480-497 points (80-82%) 		
C+ =  462-479 points (77-79%)
C  = 438-461 points   (73-76%)
C- = 420-437 points  (70-72%)
D+ = 402-419 points (67-69%)
D  = 378-401 points (63-66%)
D- = 360-377 points (60-62%)
F  = 0-359 points (0-59%)

Important Note:  "Beginning in the Fall, 1998, IUB students taking
coursework leading to licensure will be required to obtain a grade of
"C" or better in each Professional Education course.  Field
experiences require an "S" grade.  Students who do not obtain a "C" or
better will be required to re-take the course."  P251 is a
Professional Education Course. Therefore, you must accumulate 438
points, or you will have to take this course again.

Extra Credit:  I do not give individual extra credit assignments. Come
and talk to me if you are having trouble! I want you to do well, and I
have tremendous respect for students who ask for help. However, I do
not respect students who wait until the last minute and then ask for

Writing Tutorial Services:  For obvious reasons, future teachers
should be concerned about proper spelling and grammar. Please
thoroughly edit your papers before you turn them in. If you want help
improving your writing skills, there is a wonderful, free service
available at: Writing Tutorial Services, 206 Ballantine Hall. Ph.
855-6738.  Of course, I am always happy to help as well.

Withdrawals:  The automatic withdrawal date for first semester 2002 is
October 30th. After this date, it is up to the instructor and the
Associate Dean for Teacher Education to determine whether to give a W
or an F.   The School of Education policy reads as follows:

"Ordinarily, the only acceptable reason for withdrawal is illness or
obligation of employment.  It's the student's responsibility to start
the withdrawal procedure by getting the form and asking the
appropriate people to sign it.  The application for withdrawal must be
processed within ten days of its receipt.  Important:  Students
withdrawing from a course to which a Laboratory/Field Experience
(M101, M201 etc.) is linked must initiate withdrawal from the M101 or
M201 course as well-such withdrawal is not automatic.  Failure to do
so may result in a grade of F in the Laboratory/Field Experience."
Refer to the undergraduate bulletin for more information.

Incompletes:  Incompletes will only be given in extraordinary
circumstances. It is your responsibility to keep up with the course
material. If you are having difficulty doing so, come see me during
office hours or make an appointment. Don't wait until it is too late. 	
Five-Minute Reflections:
100 points.  This your informal opportunity to tell me what you think
about the various topics we will be covering in class, and it is what
I will use to determine your participation grade.  When you arrive for
class, you will see a quote, question, case study, or short (and
possibly even fun) task on the overhead.  For the first few minutes of
class, you may write on this topic, or any other educational
psychology topic you wish. I will not be "grading" these per se; I
just want to know what you think.

Informal writing like this is a great way for you to figure out what
you believe / think about the topics we will be discussing in class;
it solidifies your understanding of our course material; and it lets
you communicate with me. (You may write questions or concerns in your
notebook as well.)  Also, your reflections will help me get to know
you better! You must purchase a new spiral notebook for these
reflections. When you arrive at the beginning of class, pick up your
spiral notebook from my desk and begin writing. When you are finished,
put it back on my desk.  I will read and comment on your reflection
before the next class period.  Do this (thoughtfully) every day and
1/6 of your grade is already an A.

I will return your notebooks too you a couple of weeks before your
Personal Philosophy of Teaching and Learning Paper is due-they will be
a wonderful resource to get you started on that assignment.
Satisfactory completion of the five-minute reflections supports the
SOE "Critical Reflection" principle.


In-Class Exam (Chapters 1,2,3; Readings 1 & 2)
50 points.  Exams can include matching, multiple choice, T/F, short
answer and short essays.  You will be given a study guide and all
possible essay questions before the test.  Passing this exam supports
the student development component of INTASC standard 2.1A


In-Class Exam: (Chapter 6 & 7)
50 points.  Exams can include matching, multiple choice, T/F, short
answer and short essays.  You will be given a study guide and all
possible essay questions before the test.  Passing this exam supports
the student learning component of INTASC standard 2.1A


Individual Differences & Instructional Strategies Project: (Chapters
4, 13; Readings 3, 4)
50 points.  You will take a learning-styles assessment and the
Jung-Myers-Briggs personality Inventory.  (Both are available on the
Web).  You will then write a paper or complete a project integrating
this information about yourself with the material covered in the
textbook and readings.  The format for this project is flexible, and I
will give you a great deal of freedom in deciding how you will
complete it. (Of course, I will also help you get started!)
Guidelines are the following:  Papers or projects must reflect an
understanding of your own learning profile, as well as an awareness of
possible implications for your future classroom practice. (i.e. how
will your learning profile affect the way you teach? How will it
affect your student's learning? etc.)  A second component of this
paper or project will be demonstrating that you can apply what you
have learned about individual differences in your students' learning
preferences to real classroom situations.

Completion of this project supports the student learning component of
INTASC standard 2.1A. The flexible format of the project supports the
SOE "meaningful experience," "knowledge and multiple forms of
understanding" and "personalized learning" principles.

Classroom Management Assignment: (Chapters 9, 10, 14)
50 points. You will be asked to write a personal reflection on
observed discipline problems (either in your field experience or a
virtual scenario) and to develop a classroom management plan to
address these concerns.  Satisfactory completion of this assignment
supports INTASC standard 5.1B and the SOE "intellectual, personal and
professional growth" principle.


Motivation Assignment: (Chapters 11, 12)
50 points.  You will be asked to analyze a teaching scenario in terms
of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and effective and ineffective
teaching practices.  An additional component will be reflection on
your goals for future professional practice.  Satisfactory completion
of this assignment supports INTASC standard 5.1A and the SOE "critical
reflection" principle.


Assessment Unit (Chapters 15, 16; Reading 5)
50 points.  You will be shown a lesson or lesson plan (either in
written form or a virtual scenario) and will be asked to develop a
variety of developmentally appropriate assessments.  Satisfactory
completion of this assignment supports INTASC standard 8.1, the
developmental component of INTASC standard 2.1A, and the SOE
"intellectual, personal, and professional growth" principle.


Hot Topic Debate Presentation:
100 points.  The class will be divided into teams of approximately 4
people.  I will provide you with a list of possible topics, and you
can choose the one that interests you the most.  Detailed information
about this project can be found on page 12 of this course packet.
Satisfactory completion of this assignment supports the SOE "critical
reflection," "community," "personalized learning" and "knowledge and
multiple forms of understanding" principles.

Personal Philosophy of Teaching and Learning Paper:
100 points. You will write a paper describing your personal philosophy
of teaching and learning (five pages minimum). Detailed information
about this project can be found on page 15 of this course packet.
Satisfactory completion of this assignment supports INTASC principle
2.1B and the SOE "knowledge and multiple forms of understanding" and
"intellectual, personal and professional growth" principles.


INTASC Principle 2.1 :"The teacher understands how learning occurs-how
students construct knowledge, acquire skills and develop habits of
mind-and knows how to use instructional strategies that promote human

Evaluation criteria:  Student passes Exam #1 (developmental component
of  2.1A)Student passes Exam #2 (learning component of 2.1A)
Student's Individual Differences & Instructional Strategies Project
reflects an awareness of individual differences in learning, as well
as an understanding of practical implications for classroom practice.
(learning component of 2.1A)Student's Personal Philosophy of Teaching
and Learning paper demonstrates an awareness of the major
developmental benchmarks for elementary grade students and the need to
provide developmentally appropriate instruction. (2.1 A and B)

INTASC Principle 5.1:  "The teacher can use knowledge about human
motivation and behavior drawn from the foundational sciences of
psychology, anthropology, and sociology, to develop strategies for
organizing and supporting individual and group work."

Evaluation criteria:  Student is able to insightfully analyze a
teaching scenario (from live observation, video-based or text-based)
in terms of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, effective and
ineffective teaching practices, and reflection on goals for personal
practice.  (5.1A)

Student writes an insightful personal reflection on observed
discipline problems (either in their field experience or a virtual
scenario) and is able to develop a classroom management plan to
address these concerns.  The plan must demonstrate awareness of major
motivational models and factors, identify important problems to be
addressed, and offer a theoretically grounded solution to those
problems. (5.1B)

INTASC Principle 8.1:  "The teacher understands the characteristics,
uses, advantages and limitations of different types of assessments
(e.g. criterion-referenced and norm-referenced instruments,
traditional standardized and performance-based tests, observation
systems, and assessments of student work) for evaluating how students
learn, what they know and are able to do, and what kinds of
experiences will support their further growth and development."

Evaluation Criteria: The student is able to create a variety of
developmentally appropriate assessments for a lesson or lesson plan
that is provided to them.  (8.1)


1. Community:  Group-building activities during the first week of
classes will facilitate the creation of a community of learners within
this class.  We are all students, and we are all teachers.  Therefore,
open discussion of course teaching and assessment techniques will be
encouraged.  We can push each other to work harder, and help each
other to become better teachers.

2. Critical Reflection:  The Five-minute Reflections, Hot Topic
Debates, Individual Differences project and the Personal Philosophy of
Teaching and Learning paper will offer opportunities to think
reflectively about the topics discussed in class.  The case-studies,
reflective journals, class discussions and small writing assignments
completed for the  lab will also promote reflective thinking.

3. Intellectual, personal, and professional growth:  Critical
reflection, combined with an emphasis on application of knowledge,
should set up an intellectually demanding classroom.  In addition, the
course syllabus offers opportunities to explore personally and
professionally interesting topics in depth.  Choices are built into
each assessment /assignment, so a highly personalized view of learning
should also develop.  Students will also be pushed to think about
their current viewpoints as well as changes they would like to see
themselves make.

4. Meaningful Experience:  Meaningful experience can be facilitated in
several ways in this course.  First, all discussions will focus on use
of information in future contexts (i.e. the students' classrooms).
Second, application of much of this information will be required in
the virtual field component.  Students will be required to use these
virtual observations for various components of this course.

5. Knowledge and Multiple Forms of Understanding:  Students will leave
this course well-versed in learning theories but will also have begun
to understand (we hope) the connections to their content areas.  Some
integration of the content area knowledge in this course will be
accomplished through the use of examples from cognitive research on
thinking and learning processes within science, math, social studies,
reading, and writing.  These will be used mainly as illustrations of
particular concepts but we hope will facilitate early thinking about
content area knowledge.

Multiple forms of understanding will also be encouraged in this class
through the effective use of multiple forms of assessments (objective
tests, debate preparations, formal papers, five-minute reflections,
journals, etc.)

6. Personalized Learning:  Students will have choices as to the
specific assessments which will be used to demonstrate competency in
the course for many of the assignments, including which cases they
wish to view (of a few) in the virtual field experience.


The field of educational psychology is filled with controversial, and
sometimes highly emotional, issues. These issues are not restricted to
psychologists and educators-they are also debated publicly in the
media and privately by parents and students.  The Hot Topic Debate
project will allow you to explore one of these controversial topics in
depth. Additionally, this project will:

1. Give you experience locating and using journals and other
educational psychology resources
2. Encourage teamwork (The SOE is a community of learners).
3. Give you an opportunity to speak (as a team) in front of the class.
(If you are going to be a teacher, this will be a big part of your
4. Give you an opportunity to discover what you believe about
important issues in educational psychology. (Often we form opinions
based only on what we hear in the media. This is usually a very
incomplete-and often inaccurate-source.)
5. Expose the whole class to topics that are not covered in depth in
the textbook or lectures.

Project Overview:

Students will work in teams of approximately 4 people to research and
debate one side of a hot topic in educational psychology.  The project
will consist of three components: First, each team member will find at
least two journal articles or books (no websites!) that support the
team's position regarding the hot topic, and will write a two-page
summary of each article or book he/she has selected.  Second, the team
(as a group) will write a 3-page paper discussing the team's position
on the hot topic.  Third, each team will debate the hot topic with
another team from the class.

Debate Topics:

1. Should ability-tracking be abandoned?
2. Is IQ a useful educational tool?
3. Should schools try to increase students' self-esteem?
4. Will a push for standards and accountability lead to more motivated

Suggested Research Methods:

I will provide you with two articles and a summary of the issue. Read
those first, and use the references to find other articles to support
your team's position.

Journal articles can also be found by doing an ERIC and/or PSYCHINFO
search using the library computer databases.  Books can be found using
IUCAT.  If you need help using these resources, the librarians can
help you. Of course, I can help you also. Just ask.

The articles and summaries I will give you are from Abbeduto, L. (Ed).
(2002).  Taking sides:  Clashing views on controversial issues in
educational psychology (2nd ed).  New York:  McGraw-Hill.

Debate Format:

The debate will proceed as follows:
1. One team will present its side of the debate. (Approximately 15
2. The other team will present its side. (Approximately 15 minutes)The
first team will offer a rebuttal (approximately 5 minutes)
3. The second team will offer its rebuttal (approximately 5 minutes)
4. Both teams will facilitate a class discussion.  The team members
must be prepared to answer questions from the audience.  Additionally,
team members should be prepared to pose interesting, thought provoking


The following is a recommendation for how you might go about working
as a group to conduct your debate.  One way to conduct the debate is
to assign each person to one of these roles:  stater, prover,
attacker.  (Obviously if you have four people, double up).  The stater
presents the team's position by outlining their basic arguments, and
concludes the debate with a summary of the team's position.  The
prover is responsible for citing relevant research to support the
team's arguments.  The prover should thoroughly understand the
research supporting the team's side of the issue.  The attacker probes
the opposing team regarding weaknesses in its argument.  The attacker
should be very familiar with research on the opposing team's side of
the issue. All team members are responsible for facilitating the
discussion at the end of the debate.

Important Things to Note:

1. It is okay to state personal opinions during the debate, but the
majority of your argument should be based on research conducted by
experts on the topic.
2. It helps to know about research supporting the other team's
position.  This way you can prepare your rebuttal in advance.
3. It might be helpful to outline your team's major points on an
overhead transparency.
4. While only 2 articles per team member are required, it would
probably be easier to make your argument if each team member reads
more than 2 articles.
5. On the day of your debate, you must hand in your individual papers
and your team paper.

APA Style for Journal Article Reference List:

Please use American Psychological Association (APA) style for your
reference lists.
An example of a reference list for a paper:

Author, A.A., Author, B.B., & Author, C.C. (date).  Title of article.
Title of Journal ( volume number), page numbers.

Morse, P.S., & Barnett, M.F. (1994).  A survey of college students'
reactions to their K-12 teachers and schools.  Education, 115(1),

You can find out more about APA style by looking at The Publication
Manual of the American Psychological Association.  (Copies are
available in the IU libraries.)

Grading Criteria:

Individual Papers:  worth 30 points total (15 points per paper)

1. Format
a. meets page requirements =1
b. double-spaced =1
c. 12 point Times New Roman font and one inch margins = 1

2. Content
a. source is an appropriate journal = 2
b. includes proper citations = 2
c. less than or equal to 3 spelling/grammar/punctuation errors = 2
d. meaningful, coherent content = 6

3. Deductions:  1 point for every spelling/grammar/punctuation error
over 3.

Group Paper:  worth 20 points (everybody in the group gets the same
1. Structure
a. meets page requirements = 1
b. double-spaced = 2
c. 12 point Times New Roman font and one inch margins = 1

2. Content
a. discusses team's major points in a meaningful, coherent manner = 5
b. major points are backed up by references from journal articles = 5
c. includes complete reference list (in APA style) on a separate page
= 3
d. less than or equal to 3 spelling/ grammar/punctuation errors = 2

3. Deductions:  1 point for every spelling/grammar/punctuation error
over 3.

Debate:  worth 50 points (everybody in the group gets the same grade)*

1. Team specifically references researchers and experts when making
its argument  = 15
2. Team uses 15 minutes to present its side of the issue = 5
3. Team presents argument in an organized manner = 10
4. Team is effective (prepared, challenging, respectful) in presenting
rebuttal =15
5. Team effectively facilitates class discussion at conclusion of the
debate =5

*If it is obvious that not all team members have contributed equally,
consideration will be given for individual team members, and points
will be assigned accordingly.

The purpose of this assignment is to give you an opportunity to draw
your own conclusions about the course material.  Throughout the
semester you have explored many new theories and ideas, and I am sure
that you had opinions about them along the way.  Hopeful