Education | Educational Psychology for Elementary Teachers
P251 | 5952 | Emily McDermott

Required Text & Readings:

Woolfolk, A.(2004). Educational psychology (9th ed.). Boston: Allyn &

(Password = educpsych)
2 chapters from Classroom Management for Elementary Teachers 6th

Additional readings (TBA & will be posted on Oncourse)

Course Description & Objectives:
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the field of
educational psychology and help you to use knowledge about
educational psychology in both your personal and professional lives.
Specific topics that will be covered in this course include student
development, student learning, motivation, classroom and behavior
management, and assessment. Class periods will be devoted to both
lecture and activity.  All class activities and assignments are
designed to provide (1) an overview of both theories and research in
educational psychology, (2) practical applications for teaching at
the elementary level, and (3) an opportunity to develop the skills
and characteristics necessary for good teaching.  This course strives
to develop teachers who are inquisitive, self-reflective, effective
communicators, and life-long learners.

This course was created around three of the principles of the
Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC).
INTASC is an educational task force responsible for constructing
model standards for the licensing of teachers.  The INTASC principles
represent the knowledge, dispositions, and performances deemed
essential for prospective teachers in all subject areas.  This course
will specifically address the following INTASC principles in course

• Principle #2.1: The teacher understands how children learn and
develop. (Students will take a midterm examination and write a
philosophy of teaching paper to satisfy this requirement.)

• Principle #5.1: The teacher understands individual and group
motivation and behavior and how to apply this understanding to create
a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction,
active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. (Students will
complete observation forms dealing with these topics during their
field experience.)

• Principle #8.1: The teacher understands formal and informal
assessment strategies and their use in evaluating and ensuring the
continuous intellectual, social and physical development of the
learner. (Students will complete an in-class activity that addresses
this principle.)

This course also reflects the six principles of the IU School of
Education.  For a detailed explanation of these principles, please
refer to  Below is a
brief description of how each of the principles will be specifically
addressed in this course.

• Community: Group building activities during the first week, as well
as discussions and small group work throughout the semester, will be
the basis for the creation of a community of learners within this

• Critical Reflection: Using original literature to facilitate
critical reflection on topics under consideration will be commonplace
in this course.  Topics will include:

• Should moral education be part of the school curriculum?

• Should instruction be matched to student learning style?

• Will a push for standards & accountability lead to more motivated

• Can a zero-tolerance policy lead to safer schools?

• Intellectual, Personal, & Professional Growth: Learning activities
that develop a variety of skills, assessment tools that develop both
lower and higher level thinking, and an overall emphasis on
application of knowledge will be the foundation for an intellectually
demanding classroom.  In addition, through various course
requirements, students will be pushed to develop their own philosophy
of teaching that integrates their prior experiences, personal
opinions, and knowledge gained from this course.

• Meaningful Experience: Meaningful experience will be facilitated
through discussions and other activities that tie course content to
the students’ personal and professional lives and focus on the use of
information in future contexts.  Additionally, application of course
content will be required in their early field experience.

• Knowledge & Multiple Forms of Understanding: Multiple forms of
understanding will be encouraged in this class through the effective
use of numerous types of learning activities and assessments.  In
addition, integration of content area knowledge will be accomplished
through the use of examples from the various content areas.

• Personalized Learning: Students will be allowed to choose the
specific topics associated with some assignments.

Course Format & Policies:

Daily Activities:

• Students will earn points for daily activities.  If you are absent,
you will miss points for that day’s activities.  If you have to miss
a class, please e-mail or call the instructor prior to that class.

• Attendance at every course meeting is important to promote
understanding of course concepts throughout the semester.

• In addition, students are expected to be on time for classes (it is
disruptive to your classmates to walk into class late).


• Students are responsible for all assigned readings prior to the
date the material is discussed in class.  Course discussions,
activities, and assessments will be based on the assumption that you
have prepared for class by reading the assigned materials.

• Students are responsible for all assigned readings and all
materials discussed in class, even in the case of absences.

• The instructor reserves the right to include additional assignments
or assessments if it appears that students are not completing the
required readings.

Late Papers & Assignments:

• All written assignments must be submitted on the due date!

• Any assignment not submitted the day on which it is due will be
docked 5% for each day it is late.

• Missed quizzes, tests, and activities will be counted as zero
unless, under extraordinary circumstances, you have made arrangements
with the instructor IN ADVANCE.

Syllabus Changes:

• The instructor reserves the right to make any additions or changes
to the course syllabus at any time during the semester. If changes
need to be made, students will be notified ASAP.

Honor Code / Plagiarism:

• Students are responsible for abiding by all policies and
regulations regarding academic and personal conduct as stated in the
Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, & Conduct, which can be
found at

Students w/ Disabilities:

• If you have a visual, auditory, physical, &/or learning disability,
accommodations can be made for you if you contact the instructor and
present documentation indicating qualification for services from the
Office of Disabled Student Services.  Contact the Office of Disabled
Student Services for eligibility requirements.

E-mail Accounts:

• Students are required to have an active e-mail account, and to
check your e-mail at least twice a week to receive messages related
to this course.


• Oncourse will be used throughout the semester and students are
required to check Oncourse each week for course announcements.  The
use of Oncourse will be explained during the first week of the course.

• The following can be found on Oncourse: a copy of the syllabus,
down-loadable readings and assignments, and grades.

Respect for Diversity:

• Our classroom will be a place where diversity is accepted and
valued.  The differences between class members will be embraced.
Language that degrades an individual or group because of gender,
ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, religious preference,
or sexual orientation will not be tolerated.

Grading Procedures:
Your grade in this course is based on your performance on the
(10%) Participation (25 classes) 50 points (2 points/day)	
(10%) Thought Paper 50 points
(20%) Quizzes (5) 100 points (25 points/quiz; drop lowest grade)
(20%) Midterm 100 points
(20%) Group Debate 100 points	
(20%) Philosophy of Teaching Paper 100 points

The maximum number of points available is 500.  Grades will be based
on total point accumulation as follows:

A+= 485-500 (97-100%)	
A= 465-484 (93-97%)	
A-= 450-464 (90-92%)
B+= 435-449 (87-89%)	
B= 415-434 (83-87%)	
B-= 400-414 (80-82%)
C+= 385-399 (77-79%)	
C= 365-384 (73-77%)	
C-= 350-364 (70-72%)
D+= 335-349 (67-69%)	
D= 315-334 (63-67%)	
D-= 300-314 (60-62%)
F = 299 & below (59% & below)

Course Assignments & Requirements:

Participation in Daily Activities: As the class is based on a
discussion/activity format, participation in daily activities is very
important. Points will be awarded each day to those who participate
in such activities as discussions, small group work, analyzing and
applying video clips, etc.  Cases of lengthy illness or other
difficult circumstances that may impact activity points will be
considered on an individual basis. (An in-class activity will address
INTASC principle #8.1).

Thought Paper: This assignment will be completed at the beginning of
the course.  Students will write a brief paper describing their
current ideas about concepts to be covered in this course, as well as
teaching. The purpose of this exercise is to help students to begin
thinking about their personal philosophy of teaching and learning and
will serve as a beginning to the philosophy of teaching paper to be
completed at the end of the semester.

Quizzes: Quizzes will be given to assess the degree to which students
understand the material presented in the textbook and in-class
activities.  The quizzes will consist of multiple-choice and fill-in-
the-blank questions.  Students’ lowest quiz score will be dropped.

Midterm Examination: A midterm examination covering student
development and learning will be given to assess the degree to which
students understand how to apply the material presented in the
textbook and in-class activities to an elementary school classroom
setting.  Students will be provided with a review sheet one-week
prior to the exam.  (Exam will address INTASC principle #2.1).

Group Debate: Students will work in groups of approximately 4 people
to research and debate one side of a hot topic, a current issue
relevant to educational psychology.  Please see additional handout
for more information.

Philosophy of Teaching Paper: Students will write a paper of at least
5 pages regarding their personal philosophy about teaching and
learning.  Please see additional handout for more information.  The
paper is due on Wednesday, December 17th @ 12:30 pm in my mailbox.
(Paper will address INTASC principle #2.1).
Course Schedule:

Unit #1 Introduction to Educational Psychology


Monday 9/1	
Introduction to Course
Explanation of Oncourse	

Wednesday 9/3	
Student Introductions
Group Activity
Selection of Groups for Group Debates	

Monday 9/8
What Is Educational Psychology?	Chapter 1
Thought Paper Due
Unit #2 Development

Wednesday 9/10	
Cognitive Development
Chapter 2 (22-44)

Monday 9/15
Cognitive and Language Development
Chapter 2 (44-52)
Quiz #1 (Ch.1)

Wednesday 9/17	
Personal and Social Development	
Chapter 3 (65-79)

Monday 9/22	
Moral Development	
Chapter 3 (80-97)

Wednesday 9/24	
Group Debate: Moral Education	
Unit #3 Learning

Monday 9/29	
Behavioral Views of Learning	
Chapter 6 (196-208)
Quiz #2 (Ch. 2-3)

Wednesday 10/1	
Behavioral Views of Learning	
Chapter 6 (209-228)

Monday 10/6	
Cognitive Views of Learning	
Chapter 7 (234-255)

Wednesday 10/8	
Cognitive Views of Learning	
Chapter 7 (255-267)

Monday 10/13	
Complex Cognitive Processes	
Chapter 8

Wednesday 10/15	
Social-Cognitive Views of Learning	
Chapter 9 (310-322)

Monday 10/20	
Constructivist Views	
Chapter 9 (322-342)
Quiz #3 (Ch. 6-8)

Wednesday 10/22	
Group Debate: Learning Styles	

Monday 10/27	
Ch. 1-3, 6-9
Unit #4 Motivation & Classroom Management

Wednesday 10/29	
Chapter 10 (350-374)

Monday 11/3	
Motivation Continued	
Chapter 10 (374-387)

Wednesday 11/5	
Group Debate: Motivated Students	

Monday 11/10	
Creating Learning Environments	
Chapter 11 (394-407)

Wednesday 11/12	
Creating Learning Environments Continued	
Chapter 11 (408-423)

Monday 11/17	
Classroom Management	
E-reserve chapters 1 & 2

Wednesday 11/19	
Teaching for Academic Learning	
Chapter 12
Quiz #4 (Ch. 10, 11, & e-reserve readings)
Unit #5 Assessment

Monday 11/24	
Standardized Testing	
Chapter 4 (107-115)
Chapter 14 (512-525)


Monday 12/1	
Standardized Testing Continued	
Chapter 14 (525-541)

Wednesday 12/3	
Classroom Assessment	
Chapter 15

Monday 12/8	
Group Debate: Zero Tolerance Policy	

Wednesday 12/10	
Course Wrap-Up	
Quiz #5 (Ch. 12, 14, 15)

Wednesday 12/17	
Philosophy of Teaching Paper Due	
12:30 pm in my mailbox (4th floor in the Counseling and Educational
Psychology Suite)