Education | Educational Psychology for Middle School and Secondary Teachers
P255 | 5291 | Steve Spencer

Required Text:
McCormick, C. B. and Pressley, M. (1997). Educational psychology:
Learning, instruction, assessment. New York: Longman.
Optional Study Guide
Beard El-Dinary, P. (1997). Study guide to accompany educational
psychology: Learning, instruction, assessment. New York: Longman.

Course Descriptions and Objectives:  P255 is an introductory survey
course in current psychological applications in education.  Its aim is
to provide future teachers with the knowledge groundwork necessary to
begin their professional careers.  Therefore the main objectives of
the course are developing an understanding of current theories and
professional language, becoming acquainted with educational and
related psychological research, and beginning to learn how to
critically assimilate that information into a personal philosophy of
teaching.  M201 Lab is an opportunity to put educational theory into
practice with actual teaching experiences with smaller groups in
micro-teaching labs and with the entire class in final presentations
at the end of the semester. M201 Field Experience is a chance for you
to revisit the middle or high school environment as an informed
observer. Depending on your teacher/mentor you may actually be able to
participate in this real world situation.

Please note that this is not just ONE class.  P255 and M201 combine
for 5 total hours.  It is usually expected that for each hour of class
time there be a minimum of 2 hours in preparation and homework time.
All total, that is at least 15 hours a week and that does not include
travel and walking times either.  Also, as these classes are an
introduction to your future career you may want and probably should
spend time doing additional reading, having discussions with other
students and professionals, and simply sitting down for quiet personal
reflections.  So, be prepared for this combination of classes to
consume a great proportion of your semester.

Course Requirements:

P255 Class
Readings:  You are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the
topics covered in the assigned readings.  Along with chapters from the
book, additional readings may be put on reserve at the library from
time to time.

Quizzes/Final Exam:   During the semester we will have four,
35-question multiple choice quizzes over the book. The final exam will
consist of 100 questions (25 from each of the four quizzes).  Your
quiz/final exam grade will be the higher of either the four quizzes or
the final.  If you are satisfied with your quiz grade you may skip the
final.  This grade will constitute 20% of the total.

Application Papers:  You will be writing two application papers that
will connect concepts presented in the book to your chosen teaching
field. The first paper will cover chapters 2-4: motivation,
strategies, metacognition, and knowledge.  The second will cover
chapters 10-15: instruction and assessment. Detailed instructions will
be presented later.  The first paper will be worth 10% of the total
and the second, 15%.

Journal Article Summaries:  You will need to write 2 summaries (3 to 5
pages each) of  current research articles dealing with a topic covered
in class or in the text.  Put the general gist of the article in your
own words, but include an accurate description of what the researchers
did and the results they found.  The final pages of your summary
should be your own evaluation of the research: was it worthwhile, did
you accept the authors' conclusions, etc.  General grading rubric for
the summaries is as follows:
Difficulty of Article 10%
Completeness of Summary 40%
Your Evaluation 30%
Grammar/Spelling/Clarity 20%
Attach a photocopy of the actual article so that I can compare it to
your summary.  Each summary will count for 5% of the total grade.

Glossaries:   Three times during the semester you will need to turn in
a personal glossary of the terms we have been covering in the
readings, usually ten terms per chapter.  The first glossary will have
30 terms from chapters 6, 7 & 8; the second, 10 terms from 9 & 10 and
5 each from 11 & 12 for a total of 30; the third will be just a short
10 from chapter 16.  Glossaries need to include a basic definition of
the term and a unique personal example.  You may work together on
these glossaries, even to the point of having identical basic
definitions.  However, each person needs to have their own
examples—that is not to say you cannot help each other come up with
these examples, there just needs to be one "unique and personal"
example per student.  Basic definitions that are quotations or
paraphrases of copyrighted material need to be acknowledged as such in
appropriate citations. The first two glossaries will be worth 10% of
the total and the third, 5%.

Participation:  Most Mondays we will have a short quiz on the previous
week's topics.  Most Wednesdays you will have a short reflective
paragraph due. These will be graded on a P/F basis (if you turn it in
you pass) and constitute 1/2 of the participation grade.  Overall
class participation in class activities will make up the other 1/2.
Participation will constitute 5% of the total.M201 Field Experience
You will need to compose 10 weekly reflexive e-mails that describe
some aspect of each visit.  Explain what happened in light of your
growing knowledge of educational psychology.  Point out what went
well, what could have been done differently, and most importantly WHY
you feel the way you do. Your reasons should be based on both your
personal opinion and current research findings as presented in the
book, extra readings, and class.  Everyone will have 2 or 3 field
experience partners to whom you will send these e-mails.  You will
need to read and respond to your partners' reflections before the
weekly assignment is complete (due by 8 am the following Monday).  And
copies of all e-mails need to be sent to me at
I will randomly assign field experience partners and we will switch
partners once during the semester.  Suggested discussion topics will
be given for the weeks without actual field visits. E-mails are worth
5% of the total grade and should be carefully written and proofread
before sending.

Also, you will need to compose and turn in a letter of introduction,
which will be forwarded to your cooperating teacher.  These need to be
turned in by Wednesday of the third week of classes.

As to the actual field experience visits:  please be on time, dressed
appropriately, courteous, and willing to participate in any role the
principals and teachers require.

M201 Lab
We will break the class into eight groups of 4-5 students who share
similar teaching goals (math teachers with math teachers, etc.).  Each
group will remain together for the full semester as a teaching team.
For the first 2/3 of the class teams will take turns being the
teachers or being the students for another team. The group will hand
in a portfolio of its teaching accomplishments that will include:

A group introduction with team objectives and a short syllabus
Video tape(s) of teaching sessions (you may put all members on one or
two tapes or have one tape per member—group members are responsible
for supplying the video tapes)
Evaluations from fellow group members, your students, and after
viewing your tapes, from yourselves
Group conclusions and overall evaluation of the project
And from each individual a 1 to 2 page reflection on the process

Portfolios will count for 10% of the final grade (5% from group and 5%
from individual efforts)

Beginning April 2nd each team will prepare and present a 30 minute
lecture/classroom activity to help teach the entire P255 class the
topic of the day.  These presentations, along with your actual
micro-lab teaching, constitute the S/U grade for M201.Grading, Due
Dates, Attendance, and Honesty

Grade Total:
Quizzes/Final Exam  5% each   20%
Journal Summaries (2)  5% each    10%
Application Papers (2) 10% & 15%   25%
Glossaries (3)10%, 10%, & 5%   25%
E-mail Reflections (10).5% each   5%
Lab Portfolios 10%
Participation          5%

Grading Scale:

You will be given three free late days for papers and glossaries.  Use
them wisely, after that all late papers and glossaries in P255 will be
lowered one-half grade per day (not class date, but each day of the
Make-up quizzes will be given only in emergency situations and you
will have to answer additional questions over and above those given to
the rest of the class.
Attendance is mandatory for field experiences and lab sessions.   Any
second unexcused absence from lab will result in an unsatisfactory
grade for the lab class.  These include those labs in which you only
play the student role.
Academic Dishonesty is defined and is subject to the penalties as
described in your student handbook.  Please familiarize yourself with
these university policies.
Schedule Changes
I reserve the right to alter the following schedule as needed.  Any
changes in test dates, etc. will be announced in class at least a week
before the new date.  If you have any special requirements (religious
holidays, etc.) please contact me the first week of class so that
arrangements can be made.

Also if you have any special learning or accessibility needs which
need to be addressed please see or e-mail me as soon as possible.
Date Topic Due Readings

Jan 8  Introduction
10  Methods of Educational Research Chapter 1
Lab       "          "

Jan 15  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No Class
17  Motivation Chapter 2 (to p. 38)
Lab       "          "

Jan 22  Motivation Continued(Shana Baird) Intro Letter Chapter 2 (from
p. 38)
24  Representations of Knowledge
Lab Form Groups for Lab

Jan 29  Knowledge Continued  Chapter 3
31  Strategies and Metacognition
Lab Group 1 Teaches to Group 6

Feb 5   Strategies and Metacognition Journal Article Summary #1Chapter
Lab Group 2 Teaches to Group 5
7   Role of Knowledge in Thinking
Lab Group 3 Teaches to Group 4Chapter 5

Feb 12  Biological Factors
Lab Quiz One - Chapters 2, 3, 4 & 5
14  Video: The Wild Child Chapter 6
Lab Group 4 Teaches to Group 3

Feb 19  Piaget Application Paper #1 (Ch. 2-4)Chapter 7 (153-162)
Lab Group 5 Teaches to Group 2
21  BehaviorismChapter 7 (162-171)
Lab Group 6 Teaches to Group 1

Feb 26  Behaviorism Continued
Lab Group 1 Teaches to Group 4
28  Social Learning Chapter 7 (171-end)
Lab Group 2 Teaches to Group 5

Date  Topic  Due  Readings

Mar 5   Vygotsky Glossary #1 (Ch. 6-8)Chapter 8
Lab Free Time to Study for Quiz 2
7   Constructivism
Lab Quiz Two - Chapters 6, 7 & 8

Mar 19  Social Influences Chapter 9
Lab Group 3 Teaches to Group 6
21       "          "
Lab Group 4 Teaches to Group 1

Mar 26  Schooling Practices Journal Article Summary #2Chapter 10
Lab Group 5 Teaches to Group 2
28       "          "
Lab Group 6 Teaches to Group 3

Apr 2   Reading and Writing (Gr 1)Glossary #2 (Ch. 9-12)Chapter 11
4   Math and Science (Gr 2)Chapter 12
Lab Free Lab to Work on Portfolios Group Portfolios by 5:00

Apr 9   Quiz Three - Chapters 9, 10, 11 & 12Chapter 13
11  Intelligence & Academic Competence (Gr 3)
Lab       "          "

Apr 16  Alternative Assessments (Gr 4)Application Paper #2 (Ch.
10-15)Chapter 14
18  Teacher-Designed Assessments Chapter 15
Lab Quiz Four - Chapters 13, 14 & 15

Apr 23  Diversity of Learners (Gr 5)Glossary #3 (Ch. 16)Chapter 16
25       "          "               (Gr 6)
Lab Final Review & Class Evaluations

Apr 30  Final Exam 5:00-7:00