Education | Instructional Psychology
P530 | 5518 | Dr. Joyce Alexander
Aims: In this course, we will investigate some of the different ways
that teachers can affect classroom learning. These include: the
sequence and type of instruction, their own effective teaching
behaviors, and the theories/models of teaching that they use to design
instruction. In addition, we will examine the intersection between
subject matter and research on teaching.
1. To develop a degree of familiarity with respect to basic concepts,
selected literature, and theorists in instructional psychology.
2. To develop some skill in critically reading research emerging in
3. To design a prototype lesson based on a theoretical position
presented in the course.
4. To do analyses of examples of instruction in terms of the
theoretical position presented and the teacher effectiveness behaviors
addressed in the course.
Structure and Approach:
Class will meet twice a week as listed above. Class sessions will
follow a lecture/
Lectures will be intended to provide: information about historical
context; description, analysis, and comparison of theoretical
approaches; examination of research methods; and overview of important
issues, trends, and possible future directions for the field.
Discussions will focus on readings. Each class period, readings will
be assigned and the student will be responsible for critically reading
and reviewing them.
Practice sessions will be created where students will have an
opportunity to hone developing skill in instructional analysis.
Requirements relative to objectives:
Objective #1. A continuing element of class discussion
Objective #2. Two research abstracts with critiques of THEORETICALLY
driven instructional research
Objective #3. A lesson plan
Objective #4. An open note final test and two mid-point practice
Grading: Students are expected to be prepared for class by doing the
assigned reading and to contribute to class discussion.
Two research abstracts will be required. Articles must concern
theoretically driven instructional research. You are expected to read
and critically examine each article. Each abstract will have the
following sections: Bibliographical information, Purpose (where you
will lay out any theoretical background and specific hypotheses; give
me a context), method (including subjects, materials (if appropriate),
procedure, design, and variables - independent and dependent), results
(what types of statistics were performed, not necessarily all the
numbers, but what they found), conclusions (author's discussion), and
evaluation (your thoughts about the article, problems or interesting
results). An example is attached. Each abstract will be turned in with
a copy of the article and will be graded on a S+, S, S- system. S-
will have the option of redoing their review. Your abstracts should
represent research on two different theories. Due dates are: January
31st; February 12th.
A lesson plan will be due February 26th. The lesson should be designed
under the guidelines of one of the theories we have been discussing.
The topic for the lesson is up to you, but the process and steps to
the lesson must be clear. Try to make the ties back to the theory
explicit. You should use a two column format - the first column should
be your lesson plan; the second column should discuss the reasoning
and/or include the theory steps.
An open note final exam will be given during finals week (2:45-4:45
Wednesday May 2nd). Students will have two hours in which to complete
an analysis of an instructional event in each of the categories/topics
we have been discussing throughout the semester. This is not high
stress, it is simply a way of pulling together the entire semester
into useable information. Guidelines for this project are attached.
Two mini-practice critiques will be performed by groups and due on
March 26th and April 18th.
General Grading Guidelines for all assignments are as follows:
A Extraordinary high achievement, shows unusually complete command of
the subject matter, represents an exceptionally high degree of
originality, creativity, and synthesis/application ability
B Very good, solid, above average quality of work. Good
C Satisfactory quality of work, average level of
D Minimally acceptable performance (either or both quantity and
quality of work)
E Unacceptable work, does not meet objectives for the project.
Grading for the course will be determined as follows:
- participation = 15 points
- the 2 required abstracts = 15 points each or 30 points
- the lesson plan paper = 20 points
- the final analysis paper = 30 points
- the two practice critiques = 15 points each or 30 points
Letter grades will be assigned according to the scale below:
There is a fairly large amount of reading for this class. Staying
caught up will be imperative. Failure to do so will result in
difficulties toward the end of the semester, as all the readings are
Each class day an abstract is late will result in the paper losing a
grade category (S+ will fall to an S, an S will fall to an S- with the
option of redoing removed). Other papers will lose 10% each class day.
Please make sure that you follow all policies as outlined in the
student handbook on academic dishonesty, plagiarism, etc.
Please note: I will not give incompletes except for extreme medical
Readings: There is no textbook for this course. You may find it
helpful to have as a reference, an undergraduate educational
psychology textbook. The best options for this would be:
Woolfolk (Edition 7 or 8)
Ormerod (Edition 3)
Slavin (Edition 6)
If you know of an AI in the ed psych department with an extra copy,
ask if you can borrow. I have 8-10 copies available also.
A series of readings are on reserve in the School of Education
library. My suggestion is to copy all articles now so that they will
be available for easy reference later.
Sequence of Instruction
Date Topic Article Nos. Due
Jan. 8 What is Instructional Psychology?
Models/Theories of Instruction
Jan. 10 Prescriptive vs. Descriptive Theories
17 Direct Instruction 2,3
22 Gagne's Nine Events 4
24 Cognitive Load Theory 5
29 Vygotsky (Constructivistic) 6,7,8
31 " " ABST #1
Feb. 5 " "
7 Discovery Learning 9
12 Inquiry Theory 10 ABST #2
14 Mastery Learning 11,12
Research on Teacher Effects
19 Teaching & Learning in the Classroom 19
21 " "
26 Teacher Beliefs and Knowledge 20 LESSON PLAN
28 The Informal Curriculum 18
Mar. 5 General/Nonverbal21
7 " "
19 Question asking/Clarity 22,23
21 Mini Critique Work Day
26 Support of student questions 24 MINI-CRIT#1
Research on the Instructional Sequence
28 Planning & Sequencing 25,26
Apr. 2 " "
4 Delivery 27,28
11 Mini Critique Work Day
16 Assessment 29,30,31
18 " " MINI-CRIT #2
23 Prototype view of teaching 32
25 Wrap-up and Review
May 2 FINAL 2:45-4:45p
Weekly Course Readings
I. Models/Theories of Instruction
#2 Eggen, P. D., Kauchak, D. P., & Harder, R. J. (1979). "The Ausubel
Model" In Strategies for Teachers: Information Processing Models in
the Classroom (pp. 258-307). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
#3 Good, T. L., & Grouws, D. A. (1979). The Missouri mathematics
effectiveness project: An experimental study in fourth-grade
classrooms. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 355-362.
#4 Gagne, R. M. & Driscoll, M. P. (1988). Essentials of Learning for
Instruction (pp.107-132). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
#5 Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1991). Cognitive load theory and the
format of instruction. Cognition and Instruction, 8(4), 293-332.
#6 Gaffney, J. S., & Anderson, R. C. (1991). Two-tiered scaffolding:
Congruent processes of teaching and learning. In E. H. Hiebert (Ed.),
Literacy for a Diverse Society: Perspectives, Practices, and Policies.
New York: Teachers College Press.
#7 Confrey, J. (1990). What constructivism implies for teaching. In
R. B. Davis, C. A. Maher, & N. Noddings (Eds.), Constructivist views
on the teaching and learning of mathematics (Monograph 4, pp.
107-124). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
#8 Savery, J. R., & Duffy, T. M. (1996). Problem-based learning: An
instructional model and its constructivist framework. In B. G. Wilson
(Ed.), Constructivist learning environments: Case studies in
instructional design (pp. 135-148). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational
#9 McDaniel, M. A., & Schlager, M. S. (1990). Discovery learning and
transfer of problem-solving skills. Cognition and Instruction, 7(2),
#10 Collins, A., & Stevens, A. L. (1982). Goals and Strategies of
Inquiry Teachers. In Glaser, R. (Ed.), Advances in Instructional
Psychology Vol. 2 (pp. 65-120). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
#11 Bloom, B. S. (1976). Human Characteristics and School Learning
(pp. 1-17). New York: McGraw-Hill
#12 Bloom, B. S. (1976). Human Characteristics and School Learning
(pp. 161-201). New York: McGraw - Hill.
II. Research on Teacher Effects
#19 Shuell, T. J. (1996). Teaching and learning in a classroom
context. In D. C. Berliner and R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of
Educational Psychology (pp. 726-764). New York: Macmillan.
#20 Calderhead, J. (1996). Teachers: Beliefs and knowledge. In D. C.
Berliner and R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of Educational Psychology
(pp. 709-725). New York: Macmillan.
#18 McCaslin, M., & Good, T. L. (1996). The informal curriculum. In D.
C. Berliner and R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of Educational
Psychology (pp. 622-670 ). New York: Macmillan.
#21 Brophy, J., & Good, T. L. (1986). Teacher behavior and student
achievement. In M. C.Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Teaching
(3rd. ed, pp. 328-375). New York: Macmillan.
#22 Hines, C. V., Cruickshank, D. R., & Kennedy, J. J. (1985). Teacher
clarity and its relationship to student achievement and satisfaction.
American Educational Research Journal, 22(1), 87-99
#23 Perry, M., VanderStoep, S. W., & Yu, S. L. (1993). Asking
questions in first-grade mathematics classes: Potential influences on
mathematical thought. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 31-40.
#24 Karabenick, S. A., & Sharma, R. (1994). Perceived teacher support
of student questioning in the college classroom: Its relation to
student characteristics and role in the classroom questioning process.
Journal of Educational Psychology, 86, 90-103.
III. Research on the Instructional Sequence
#25 Borko, H., & Niles, J. A. (1987). Descriptions of teacher
planning: Ideas for teachers and researchers. In V. Richardson-Koehler
(Ed.), Educators' Handbook: A Research Perspective (pp. 167-187). New
#26 Reimann, P., & Schult, T. J. (1996). Turning examples into cases:
Acquiring knowledge structures for analogical problem solving.
Educational Psychologist, 31, 123-132.
#27 Brophy, J., & Allenman, J. (1991). Activities as instructional
tools: A framework for analysis and evaluation. Educational
Researcher, 20(4), 9-23.
#28 Morine-Dershimer, G., & Beyerbach, B. (1987). Moving right along.
In V. Richardson-Koehler(Ed.), Educators' Handbook: A Research
Perspective (pp. 207-232). New York: Longman.
#29 Berliner, D. C. (1987). But do they understand? In V.
Richardson-Koehler (Ed.), Educators' Handbook: A Research Perspective
(pp. 259-293). New York: Longman.
#30 Wolf, D., Bixby, J., Glenn, J., & Gardner, H. (1991). To use their
minds well: Investigating new forms of student assessment. In G. Grant
(Ed.), Review of Research in Education : Vol. 17 (pp. 31-74).
Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
#31 Nuthall, G., & Alton-Lee, A. (1995). Assessing classroom learning:
How students use their knowledge and experience to answer classroom
achievement test questions in science and social studies. American
Educational Research Journal, 32, 185-223.
#32 Sternberg, R. J., & Horvath, J. A. (1995). A prototype view of
expert teaching. Educational Researcher, 24(6), 9-17.
P530 Guidelines for Final Scenario Analysis
1) Skim the case study by watching the video.
2a) Read the case a second time and make a written list of behaviors
the teacher or students displayed that you believe are significant.
Try to organize your list around the four units of the course:
Models/Theories of Instruction
Subject Matter Effects
2b) Below are some thought questions which may trigger interesting
What's going on here? Why is this important?
What seems to be going right?
What seems to be going wrong? What can be done to correct it?
Why did the teacher do/say that?
Why did the student do/say that?
What are the teacher's objectives?
How does her instruction relate to her objectives?
If there's a problem, what are the teacher's options?
Which should she choose?
How does she present information?
What type of practice does she organize for this lesson, if any?
What do you think of the teacher's follow-up to the lesson and the
practice, if any?
How would you describe the teacher's strengths and weaknesses?
What do you think of the teacher's presentation of the lesson?
Does the teacher seem to be encouraging independent work in the
3)Read through your notes, relating your list to the topics as you
read. Add items to the list that you didn't originally include. Check
off items on your list as you read, making notes about important
points. Be sure to reference an appropriate author - don't just tell
me you know it by osmosis.
4)Examine unchecked items on the list. Ask yourself why you originally
believed them to be important. Maybe just rephrasing them or thinking
about them in a different way will help.
5)Proceed to write your analysis in paragraph form. Break the written
product into the same four units as noted above.
Scenarios will be graded based on the following scale:
Instructional Sequence 5 points
Teacher Behaviors 10 points
Models/Theories of Instruction 5 points
Organization/Clarity of final product 10 points
Total 30 points
Within each unit, I will be looking for:
Relevant and appropriate references
A discussion of main points, positive or negative
Reasons or explanations why behaviors/points are "good" or "bad"
You can just lay out the points, or you can imagine you are being
called in to consult with her about her teaching
behaviors/instruction. By the way, she has no feelings (so you don't
have to worry about being nice).