Education | Educational Psychology for Elementary Teachers
P251 | 5523 | Amber Esping

Ormrod, J.E. (2002).  Educational psychology:  Developing learners
(4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall.
P251 Course Packet [Available at Mr. Copy (corner of 10th and Dunn)]
New medium-sized 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. I will take attendance
using the Five-Minute Reflections notebooks (discussed in the P251
Assignments section).  Each day that you are present is worth 4
points. Frequent tardies (in either P251 or in M101 lab) will result
in deductions from your point total. If you wish to pass M101, you may
only miss two labs.

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.

Email:  I send a lot of emails.  Please check your IU account
regularly for course updates and information. I check my email account
several times a day, and make every effort to get back to students

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.

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

Religious Holidays:  Reasonable accommodations will be made 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 552 possible points in this class. Grades will be based on
the number of accumulated points:

A+ = 540-552 points  (98-100%)	
A  = 513-539 points  (93-97%)	
A- = 496-512 points  (90-92%)	
B+ = 480-495 points (87-89%)	
B  = 458-479 points (83-86%)		
B- = 441-457 points  (80-82%)
C+ = 425-440 points  (77-79%) 		
C  = 402-424 points  (73-76%)
C- = 386-401 points  (70-72%)
D+ = 369-385 points (67-69%)
D  = 347-368 points (63-66%)
D- = 331-346 points (60-62%)
F  =  0-330 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. Check
out this website for more information:  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 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. 	
(A General Overview)

Five-Minute Reflections:
92 points. (4 points per class meeting)  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 an
interesting (and sometimes strange!) quote or question 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; if you give a thoughtful response, you will
get 4 points.

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, medium-sized 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.

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: (Chapters 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, 4,5,6)
100 points.  You will take a learning-styles assessment, a multiple
intelligences assessment and the Jung-Myers-Briggs personality
Inventory.  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!)

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.


Motivation Assignment: (Chapters 11, 12)
60 points.  You will be asked to analyze the movie Lean On Me in terms
of the motivational principles discussed in class and in your
textbook.  You will be given a set of guiding questions to get you
started.  Satisfactory completion of this assignment supports INTASC
standard 5.1A and the SOE "critical reflection" principle.


Assessment Unit (Chapters 15, 16; Reading 5)
40 points.  You will be asked to develop a variety of developmentally
appropriate assessments based on objectives from the Indiana State
Academic Standards for elementary school. 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:
60 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.


--do not make these mistakes on your papers--

1.Do not begin sentences with the word "So"

2.When you start a new topic, start a new paragraph

3.Use apostrophes (') to show possession.  For example, "I will bring
the student's book to school."  The book BELONGS to the student, so
you use an apostrophe.  Do not use an apostrophe unless you are
talking about ownership.  (For example, do not say "The student's are
going to class today."

If you are talking about more than one student, then the apostrophe
goes AFTER the s.  For example:  "I will bring the students' books to
class."  The books belong to several students.

If the word ends in an s, put the apostrophe AFTER the s, even if you
are only talking about one person.  For example, If you are talking
about someone who is named Mrs. Elias, you would say "I will bring
Mrs. Elias' book to school."

4.In formal writing, avoid overuse of  the word "you". For example:
Don't write: "You should be aware of your students' learning styles."
Instead, write:  "Teachers should be aware of their students' learning

5.The person who runs the school is the principal. (Think:  "The
principal is my pal.") Do not confuse this word with "principle."  We
will study learning principles in this class, but the principal runs
the school.

6.Brevity = clarity.  If you can say something in fewer words, do it.
The object of great writing is not to use the biggest word, but to use
the right word.  Check your definitions!

7.Let your papers sit for a couple of days, then check them for
grammar mistakes and clarity of thought.  (This is called
"incubation.")  There is often a huge gap between what you meant to
say and what is actually on the page.  There are very interesting
neurological reasons why you won't catch mistakes right away.  We will
talk about these reasons in our second unit.)

8.Bring your work to the Writing Tutorial Services, 206 Ballantine
Hall. Ph. 855-6738.  ( Of
course, you can always turn your drafts in early.  I am always happy
to help.


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.)

.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. (Each person must
find their OWN (e.g. different) articles.) 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 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 or Powerpoint. (If you are going to use
Powerpoint, I need to know this several days in advance.)

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. Remember:  Each person has to have their OWN
(e.g. different) articles.

5.Please photocopy each article and turn them in with your papers.

6.On the day of your debate, you must hand in your individual papers
and your team paper.

page for information.


You must use American Psychological Association (APA) style for your
reference lists. (You will do this for each individual papers and your
group paper).  Why am I so picky?  Well, if you ever want to publish
an article about something interesting that happened n your future
classroom, the journal editors will require you to use APA style.
Also, some of you will pursue a masters or doctoral degree. APA style
will be required in those classes. This is an opportunity to become
familiar with the format.

1.When you are citing a source in the text, do it this way:

Some research has shown that students have several different
intelligences (Gardner, 1983).   The parentheses contain the name of
the author and the date of publication.  If you with to cite a page
number as well, you can do it this way:

(Gardner, 1983, p. 46).

2. A complete list of all your references must go on a separate page
at the end of your paper.  The heading for this page is References.
Please do not write "Works Cited."   Here is an example of a reference


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),

Please note that nothing is underlined.

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.)


Individual Papers:  worth 50 points total (25 points per paper)
(Remember: Each person has to have their own (e.g. different)


a.meets page requirements = 1
b.double-spaced = 1
c.12 point Times New Roman font and one inch margins = 1
d.Turned in photocopy of the article with the summary = 2


a.source is an appropriate journal = 2
b.includes reference list (in APA style) on a separate page = 2
c.meaningful, coherent content = 8
d.grammar: = 8

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

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 =
d.includes proper citations within the body of the text = 1
e.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 30 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.  Hopefully you made
some discoveries that really resonated with you-ideas that you know
will be a part of your future classroom practice.   However, I am sure
that there were other ideas that you thought were less interesting,
less important, or simply wrong.  This personal philosophy paper is an
opportunity to reflect on what you have learned, and figure out what
you really believe is important.  It is a very personal assignment,
and one that I hope you will remember for the rest of your teaching

I will not grade you based on whether or not your views are consistent
with my own. However, the content must reflect that you have really
thought about the material we covered in P251. You must discuss at
least 5 of the topics covered in class, and the paper should reflect
your critical examination of these of topics.  One way to do this
would be to write about something from each of our units (Student
Development, Student Learning, In the Classroom, Student Motivation
and Student Assessment).  Of course, this is only a suggestion.  You
may choose more than one topic from the same unit.

You have a lot of tools to get you started.  Your Five-Minute
Reflections can be a marvelous resource. Use them.  Talk about what
you have learned with your classmates (or me).  For more help,
consider the following questions:

1.What do you consider to be the hallmark of excellent teaching?

2.What personal qualities are important for teachers to have?

3.How do students learn best?

4.How important is it to consider individual differences?

5.How important is student development (cognitive, personal, social,
moral) in the learning process?

6.What theoretical approaches (cognitive, behaviorist,
social-cognitive) do you feel best reflect your own beliefs about
teaching and learning?

7.How will your philosophy affect the students that you teach?

8.What has changed about the way you view teaching or learning?

Grading Criteria:

Each topic is worth 10 points. Grammar is worth 10 points.


1.Making Connections:  How Children Learn.  Retrieved from

2.Simmons, R. (2002).  The hidden culture of aggression in girls.  In
Odd girl out:  the hidden culture of aggression in girls. (pp. 15-37).
New York:  Harcourt.

3.Social Cognitive Deficits of rejected children (single page)

4.The Teacher's Role in Developing Social Skills

5.Do's and Don'ts for Fostering Social Competence

6.Gardner, H., & Walters, J. (1993).  A rounded version.  In H.
Gardner (Ed.), Multiple intelligences:  The theory in practice.  (pp.
13-34).  New York:  BasicBooks.

7.Armstrong, T.A. (1987). Learning in their own way:  Giving childr