Education | Educational Psychology for Elementary School Teachers
P251 | 5678 | Emily McDermott

Required Text & Readings:

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

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
	• 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 assignments, lecture study guides, 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
(12.5%) Participation	      		 50 points		
(12.5%) Application Projects		 50 points (2 projects/25
points each)
(12.5%) Quizzes (5)			 50 points (10 points/quiz)
(25%)    Midterm			100 points
(12.5%) Group Debate			 50 points	
(25%)     Philosophy of Teaching Paper  100 points

The maximum number of points available is 400.  Grades will be based
on total point accumulation as follows:

A+= 388-400	(97-100%)	
A= 372-387 (93-97%)	
A-= 360-371 (90-92%)
B+= 348-359 (87-89%)	
B= 332-347 (83-87%)	
B-= 320-331 (80-82%)
C+= 308-319 (77-79%)	
C= 292-307 (73-77%)	
C-= 280-291 (70-72%)
D+= 268-279 (67-69%)	
D= 252-267 (63-67%)	
D-= 240-251 (60-62%)
F = 239 & below (59% & below)

Course Assignments & Requirements:
Participation: Throughout the semester, students will complete
activities to receive points toward participation (50 total possible
points).  These activities will include in-class group work,
reflection/discussion questions, and brief homework assignments.

Application Projects: Students will complete two of five application
projects throughout the semester.  Application projects will involve
the application of course concepts learned to teaching and the
classroom.  See additional handout for descriptions of application

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 questions.

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, May 5th @ 12 pm in my mailbox. (Paper will
address INTASC principle #2.1).

P251 Class Schedule

Unit 1: Introduction to Educational Psychology

Date		Topic(s)	Assignment(s)
January 13	Introduction: Syllabus
Class Introductions	       	
Review syllabus & bring questions to next class

January 15	Ice Breakers
Course Concept Map	Assign groups for debates	Read Chapter 1

January 20	Introduction to Educational
Psychology		Read Chapter 2, pages 22-44

Unit 2: Development

January 22	Cognitive Development    		Read Chapter
2, pages 44-53

January 27	Cognitive Development	Review for Quiz (Chapters 1 &
2)	Read Chapter 3, pages 65-79

January 29	Personal & Social Development	Quiz #1
	Read Chapter 3, pages 80-97

February 3	Moral Development		Development
Application Project Due

February 5	DEBATE #1		Read Chapter 6, pages 196-208

Unit 3: Learning

February 10	Behavioral Views of Learning		Read Chapter
6, pages 209-228

February 12	Behavioral Views of Learning	Review for Quiz
(Chapters 3 & 6)	

February 17	Behavioral Views Wrap-Up	Quiz #2
	Read Chapter 7, pages 234-255

February 19	Cognitive Views of Learning		Read Chapter
7, pages 255-267

February 24	Cognitive Views of Learning		Read Chapter
9, pages 310-322

February 26	Social-Cognitive Views of Learning	Midterm
Review for Quiz
(Chapters 7 & 9)	Read Chapter 9, pages 322-342

March 2	Constructivist Views of Learning	Quiz #3
Distribute Midterm Review Sheet	Learning Application Project Due

March 4	DEBATE #2		

Unit 4: Motivation & Classroom Management

March 9	Midterm		

March 11	Guest Speaker: Special Education		

March 16 & 18	Spring Break: NO CLASS		Read Chapter 10,
pages 350 to 357

March 23	Motivation		

March 25	DEBATE #3		Motivation Application
Project Due

March 30	Motivation Film (Lean on Me)		Read Chapter
10, pages 358-374

April 1	Motivation Continued
Discussion of Film	 	Read Chapter 11, pages 394-407

April 6	Classroom Management:
Proactive Strategies		Read Chapter 11, pages 408-423

April 8	Classroom Management: Reactive Strategies	Review for
Quiz 4
(10 & 11)	Classroom Management Application Project Due

Unit 5: Assessment

April 13	Guest Speaker: Cognitive Assessment	Quiz #4	Read
Chapter 14, pages 514-525

April 15	Standardized Assessment		Read Chapter 15

April 20	Classroom Assessment	Review for Quiz (Chapters 14
& 15)	Assessment Application Project Due

April 22	DEBATE #4		

April 27	Catch-Up Day	Quiz #5	

April 29	Last Class:
Course Wrap Up	Complete Final Evaluations	

May 5	Final Paper Due @ Noon
In my mailbox (4th floor)