Educational Psychology : a Tool for Effective Teaching

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Summary Santrock
Chapter 1“Educational Psychology : A Tool for Effective Teaching”
Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental process. Educational Psychology is the branch of psychology that specializes in understanding teaching and learning in educational settings. Historical Background

The field of educational psychology was founded by several pioneers in psychology in the late ninteenth century just before the start of the twentieth century. Three pioneers – Wiliam James, John Dewey and E. L. Thorndike – stand out in the early history of educational psychology. William James

James argued that laboratory psychology experiments often can’t tell us how to effectively teach children. He emphasized the importance of observing teaching and learning in classrooms for improving education. One of his recommendations was to start lessons at a point just beyond the child’s level of knowledge and understanding to stretch the child’s mind. John Dewey

John Dewey was a driving force in the practical application of psychology. First we owe to hom the view of the child as an active learner. Before Dewey it was believed that children should sit quietly in their seats and passively learn in a rote manner. In Contrast, Dewey argued that children learn best by doing. Second, we owe that education should focus on the whole child and emphasize the child’s adaptation to the environment. Dewey reasoned that children should not be just narrowly educated in academic topics but should learn how to think and adapt to a world outside school. Children should learn how to to refflective problem solver (Dewey, 1933). Third, we owe to Dewey the believe that all children deserve to have a competent education. In the nineteenth century , quality educaton was deserved for a small portion of children, especially boys from wealth families. Dewey pushed for a competent education for all children (girls and boys) as well as children from different socioeconomics and ethnics groups. E. L. Thorndike

A third pioneer who focused on assesment and measurement and promoted the scientific underpinnings of learning. Thorndike argued that one of schooling's most important tasks in to hone children's reasoning skills, and he excelled at doing exacting scientific studies of teaching and learning (Beatty, 1998). Thorndike especially promoted the idea that educational physiology must have a scientific base and should focus strongly about measurements (O'Donnell and Levin, 2001)

Diversity and early education psychology
The most promiinent figures in the early history of educational psychology, as in most disciplines, were mainly White males. Such as James, Dewey.And Thorndike. Prior to change in civil rights law and policies in the 1960s, only a few dedicated non'white individuals obtained the necessary degree and broke through racial exclusion barries to take up research. In the field. Two pioneering African American psychologist, Mamie and Kenneth Clark, conduct research on African American children's self-conceptions and idendity. Latino psychologist George Sanchez conducted research showing that intellegence test were culturally biased against ethnics minority children.

The Behavioral Approach
Skinners's behavioral approach involved attempts to precisely determine the best condition for learning. He argued that the mental processes proposed by psychologists such as James and Dewey were not observable and therefore could not be appropriate subject matter for a scientific study of psychology, which he defined as the science of observable behavior and itscontrolling conditions. In 1950s, Skinner develop the concept of programmed learning, which involved reinforcing the student after each of a series of steps until tjhe student reached a learning goal.

The Cognitive Revolution
As early as the 1950s, Benjamin Bloom created a taxonomy of cognitive skills that included remembering, comprehending, synthesizing, and evaluating, which he...
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