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Annual Editions: Educational Psychology, 11/12
UNIT 1: Perspectives on Teaching
1. What Makes a Great Teacher? PDK Summit Offers Many Ideas, Erin Young, Phi Delta Kappan, February 2009
This report from the Phi Delta Kappa Summit on High-Performing Educators suggests that great teachers advance student learning as they build relationships in the classroom. Effective teachers take best practices and adapt them to the kind of students they teach and the communities in which they live.
2. Reform: To What End?, Mike Rose, Educational Leadership, April 2010
Mr. Rose argues that educational reform efforts should concentrate on developing teacher expertise with professional development activities such as summer workshops with subject-matter experts and effective teachers. These workshops would energize teachers to consider effective teaching techniques and help them create learning-friendly environments with intellectual rigor, student responsibility for learning, and respect.
3. Embarking on Action Research, Catherine M. Brighton, Educational Leadership, February 2009
The author leads us through seven basic steps for conducting action research. She shows how teachers can conduct reflective, systematic inquiry to address problems they encounter while teaching.
4. Teaching with Awareness: The Hidden Effects of Trauma on Learning, Helen Collins Sitler, The Clearing House, January/February 2009
This pertinent article helps teachers understand the psychological effects of trauma on students and how they might mitigate those effects.
5. Supporting Adolescents Exposed to Disasters, Anne K. Jacobs, Eric Vernberg, and Stephanie J. Lee, The Prevention Researcher, September 2008
The authors present ways to prepare and support youth before, during, and after a major disaster. Online resources are also listed to meet the unique needs of students as they deal with the traumatic events.
UNIT 2: Development
Part A. Childhood
6. Play and Social Interaction in Middle Childhood, Doris Bergen and Doris Pronin Fromberg, Phi Delta Kappan, February 2009
The authors discuss how play is valuable for children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. They present ways in which teachers and parents can facilitate play that supports student growth.
7. Childhood Obesity in the Testing Era: What Teachers and Schools Can Do!, Susan M. Winter, Childhood Education, January 2009
Five strategies are identified to guide teachers to promote more healthful school policies and practices. When children’s health improves, frequently academic achievement follows. Relevant websites are also provided.
8. Why We Should Not Cut P. E., Stewart G. Trost and Hans van der Mars, Educational Leadership, December 2009/January 2010
The authors discuss five studies that show that instructional time for physical education does not harm academic achievement, and may help it. They also show that physical fitness and physical activity benefit the health of children, their academic performance, and cognitive activity in general.
Part B. Adolescence
9. Adolescent Decision Making: An Overview, Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, The Prevention Researcher, April 2009
Bonnie Halpern-Felsher explains a model of competent decision making and discusses factors that influence adolescents as they engage in the process. This model suggests the need to go beyond discussing risks and resisting peer pressure as we help teens make good decisions.
10. Safe at School: An Interview with Kevin Jennings, Joan Richardson, Phi Delta Kappan, February 2010
In this article Mr. Jennings helps us understand the feelings of students who are bullied and the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescents. He makes a clear case that we help diverse students learn best when teachers and administrators address climate issues and bullying issues to create schools that are physically and emotionally safe.
11. What Educators Need to Know about Bullying Behaviors, Sandra Graham, Phi Delta Kappan, September 2010
Ms. Graham dispels myths about the characteristics of bullies and victims. Internet resources are provided to help support adolescents who are targets of peer victimization.
12. The Bridge to Character, William Damon, Educational Leadership, February 2010
Mr. Damon argues that children’s natural moral sense needs adult guidance in school. Issues of academic integrity or theft in high schools provide natural opportunities for teachers to engage adolescents in discussions of moral issues. He also advocates for character education that inspires students toward a sense of purpose.
13. Academic Instructors or Moral Guides? Moral Education in America and the Teacher’s Dilemma, Hunter Brimi, The Clearing House, January/February 2009
This article reviews the history of moral education and examines the need for teachers to assist in student’s moral growth.
UNIT 3: Individual Differences among Learners
Part A. Exceptional Learning Needs
14. Improving the Way We Think about Students with Emotional and/or Behavioral Disorders, Kelly S. Regan, Teaching Exceptional Children, May/June 2009
A teacher can create a positive learning environment by reflecting on his or her own mindset toward students with emotional and/or behavioral disorders. The article identifies ways to build trusting relationships with these and use creative resources to work with these students with special needs.
15. Sam Comes to School: Including Students with Autism in Your Classroom, Diana Friedlander, The Clearing House, January/February 2009
Diana Friedlander discusses the nature of autism and provides strategies that teachers can use to help all students succeed in the inclusive classroom.
16. Universal Design in Elementary and Middle School: Designing Classrooms and Instructional Practices to Ensure Access to Learning for All Students, Margaret M. Flores, Childhood Education, Summer 2008
One important way to meet the needs of learners with special needs in an inclusive classroom is to provide appropriate accommodations to instruction. The principles of universal design, explained here, can help general education teachers design educational environments that ensure that all students have access to instruction.
Part B. Gifted and Talented
17. How Can Such a Smart Kid Not Get It?: Finding the Right Fit for Twice-Exceptional Students in Our Schools, Nina Yssel, Mike Prater, and Deb Smith, Gifted Child Today, Winter 2010
The authors discuss the challenges faced by students who are both gifted and who have special needs such as Asperger’s syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or a learning disability.
18. The Relationship of Perfectionism to Affective Variables in Gifted and Highly Able Children, Mary M. Christopher and Jennifer Shewmaker, Gifted Child Today, Summer 2010
This study examines the relationship between perfectionism and emotional development of gifted students. It finds that some perfectionist tendencies are related to depression, but may not necessarily be anxiety provoking.
19. Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: Straight Talk, Tracy L. Cross, Gifted Child Today, Spring 2009
This article discusses eight issues that can help teachers and parents support the development of gifted students.
Part C. Cultural Diversity
20. Understanding Unconscious Bias and Unintentional Racism, Jean Moule, Phi Delta Kappan, January 2009
The author discusses "blink of an eye" racism and how the well-intentioned can still show subtle biases in multicultural settings. These subtle cues can affect the ways teachers interact with culturally diverse students and their parents. She points readers to a website that can help them uncover their own biases and provides tips for responding when race becomes an issue.
21. Improving Schooling for Cultural Minorities: The Right Teaching Styles Can Make a Big Difference, Hani Morgan, Educational Horizons, Winter 2010
Multicultural education includes effectively teaching students from different cultures. Hani Morgan describes differing needs of students from a variety of cultures and suggests ways to avoid stereotyping students and teach in a culturally responsive manner.
22. Becoming Adept at Code-Switching, Rebecca S. Wheeler, Educational Leadership, April 2008
One of the challenges for teachers in multicultural settings is that many students in dialectically diverse classrooms struggle to read and write. Rebecca Wheeler argues that teaching students about code-switching and reflecting on their language can help them become successful.
23. Gender Matters in Elementary Education: Research-Based Strategies to Meet the Distinctive Learning Needs of Boys and Girls, Virginia Bonomo, Educational Horizons, Summer 2010
Ms. Bonomo discusses gender-based differences between boys and girls and how they learn. She suggests teaching strategies appropriate to each.
UNIT 4: Learning and Instruction
Part A. Learning and Cognition
24. A Fresh Look at Brain-Based Education, Eric P. Jensen, Phi Delta Kappan, February 2008
Mr. Jensen ponders the question, "Can we make better-informed decisions about teaching based on what we have learned about the brain?" The author reviews developments in the neurosciences and their potential applications to schools and classrooms and suggests research in the area of cognitive neuroscience may afford the best interdisciplinary understanding of the brain, the mind and education.
25. What Will Improve a Student’s Memory?, Daniel T. Willingham, American Educator, Winter 2008–2009
In this selection from Mr. Willingham’s column "Ask the Cognitive Psychologist," he summarizes three key principles about how human memory works, common myths, or misconceptions about memory and suggests a number of applications to the classroom, including a list of more common mnemonic devices and how they work to increase students’ memory of information.
26. Classroom Assessment and Grading to Assure Mastery, James P. Lalley and J. Ronald Gentile, Theory Into Practice, January 2009
In this article, the authors present the difference between mastery and expertise; as well as the importance of mastery with regard to initial learning, forgetting and relearning. They highlight the key components to be considered when designing a mastery learning environment and the important role of assessment to the process.
27. Backward Design: Targeting Depth of Understanding for All Learners, Amy Childre, Jennifer R. Sands, and Saundra Tanner Pope, Teaching Exceptional Children, May/June 2009
The authors argue that developing instruction that enables students to construct understanding (as opposed to knowledge) requires thoughtful planning and curriculum design. They present a step-by-step guide to backward design, including both elementary and high school examples reflecting the process and highlight the importance of this approach for inclusive classrooms.
28. Learning-Style Responsiveness Approaches for Teaching Typically Performing and At-Risk Adolescents, Andrea Honigsfeld and Rita Dunn, The Clearing House, May/June 2009
Ms. Honigsfeld and Ms. Dunn provide a number of practical techniques and resources for at-risk secondary students, who they suggest are often nontraditional learners. They focus specifically on tactual and kinesthetic learners and provide examples of tactual and kinesthetic activities. They conclude by discussing why they might be effective where other strategies are not and how to introduce them to the classroom.
Part B. Instructional Strategies
29. " To Find Yourself, Think for Yourself": Using Socratic Discussions in Inclusive Classrooms, Barbara Fink Chorzempa and Laurie Lapidus, Teaching Exceptional Children, January/February 2009
The authors provide a description of Socratic seminars and their usefulness in terms of developing students’ ability to think independently, particularly as it relates to critically reading and analyzing literature. They highlight the importance of the classroom environment and foundational knowledge and skills as prerequisites to successful seminars, as well as the roles of the teacher and students’ during a whole class Socratic discussion.
30. Setting the Record Straight on "High-Yield" Strategies, Robert J. Marzano, Phi Delta Kappan, September 2009
In this article, Mr. Marzano addresses three common mistakes made by educators when implementing the strategies advocated in a number of books written by he and his colleagues. He suggests schools develop a common language of instruction that includes suggestions for instruction, management, and assessment and opportunities for flexibility, discussion, and feedback because no strategy comes with a guarantee.
31. What Happens When Eighth Graders Become the Teachers?, Stephanie Stecz, Teachers College Record, August 2009
In this article from a special issue on teacher research, Ms. Stecz, a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, reports findings from an action research project she conducted in her classroom. In the project, she asked a group of eighth-grade students to work in small groups to develop and teach lessons about Japan to second-, third-, and fourth grade classes over a 10-week period. She uses excerpts from a personal journal, quotes from student discussions, and comments on surveys to describe the process and reactions of the students involved in the project. Ms. Stecz discusses how students’ ownership of the content changed, unexpected students emerged as leaders, and her own beliefs and approach to teaching were affected by the project.
32. Designing Learning through Learning to Design, Punya Mishra and Mark Girod, The High School Journal, October/November 2006
In this article, the authors present a discussion of the implementation of a design-based learning unit in high school science. The high school teacher summarizes the experiences in the class while a university researcher discusses theory and research on design activities. Both practical and research-based perspectives are presented in a way that is useful to teachers interested in implementing project-based learning activities in their classrooms.
Part C. Technology and the Internet
33. What Is Technology Education? A Review of the "Official Curriculum," Ryan A. Brown and Joshua W. Brown, The Clearing House, January 2010
The authors make an important distinction between "technology education" and "educational technology." They review and summarize Standards from the International Technology Education Association (ITEA) and provide suggestions for what technology education should look like, how it should be assessed, and why it is important.
34. Plagiarism in the Internet Age, Rebecca Moore Howard and Laura J. Davies, Educational Leadership, March 2009
The authors discuss dealing with plagiarism in the classroom, an issue made more complex by the Internet and accessibility of information online. They suggest that worthwhile attempts to prevent plagiarism at any grade level should include discussing values both broad and those specific to writing, guiding students in the process of online research, and teaching students how to critically read and summarize sources.
35. R U Safe?, Johanna Mustacchi, Educational Leadership, March 2009
Ms. Mustacchi describes her efforts to implement an Internet safety curriculum for students in her middle school. She discusses using the eighth-grade students as peer teachers who implemented short lessons to the sixth-grade students and the reactions of the sixth-graders.
36. Assessing Middle School Students’ Knowledge of Conduct and Consequences and Their Behaviors Regarding the Use of Social Networking Sites, Stacey L. Kite, Robert Gable, and Lawrence Filippelli, The Clearing House, July 2010
In this article, the authors discuss findings from a survey study involving seventh and eighth graders. They asked students to fill out a questionnaire about their knowledge of appropriate behavior on social networking sites, bullying sites, and Internet use of social networking sites. The authors discuss the implications of students’ responses for parents and teachers specifically with regard to cyberbullying and Internet predators.
UNIT 5: Motivation, Engagement, and Classroom Management
Part A. Motivation and Engagement
37. The Perils and Promises of Praise, Carol S. Dweck, Educational Leadership, October 2007
In this article, Carol Dweck, well-known for her work on the impact of praise on students, summarizes research that examines the relationships among intelligence, student effort, teacher praise, and student motivation. She suggests that educators should move away from the belief that intellectual ability is fixed and adopt a "growth mind-set." Students also need to learn that intellectual development involves forming new connections through effort and learning. The article reports results of an investigation in which students were taught to think about their "brains as muscles that needed exercising," in addition to study skills, time management techniques, and memory strategies.
38. Should Learning Be Its Own Reward?, Daniel T. Willingham, American Educator, Winter 2007–2008
The author uses recent initiatives by several schools in several states to pay students for performance on high-stakes standardized tests as a way to examine the use of and impact of rewards on student learning. He summarizes the arguments against the use of rewards into three categories and then suggests ways teachers can appropriately use rewards while avoiding their potentially detrimental effects.
39. Beyond Content: How Teachers Manage Classrooms to Facilitate Intellectual Engagement for Disengaged Students, Deborah L. Schussler, Theory Into Practice, March 2009
Ms. Schussler describes how teachers in an alternative middle school for students with academic potential manage classrooms in such a way that students perceive they will have opportunities for success, there is flexibility in terms of how learning can occur, and they are respected as learners. She uses quotes from students to illustrate how academic challenge, academic support, authentic tasks and flexible instruction, and relevant and interesting material fostered intellectual engagement.
40. "The Strive of It," Kathleen Cushman, Educational Leadership, February 2010
Ms. Kushman uses interviews with teenagers about their lives and learning to help describe how expertise develops and the importance of practice in building expertise. She reminds us that it is not necessarily having innate talent that allows experts to excel. She also provides a list of habits and behaviors common to all experts.
Part B. Classroom Management
41. Middle School Students Talk about Social Forces in the Classroom, Kathleen Cushman and Laura Rogers, Middle School Journal, January 2008
In this article, Ms. Cushman and Ms. Rogers describe how the social world and uncertainty of adolescence affects students’ perceptions of their academic abilities and how teachers sometimes unwittingly create conflict for students as they try to navigate their social and academic worlds. The authors use students’ responses in small group interviews to illustrate what middle school students care about and their thoughts about what teachers do and do not do that impact their feelings and beliefs about school.
42. Classroom Management Strategies for Difficult Students: Promoting Change through Relationships, Mary Ellen Beaty-O’Ferrall, Alan Green, and Fred Hanna, The Middle School Journal, March 2010
In this article, the authors focus on classroom management as relationship building. They highlight the importance of classroom management and relationships, particularly for students during the middle grades, not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well. A number of well-supported strategies for building positive and effective relationships, including a special focus on multicultural connections, are provided that are applicable to any age or grade level of student.
43. From Ringmaster to Conductor: 10 Simple Techniques That Can Turn an Unruly Class into a Productive One, Matthew A. Kraft, Phi Delta Kappan, April 2010
Mr. Kraft draws the distinction between classroom management (practices that provide the foundation for the classroom environment and structure) and behavior management (techniques that are used to address specific or individual situations and essential to a positive, safe learning environment). He provides a list of five specific strategies under each area that allow the teacher to foster a classroom environment similar to a "symphony of learners" rather than a "three-ring circus."
UNIT 6: Assessment
Part A. Standards, Accountability, and Standardized Testing
44. Grading Education, Richard Rothstein, Rebecca Jacobsen, and Tamara Wilder, American Educator, Spring 2009
The authors suggest that despite widespread dissatisfaction with NCLB, and numerous proposals to revise existing provisions of the law, Congress has been unable to devise a reasonable alternative. They compare the broad goals of public education over the past 250 years to curricular shifts associated with the test-based accountability systems now in place in many states. They conclude by describing the foundations of an alternate model of accountability based at the state, rather than federal, level that could serve as a starting point for those interested in reforming the current accountability structure.
45. Measuring the Achievement Elephant, Paul E. Barton and Richard J. Coley, Educational Leadership, December 2008/January 2009
In this article, Mr. Barton and Mr. Coley highlight the complex nature of measuring student achievement and argue that using isolated chunks of data often gives incomplete or misleading pictures of student performance. They provide a number of examples designed to assist educators in thinking about aspects of student achievement data as a way of enabling school personnel to both use and communicate the meaning of data more effectively.
46. The Many Meanings of "Multiple Measures," Susan M. Brookhart, Educational Leadership, November 2009
Ms. Brookhart suggests that "to use multiple measures appropriately, [educators must] start by understanding their purposes." She provides definitions of multiple measures from National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) and standards for psychological testing written jointly by the American Educational Research Association (AERA), American Psychological Association (APA), and National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME). She explains the purpose of multiple measures in terms of enhancing validity, provides examples of three ways to combine multiple measures, and concludes with a discussion of how multiple measures are used to inform classroom-level and school- or policy-level decisions.
Part B. Classroom Assessment
47. Using Self-Assessment to Chart Students’ Paths, Mararget Heritage, Middle School Journal, May 2009
In this article, Ms. Heritage highlights the importance of learners taking control of their learning, which includes developing metacognitive skills. She suggests the developmental transitions that take place during middle school make it an ideal time for teachers to foster the development of these skills by incorporating self-assessment practices in their classrooms. The author also focuses on formative assessment and teacher feedback as essential components of the self-assessment process.
48. Peer Assessment, Keith J. Topping, Theory Into Practice, January 2009
An in-depth discussion of the use of peer assessment, including an example from a secondary English classroom, is presented by the author. He identifies benefits of peer assessment, as well as concerns about implementation and issues associated with reliability and validity, concluding with several considerations when organizing peer assessment in the classroom.
49. Assessment-Driven Improvements in Middle School Students’ Writing, Heidi Andrade et al., Middle School Journal, March 2009
The authors discuss their efforts to improve students’ writing skills and scores on the English Language Arts (ELA) test in a school in New York State. The process focused on developing consistency across all classes and grade levels, by designing common rubrics, incorporating peer and self-assessment, examining the reliability and validity of the assessments, using assessments to plan instruction, and ensuring students were able to transfer their learning to the test.
50. Students’ Reactions to a "No Failure" Grading Policy and How They Informed Teacher Practice, Dick Corbett and Bruce Wilson, Theory Into Practice, Summer 2009
The authors describe the central ideas of a program implemented in several low-income middle schools to remove failure as an option for grading on assignments for students. In place of Fs for missing or incomplete assignments, teachers developed a variety of options students could choose from to demonstrate mastery of critical skills and knowledge. They use quotes from interviews with educators and students over a five-year period to describe some of the important reactions from both groups and highlight decisions/reactions by the educators in response to the students’ reactions.
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