SYLLABUS : EDN 203 - Psychological Foundations of Teaching


King 106 - E

Office Ph : 962-3356


Course Description: Education 203 teaches various aspects of the psychological foundations of education, with particular emphasis on principles of learning and conditions within classrooms that influence learning. Key topics include cognitive and behavioral models of learning; motivation; student learning skills; fundamental teaching strategies and skills; individual difference variables and classroom dynamics. Class activities will include lecture and both large and small group discussion.


- Demonstrate knowledge and application of fundamental principles of human learning.

- Generate description of classroom environments and organizational practices designed to

enhance classroom management and maximize students learning.

- Demonstrate strategies for enhancing motivation of learners.

- Generate tactics to enhance learning based on individual differences among learners.

- Classify examples/nonexamples of major course concepts.

- Generate original examples/nonexamples of major course concepts.

- Generate critiques of questionable educational practices by applying relevant psychological


- Generate solutions (using appropriate principles of psychology) to hypothetical

classroom situations.

- Become aware of technology applications in education & use technology in course study.

TEXTBOOK - Woolfolk, A.E. (1998). Educational psychology (7th ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Study Guide (On Line) -


Procedural -

--Daily attendance is expected,. A student's final grade will be lowered for absences greater than three. A letter grade deduction ( for example, B+ to B) will be taken for each absence beyond three, except where the instructor judges there are truly extenuating circumstances.

-- Bring your textbook to class every day, since we will discuss and evaluate chapter opening cases (TEACHER CASEBOOK), the author's POINT/COUNTERPOINT boxes , certain text application boxes (GUIDELINES) and some ending scenarios posed in the CHECK YOUR UNDERSTANDING section found at the end of each chapter. In addition we will sometimes examine figures and tables presented in your text.

-- Complete assigned reading prior to date given in syllabus so that you will be prepared for class presentations, class discussions and small group tasks.

-- Be prepared and take responsibility for your part of base group* work (cooperative learning groups formed during the 2nd week of class) and to make meaningful contributions to class (in small group and in whole class interactions). I would also like for you to write down and bring to class each day a written comment or question, or an extended reflective statement based on the assigned reading or previous class. Think of this as your standing homework assignment for EDN 203. You will be share these comments, questions and/or reflections with members of your base group at the beginning of each class. I will take up your comments/questions/reflections periodically.

Performance - Three Tests and Final Exam ; 1 application paper (8-12 pp); group presentation from selected topics in Chs 9, 12 & 13; appropriate level and quality of class participation.

Academic Integrity -

All students are expected to scrupulously follow all requirements of UNCW's Academic Honor Code (see UNCW Student Handbook and Code of Student Life, 1998-1999).


Contributions to Class : Positive forms of participation during class are highly beneficial to a student's own learning and also to the learning of one's classmates. One way to encourage a positive climate for learning is for teacher/professor and students alike to share responsibility for learning and to join together in the spirit of a community of learners. Your participation in class will contribute substantially to what you derive from the course.

The quality of your contributions to the class will be evaluated over the course of the semester in several ways. Participation points will be earned through: 1) your preparation for class (reading or other out -of-class assignments completed; written reflections/comments or questions ready for each class; and 2) your participation in class (both in small base groups *and large groups); 3) quality of class contributions, reflections, comments and questions. While attendance is essential for participation to occur, attendance alone is no substitute for effective class participation/contribution.

Group Presentation: Groups of 2-4 students will be assigned a topic from Chapter 9, 12 or 13 to present to the class. These group presentations will be evaluated according to: a) accuracy of content, b) instructional quality, c) class involvement, and d) potential learning outcomes. Each group members' participation/contribution in preparing for and making the group presentation will be carefully evaluated. Students must be highly responsible to the members of their group. It is very important that no student shirk his or her responsibility to the group. (See criteria for evaluation of presentations).

Paper: A paper that requires you to apply your understandings about human learning in describing your vision of yourself as a teacher, teaching the way that you would like to in order to best promote your students' maximum learning. It is to be based on key ideas contained in Chs 6-11 that you select because they are most important to you.

Tests: There will be 3 tests and a final exam. Tests will measure the most prominent concepts and principles along with fundamental factual information from the text and lectures (there will be varying degrees of overlap between lecture and text depending upon the topic). Study guides will be given for each test. Your text author also provides a chapter-by-chapter study guide on the Web that students will want to access throughout the course. Tests will be comprised primarily of objective-type items, mainly multiple choice. There will be one essay question on each test and the topic for each question will be announced before the exam. Items will be selected to measure different levels of learning (recall, classification, and application); approximately equal emphasis will be given to each type of question.

* In addition to often beginning class with an informal but focused discussion of your reflections/comments and/or questions in your Base Group, these groups will also be used for in-class problem solving and evaluations of case studies; discussions; to create problems, scenarios or questions for peers; for jigsaw learning tasks; as focus groups for different aspects of the course and possibly as study groups.

GRADING - Grades will be determined by the percentage of points accumulated from the graded tasks listed below.


Test 1 - 100 pts, 2-3

Test 2 - 100 pts, 3-5

Test 3 - 100 pts 4-9

Final exam - 100 pts,

Teaching-Learning Application Paper - 125 pts 4-23

Class Participation - 25 pts

Group Presentation - 50 pts

Total possible pts - 600 pts

Final grades are based on the % of points accumulated (total = 600), using the following scale:

A = 92% and above ---- 552 pts C+ = 78% - 79% ---- 468-479

A- = 90% - 91% ---- 540-551 C = 72% - 77% ---- 432-467

B+ = 88% - 89% ---- 528-539 C- = 70% - 71% ---- 420-431

B = 82% - 87% ---- 492-427 D = 60% - 69% ---- 360-419

B- = 80% - 81% ---- 480-491 F = less than 60% ---- 360 pts

Example: If after the first 2 tests, say a 85 and a 95, your point total is 180 pts (out of a possible

200 pts, then your percentage grade (180 divided by 200) would be 90%, which is an 'A-'.

Group Assignment

Groups of 2-4 students will be asked to give a 15-20 minute mini-lesson on an assigned topic from Chs 9, 12or 13. The topics include: Discovery/Inquiry Instruction, Expository Instruction, Questioning Skills, Discussion Skills, Cooperative Learning, Reciprocal Teaching, Mastery Learning, Effective Homework, Classroom Management Skills and others to be named later. Students groups may choose any means they desire to teach the rest of the class the key learnings from the topic for which they are responsible. Each group must carefully plan how they can best promote the learning of their peers, and encourage class participation. All members of the group must take active roles in this cooperative learning task (planning and delivery). Remember that your group is responsible for ensuring that all members of the class gain the intended learnings from the instructional topic that you are teaching. Also note that sources in addition to the text must be used.

Each group is to submit a 'lesson plan' (developed through a cooperative group effort in which all members must participate). While there are no format requirements for your lesson plan, your plan should: 1) list the objectives to be learned (identify the concepts, principles, facts, applications being taught); 2) describe the strategies that you will use to enable your classmates to achieve each of your intended learning outcomes; 3) explain how you could assess whether your peers (students in the class) had learned what you intended them to learn.

Group members will evaluate the quality of contributions of each other (one's own group members). These evaluations will be averaged (5pts ). All members of the class will evaluate each presentation (5 pts). I too will evaluate each group's presentation and lesson plan, and of course, each individual's part of the presentation and evidence of degree and quality of participation (40 pts).

GROUP TOPIC: ________________ Presentation Criteria:

(1) Strongly Disagree; (2) Disagree; (3) Neutral; (4) Agree; (5) Strongly Agree

a. Effectively Organized Presentation 1 2 3 4 5

b. Presentation Engaged Audience 1 2 3 4 5

c. Examples/Demonstrations 1 2 3 4 5

Helpful to Learning

d. Intended Learnings Clearly Taught 1 2 3 4 5

e. Methods/Materials Promoted Learning 1 2 3 4 5

(Likely to Support Learning/Retention

After Lesson)

f. Overall Evaluation 1 2 3 4 5

Participation Criteria (Group Members): Name _______________

a. Met w/ group consistently/punctually 1 2 3 4 5

b. Was prepared for group meetings 1 2 3 4 5

c. Made relevant/significant contributions 1 2 3 4 5

d. Contributed fair share to group product 1 2 3 4 5

e. Overall Evaluation 1 2 3 4 5

EDN 203 : Paper: How I Will Apply Learning Theory in My Teaching to Promote My Students' Learning (Use Chs 6-11; 125 pts)

The purpose of this assignment is to help you gain a better grasp of the concepts and principles that you are learning in EDN 203 and to encourage you to find your own teaching implications from your study of human learning. In other words, tell me how you'd like to teach and which concepts/principles you'll use. How will you teach and why? What would it be like to be in your class? Use your learnings from EDN 203 to:

1) describe teaching practices you would use and the classroom environment that you will strive to create to promote your students' learning; and 2) name specific concepts and principles studied in EDN 203 that support the teaching practices/teacher behavior and the classroom environmental features which you describe in your paper for promoting optimal learning in your class. This assignment represents the course culminating learning activity where you have the opportunity to think carefully about your vision of yourself as teacher and where you respond to the challenge of using appropriate psychological concepts and principles to give the rationale behind your approaches to teaching.

To help begin thinking about this paper, consider the following scenario. Pretend that you have just taken your first teaching job. The grade and subject that you are assigned to teach is in the field of teaching and with students of the age that your undergraduate teacher training program has prepared you to teach. Identify that class and then carefully consider how you would go about teaching the kids in your class. Consider the following questions.

- What do you want to be like as a teacher?

- What will be the nature of your instructional practices and learning climate?

- How will you organize the classroom and what will be typical teacher and

student routines and patterns of interaction?

- How will you justify the decisions that you make regarding instructional practices, learning

climate, teacher and student routines, patterns of interaction?

-What will be the students' role(s) in the process of learning in your class?

- What will your students be like when they are in your class? What will their perceptions

of you be?

- How will your students' behavior and attitudes be a reflection of a) how you teach?  and b) how you have organized the class?

- What will your students know, be able to do and be like after they have been students in your class?

It would not be possible to include all relevant concepts and principles from chapters 6-10 in your paper, so you must make some decisions about what to emphasize. Do select concepts from each chapter and illustrate how you will implement these concepts, principles and theory in your teaching. Focus your paper on how you will teach to enable your students to achieve optimal learning in your course/grade (you must name it). Be sure to name and boldface or underline the principles and concepts selected from the three chapters on learning that either support or are represented by the decisions about teaching/ classroom practices that you describe. Also, please list each concept used on the final page of your paper. Your paper should be 8-12 pages in length and must be typed, double spaced with 1" margins. Please carefully consider the criteria listed below that will be used to evaluate your application paper.


1. Sufficiently representative set of course concepts and principles from chapters 6-10 (each chapter); boldface all concepts used  20 pts 

2. Sufficiently detailed description of how you intend to teach so that you clearly convey the essence of your personal approach to teaching  30 pts 

3. Clearly defined relationship between description of your teaching and how/why you believe your way(s) of applying the course concepts you select for inclusion in your paper will promote your students' learning  30 pts 

4. Accurate application of concepts and principles 40 pts

5. Quality of written expression, organization, mechanics (grammar, spelling) 5 pts

Selected references:

Emmer, E.T., Evertson, C.M., Sanford, J.P., Clements, B.S., & Worsham, M.E. (1989). Classroom management for secondary teachers, 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Good, T.L. and Brophy, J. E. (1994). Looking in classrooms, 6th ed. New York: Harper Collins.

Good, T.L. and Brophy, J. E. (1995). Educational psychology: A realistic approach, 5th ed. New York: Longman.

Ornstein, A. C. (1990). Strategies for effective teaching. New York: Harper and Row.

Joyce, B., & Weil, M. (1990). Models of teaching. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Journals in Educational Psychology:

American Educational Research Journal Educational Psychology Review

Contemporary Educational Psychology Journal of Educational Psychology

Educational Psychologist Review of Educational Research

Suggestions for Course Study/Preparation - Students should read assigned material prior to class and should be prepared to ask questions, raise issues related to readings, voice concerns and/or make comments on the readings and their implications for teaching. Participation in class will be a very important dimension of the learning experiences associated with this class, and preparation for class will enhance one's ability to participate in and learn from each class meeting.

Students should focus their study time by: a) using the text objectives that introduce each chapter (preceding each chapter case study); b) studying the Principles/Assumptions tables and Into The Classroom boxes and considering how you could make your own relevant classroom applications of major course principles/concepts; c) generating original examples of key chapter concepts and principles; d) responding to the text margin questions; e) reviewing each chapter summary and carefully checking for the quality of your comprehension; f) reviewing for comprehension (not merely recall of definitions) all key terms defined in margins of each chapter (and, of course, clarifying any pertinent text narrative whose meaning is unclear to you). The author has prepared a helpful study guide that can be accessed through the author's website using the Sprint Internet Passport software. Be sure to use the copy of Allyn and Bacon's Quick Guide to the Internet that you received on the first day of class.

Finally, I ask that you read for our next class, Woolfolk's section on Becoming an Expert Student: Learning Strategies and Study Skills (ch 8, pp 307-314). Much is known about how to learn, read for comprehension and study. You have the opportunity in this course to apply this knowledge to your own study. For example, many students find it helpful to prepare concept maps to show relationships among key chapter concepts. Creating visual maps is an excellent way to stimulate your thinking about chapter ideas and to 'test" your understanding. Remember, the primary goals of this course address conceptual understanding of human learning and motivation and recognition of relevant classroom applications for your personal use as a future teacher. The ability to recall facts and recognize or state definitions, though necessary to one's overall learning in educational psychology, is only one outcome of this course. Lastly, please don't be bashful about asking questions in class. Your relevant questions and comments will be valued. Also feel free to come to my office, call or email me if you have questions or experience difficulty.

EDN 203 Course Outline: 

--- Introduction to Educational Psychology: Ch 1

Ch 1, Course Overview; Bases for Decisions about Teaching and

Learning; OOPS Pretest; Research Concepts, Principles and Theories

--- Developmental Contributions to Learning: Chs 2-3

Ch 2, pp. 23-44, Cognitive Development, according to Piaget

Information Processing) & Implications

Ch 2, pp 44-51, Vygotsky's Views of Cognitive Development

Ch 2: pp 51-62, Lang. Devel.; Recurring Themes in Cog. Devel.

Ch 3, pp. 65-79, Social Development, Self-Concept and Self-Esteem,

Erikson's model

Ch 3: pp, 80-91 Promoting Personal, Social and Moral Development

--- Individual Variations Among Learners: Chs 4-5

Ch 4, pp. 111-128, Individual and Group Differences: Intelligence

1/25 Ch 4, pp. 129-137, Creativity and Cognitive/Learning Style --

CS: Hidden Treasure

Ch 4, pp, 136-158, Students with Learning Challenges

Ch 5, pp 160-184: Cultural, SES & Gender Differences and their Impact

Ch 5, pp. 185- 198 Lang. Differences; Culturally Compatible Classrooms

TEST 1: Chs 1-5

--- Theories of Learning: Chs 6-8

Ch 6, pp 203-212: Behaviorism: Contiguity and Classical Conditioning

Ch 6, pp 212-216: Operant Conditioning

Ch 6, pp 216-225; 231-238: Applied Behavior Analysis; Self-Regulation;

Implications Operant Learning for Teaching

Ch 6, pp 225-231 Social Cognitive Theory

Ch 7, pp.249-260: The Cognitive Views of Learning

Ch 7, pp. 261-266: The Information Processing Model cont.

Ch 7, pp 266-277: Metacognition and Types of Knowing

Ch 7, pp 277-284: Facilitating Knowledge Construction

Ch 7, p. 284 TEACHER's CASEBOOK What Would You Do? Additional

Implications for Teachers of Cognitive Views of Learning


Ch 8, pp 287-293: Concept Learning

Ch 8, pp 294-307: Problem Solving

Ch 8, pp 315- Study Skills and Principles of Transfer of Learning

TEST 2: Chs 6-8

--- Human Motivation and Learning in Schools

Ch 10, pp. 372-386: Motivation, Goals and Needs

Ch 10, pp 387-395: Attribution Theory and Self-Efficacy

Ch 10, pp 396-402: Anxiety and Motivation

Ch 11, pp 404-426: The Target Model of Motivation in Schools

Ch 11, continue Target Model; ARCS Model of Motivation

Ch 11, pp. 421-436: Planning Instruction that Motivates Learners

Ch 9 Presentations

Ch 9 Presentations

Ch 13 Presentations

Ch 13 Presentations

TEST 3: Chs 9, 10, 11, 13

--- Creating Learning Environments: Classroom Management: Ch 12

Ch 12, pp.439-454 : Planning for a Positive Learning Environment

Ch 12, pp.455-463 : Skills of Classroom Management

Ch 12, pp. 463-474 : Programs for Classroom Management; Communication

--- Assessment in The Classroom: Chs 14-15

Ch 14, pp 519-532: Measurement, Evaluation and the Meaning of

Test Scores

Ch 14, pp. 519-532: continued Interpreting Test Scores

Ch 14, pp. 539-552 : Issues in Standardized Testing; Authentic Assessment

Ch 15, pp. 555-566: Traditional Assessment Tools

Ch 15, pp. 566-575: Authentic Assessment Approaches

Ch 15, pp. 575-592: Grading and Reporting Students' Progress

FINAL EXAM: Chs 12-15