Educational Psychology in the Classroom

Educational Psychology in the Classroom

Educational Psychology in the Classroom

Educational Psychology in the Classroom

Excerpt

During the six years that have passed since the publication of the first edition of this textbook, educational psychology has continued to push its way into the entire range of fields that come under the heading of behavioral science. Most of this activity has been concerned with improving and extending our understanding of the learner and the learning situation. Problems directly related to teaching-learning processes do not draw as much attention from educational psychologists as they did in former years. This change in emphasis has perhaps been because of an increased awareness of the importance of background factors in the learner's experience and in the learning situation, as well as to an appreciation of the fact that the processes of human learning are more complex than is commonly believed.

Research in educational psychology today is therefore giving increased emphasis to the social and emotional factors that affect learning, and this revision attempts to reflect that trend. This research seems particularly significant to educational psychologists who believe, as I do, that the teacher or administrator who is adequately informed as to the psychological bases of modern methods of education is in a much better position to create the kind of learning situations that promote effective learning. The kinds of problems teachers encounter today make it plain that the classroom is no longer a place for the well-meaning amateur. Today's teacher not only needs to know his subject matter, but he also needs to have a good psychological understanding of what he is doing and what is happening as a result of his actions. Contrary to what appears to be the popular trend in public opinion, today's teacher needs to be more of a behavioral scientist, not less of one, than he was before the first sputnik was launched.

In this second edition, I have tried to sharpen the idea of the teacher functioning as a behavioral scientist. In doing so, I have presented selected examples of relevant research drawn from the behavioral sciences and organized in such a way as to make the most sense out of the problems we are likely to encounter as teachers. It is my feeling, supported by my experiences . . .

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