Learning and Human Abilities: Educational Psychology

Learning and Human Abilities: Educational Psychology

Learning and Human Abilities: Educational Psychology

Learning and Human Abilities: Educational Psychology

Excerpt

Since the writing of the second edition of Learning and Human Abilities in 1965, much research and development have been done that, potentially, can have positive results in improving educational practices on a nationwide scale. During the same five-year period, however, conditions have emerged that exercise a profound negative influence on education at all levels. Among the more important of these are the Vietnam War, racism, the use of drugs, intensified poverty of a minority of the population, an increase in violence, and a tax rebellion directed against providing more money for public education. Awareness of the influence of these and other social conditions on education puts current educational practices and the study of educational psychology in proper perspective. In other words, the principles set forth in a course in educational psychology will contribute to improved educational practices only if schools are operated and supported in such a way that the principles can be applied.

In Part I of this book, learning and human abilities are discussed, and a model of school learning is outlined. Many recent studies of learning have focused on understanding learning conditions in school settings. Also, human abilities that may be improved through education are being identified. Especially promising are the recent advances made in developing instructional materials and procedures designed to develop the creative abilities of students.

Not only in Part I but throughout the book, ideas about human learning and human development that are usually treated separately have been integrated in the concept of emerging human abilities. Also, a model of school learning has been formulated in order to identify and bring together related knowledge and practices dealing with learning, abilities, and instruction. This model provides the organizing framework for this edition and may also become the framework around which the student can organize his own information.

In Part II, we have brought together psychologically sound and practical information concerning components of a school learning system, including educational and instructional objectives, instructional materials and related technology, characteristics of students and provisions for individual differences, characteristics of teachers as individuals and groups, and classroom interactions and teacher leadership. The events and concepts dealt with include the increasing attention given to instructional objectives, the demise of teaching machines, the use of the computer, the mixed blessings of educational technology, the failure to make compensatory education work well for disadvantaged students, the emergence of organized teacher groups and the related collective negotia-

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