Discussion is often used in educational psychology as a way to encourage students to think about course content as well as instructional practices. By allowing students to think about various educational topics and share their ideas with others, they are given an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of course material as well as learn from the perspective of others. With these objectives in mind, thought questions were created in connection with each text chapter and included here. In addition to using these questions for class discussions, they can also be used as resources by in-service teachers as ways to "check in" and think through practical problems.
Suggestions for Use:
Chapter 1: Applying Psychology to Teaching
Chapter 2: Stage Theories of Development
Chapter 3: Age-Level Characteristics
Chapter 4: Understanding Student Differences
Chapter 5: Addressing Cultural and Socioeconomic Diversity
Chapter 6: Accommodating Student Variability
Chapter 7: Behavioral and Social Learning Theories
Chapter 8: Information-Processing Theory
Chapter 9: Constructivist Learning Theory, Problem Solving, and Transfer
Chapter 10: Approaches to Instruction
Chapter 11: Motivation
Chapter 12: Classroom Management
Chapter 13: Assessment of Classroom Learning
Chapter 14: Understanding and Using Standardized Tests
Chapter 15: Becoming a Better Teacher by Becoming a Reflective Teacher
- Use these questions as advance organizers. For example, ask students to read through and think about the questions prior to class. Having students do some preparation prior to class will help to initiate and sustain the discussion.
- Use these questions with small groups. Try breaking students up in groups of four or five and give them one or more of the questions to discuss.
- Use these questions to stimulate large-group discussions about course content.
- Use these questions as an out-of-class assignment. Ask students, either individually or in groups, to write answers to the questions. You can use the answers to determine the level of student understanding and extent of text reading.
- Use these questions in an electronic environment. Students can discuss these questions over e-mail or in some other chat room as a way to continue discussions that were initiated during class.