Kelvin Seifert, University of Manitoba
Rosemary Sutton, Cleveland State University
Pub Date: 2009
Publisher: Saylor Foundation
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This book provides an overall comprehensive look at educational psychology, but I think it could be updated. If I use this text, I would supplement read more
This book provides an overall comprehensive look at educational psychology, but I think it could be updated. If I use this text, I would supplement this text with current sources on: • Educational neuroscience • Poverty and the brain (use Eric Jensen and other sources) • The need for greater diversity in the teaching force (use Linda Darling-Hammond and others) • Bilingualism in the U.S. • The concept of grit (use Duckworth), and for U.S. use I would fold in current legislation and historical pieces. • Communication during conflict Each chapter begins with an inviting story on the opening pages, and then moves on to the core topic. The stories seem a little simplistic, but they do provide a welcoming beginning to each chapter. Some of the openers (such as journals kept by author Kelvin Seifert) would not relate well to U.S. students. I would have liked a “social justice perspective” woven into the book. This could be related to students as they imagine their future teaching role, and the contribution they will make to kids, and to greater society. In the U.S., education has a solid link to democracy, and the historical foundation is powerful to students. Arne Duncans’ quote could be used to lead this idea. ““I believe that education is the civil rights issue of our generation. And if you care about promoting opportunity and reducing inequality, the classroom is the place to start. Great teaching is about so much more than education; it is a daily fight for social justice.” There are no photos or eye-catching items in the text. The authors comment that this is for cost reduction purposes, however, since the text is offered digitally it could add a needed dimension to the text. Chapters 1, 2 and 3 The first chapter would be a good place to lay the ground work for education as a vehicle for social justice. The “trends in teaching” paragraphs should be updated. I actually thought the first chapter was a little short. There was good coverage of the learning process, although I would add information about learning and the brain. and the major learning theories (behaviorism, Piaget, Vygotsky, Bruner), as related to educational psychology and the implications to teaching. The Student development chapter was appropriate for a course on educational psychology, but may present too much information for more introductory courses. I would have liked a more straight forward piece written about stages of development, with a clear outline of physical, cognitive, social and character development, and I would have included a clear graph of Piaget’s model for cognitive development with this section. They do cover this, but the writing is less clear for me in this section. Same on Maslow- I would have liked a simpler hierarchy of needs chart. Erik Erkison’s psychosocial development section is good. The outline for Kohlberg’s stages of moral reasoning, and linkage to ethical thinking and justice was good, with Gilligan’s framework included. For US use, I would add in examples from US schools and even court cases to exemplify points. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 The student diversity section was not comprehensive. The content on learning styles, and multiple intelligences was fine. There was some information on Talented and Gifted, but it was not linked to learning disabilities. I would have folded in Chapter 5 into Chapter 4, instead of making it a separate chapter on Students with Special Educational Needs. The separate chapter on Students with Special Educational Needs offered pretty good detail for an overview class. The ADHD section was good. I would recommend more content on dyslexia. The segment addressing behavioral issues could be linked to societal and SES issues. I appreciated the inclusion of hearing loss and vision impairment, because I have not seen that in many texts. I would have introduced the concept of differentiated learning in this section, and then revisited it in the later section. The Gender roles section of chapter 4 is incomplete and dated, more information is needed on different sexual orientations. I would have liked to see deeper content related to the bilingual and second language learners. The initial chapter mentions language diversity, but too briefly. There is no mention of the need of greater diversity in the teaching force itself. Authors could use research from Linda Darling-Hammond to write about this topic. In Chapter 4, the Student Diversity section., there is discussion of bilingualism, but seemed too clinical. I would have liked discussion of why language learners need models ….. and more coverage of English language learners in relation to motivation would have been helpful. The part on cultural identity development was good. This could be addressed by adding journal articles on this topic into supplementary coursework. Content related to low SES and the role poverty plays in the psychological profile of students is missing. The Student Motivation chapter would be appealing to students. I think this could be inserted into any time frame of the class. Perhaps this information would have been better if directly linked to the learning theory section, ie Skinner’s behaviorism, or to the Student Motivation Chapter. I would have liked to see more about making learning relevant and placed in the real world context in this chapter. Motivation linked to self-efficacy was good, but the self-determination section seemed a little esoteric and I don’t think would resonate with U.S. students. This might be a good chapter to include a piece about “grit” (by Duckworth) and learning. Chapter 7 and 8 I would re-title this section, to use words such a Creating a Positive and Productive Learning Environment, and fold in the student motivation section and the classroom communication section. This chapter could be shorter, and written in a way that made inquiry with the reader to make it more relevant. That would leave more room to fold in the other chapters. The segment on focusing on future solutions rather than past mistakes is excellent. I would have liked to see the use of the word pedagogy in this section. I would remove the section on “functions of talk”, and reduce down the section on nonverbal communication. That would leave more room for additional information about communication and conflict and also cross cultural communication, which are areas where students need help. I would also shorten the section on classroom communication, and build in more inquiry for student readers in this section. Chapter 9, 10, 11 and 12 Facilitation Complex Thinking and Planning instruction and Assessment could be combined. I would like to see the concepts of diagnostic, formative and summative assessment included, and then linked to current examples. This would align with the concepts of student-centered and teacher-centered learning, with discussion on the methodology such as inquiry based learning, cooperative/collaborative learning. Setting learning goals and “backward design” could be added to the curriculum section. The section outlining Bloom’s Taxonomy with examples and revisions is excellent. I am glad you included Marzano. I would revisit the concept of differentiated instruction with the information presented on response to intervention. I would move the multicultural education and anti-bias education section out of this chapter, and in to the earlier section on student diversity. Information on alternative approaches to learning, like online learning and service learning is good. The assessment section was thoughtfully written, and would challenge students to consider how they are making assessment decisions. Getting students to consider the validity and reliability of assessment is critical, and revisiting the concept of bias as related to assessment is important. I would reduce the content related to teacher made assessments, and perhaps have the students evaluate existing assessments
Overall, information was accurate. Some sections that are dated presented slightly inaccurate information. For example, the authors give data about the Hispanic population in the U.S. from 2005, which was 14%. This should be adjusted to 18%, and notice of the growth of this segment should be noted to represent the true picture. The U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics notes about 25% of students in public school are Hispanic (and even that information is 3 years old). The licensing chapter is also dated and therefore inaccurate. The sections on “deciding for yourself”, which explained the research procedures used and gave more content information, were a great vehicle to encourage students to consider the complexities of research, and demonstrate their ability to evaluate and critically consider complicated topics, thus improving the accuracy of their own thinking.
The authors bring a unique perspective to educational psychology because they are from outside the U.S. I appreciate their candor in acknowledging that most major textbooks in this area cover similar content, but are quite expensive when printed and published via conventional manner. However, there are some content issues that jeopardize the relevance and longevity of the book. I would like to see the concept of educational neuroscience addressed in the early sections on cognitive development. The Student Development Chapter 3 would need to be re-worked for greater relevance for U.S. use. I would have liked to see development issues tied to social factors. The authors did some of this when they discussed health issues, but for the most part social links are missing. To improve relevance, I would like to see information on how poverty affects the brain and learning. I would also like to see a section devoted to the importance of having a diverse teaching workforce. The section on technology use in schools is quite dated and unrealistic. Discussion of single-computer classrooms is outdated. Although they must exist, I have never observed such a classroom in at least 10 years. There needs to be more emphasis on using technology in a myriad of ways, from harnessing the power of smart phones, tablets, and internet resource gathering was not fully covered. Chapter 10 references online learning, but it could have been made more relevant by explaining this book as an example. The final section on licensing requirements was outdated. Our state no longer uses PRAXIS. Perhaps because licensing is done on a state-by-state basis, this section should encourage instructors to use their own state resources in this area. Other topics that would improve relevance would be the topic “grit”, and the development of communication skills that address conflict. The citations seem dated, not much past 2006. The publication date is 2011. Relevant current publications and issues should be brought in.
Due to the consistent writing style and predictable format, the book was clear and easy to follow. Additional charts or graphs could reinforce points made in the book, and thus might improve clarity for visual learners. Chapter summaries clearly reinforce main points for students to grasp. Lists of key points and terminology also added clarity, such as the listing at the end of Chapter 3.
Overall consistency was good. Writing style was straightforward and standardized throughout the text, which made reading easier. The links to additional articles were consistently presented, and therefore would be easy to reference.
The text is designed in a modular framework, and authors note that chapters can be taught in any order. Some of the repetition crosses over modules, which helps with clarity.
The text flowed in a logical manner, and as a reader I would recommend teaching from it from the structure already presented. In terms of organization, I would move the Action Research table to a different section, not right up front. The first three chapters fit together nicely as a unit. In this early section, I would also like to see more on changes in the brain that occur from learning new information. Chapters 4 and 5 meshed well. As I already noted, I suggest linking the learning section with the motivation section .I would organize the material in Chapter 6 to fold into the later Chapters 7 or 8. The final chapters regarding instructional planning, assessment and facilitation of complex thinking could be reorganized. Each chapter finished with a summary, which could help students organize their thinking. I would change the layout of the summary into bullet points, to make it more readable. Key vocabulary was also highlighted, so that students could focus on the language specifics of the education field.
The online resources, with examples of assignments, are beneficial. Simple assignments, such as creating a chart summarizing human development, would be easy for students to follow and reinforce their reading. There was a large array of resources and articles, which would allow instructors to supplement and make the chapters more relevant. I would like to see more reflection pieces, like journals on certain topics. The autobiography assignments were too vague. The assignment on “true confessions” from students regarding moral development would be too risky in a community college setting. I would also like to see some video pieces attached as additional resources. In the communication section towards the end of the book, it would have been great to observe examples of communication styles in the classroom, or include interviews with teachers. Video clips demonstrating children in varying stages of development would also be useful. I know it’s always easier to ask for more resources than to provide them. But these additional elements would provide variety to the course.
The grammar was correct and accurate.
Greater relevance could be achieved by updating resources used and broadening topics to include current issues in the United States. Some opening stories did not mesh well with current student experience. For example, the Chapter 4 opening story would not be relate-able to the students in my class. As noted earlier, more emphasis on the importance of a bicultural and bilingual teaching workforce was not mentioned, and this perspective is critical. Lead in stories could provide a venue for greater cultural perspectives on teaching and student experience, and is needed. The text also lacks mention of social justice issues as they relate to teaching, which is an important point in proving cultural relevancy. Reflective assignments and inquiry based writing could be added to challenge students to broaden their thinking and relate content to their own circumstances.
Many sections of the text are solid, and I would like to use content for an online book that I will create for our Foundations of Education course. I read this text through the lens of that course need, and I was looking for some elements that are understandably not covered in this text. The current text I am using incorporates a lot of student reflection, and I think including that aspect into this text would make it more engaging. I also noted that the lack of content related to social justice and the teaching field is a concern.
This textbook is very comprehensive. Any prospective or current teacher could use it as an introduction or a refresher (respectively). The topics read more
This textbook is very comprehensive. Any prospective or current teacher could use it as an introduction or a refresher (respectively). The topics covered are ample and the references and additional readings provided at the end of each chapter help the reader expand on the topic if needed. The text provides an effective index at the beginning and a glossary for each unit.
Content is accurate. Drawing from different pedagogical approaches, the authors manage to create a balance that helps the reader make their own choices.
Content is relatively up-to-date. Although chapter 12 might become obsolete depending on state requirements for standardized tests, overall, the text can stand the test of time (taking into account that pedagogy is an area that changes rapidly).
The text is accessible for any reader. All jargon or terminology is explained. It is suitable for teacher candidates, for teachers who want a refresher and for anyone interested in pedagogy.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. Chapters flow into each other very well, although they could be used separately (see modularity below).
The text could be used as a whole textbook divided by units (the order seems appropriate for an "Intro to Pedagogy" course), but it could also be divided into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course. It could also be used as a companion to any other handbook that is discipline-specific (Math, Language Arts, World Languages, etc.). Case studies at the end make it very easy to assign them at any point.
The topics in the text follow a logical fashion. From the introduction (learning process and student development) until the end (assessment and standardized tests), the text increases in specificity/complexity. The case studies in the appendices are very conveniently located at the end for easy access in case the chapters are assigned in isolation.
Although the indentation in the tables could be improved and some images could be formatted to be more visually appealing, the interface in general is appropriate.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. On the contrary, it follows pedagogies that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
This is a great textbook that can be used in any education course at both undergraduate and graduate levels. It can be complemented with research articles in each discipline if needed, but it can be perfectly used on its own.
"Educational Psychology” by Seifert and Sutton covers a wide variety of topics providing examples from everyday classroom situations. The authors read more
"Educational Psychology” by Seifert and Sutton covers a wide variety of topics providing examples from everyday classroom situations. The authors need to be commended for a book that can lay a strong foundation in the area for prospective teachers. The structure of the book, the contents, the easy-to-read approach, how the authors make connections relevant to theory and practice and among the topics will be of value to the educational psychology courses. The language of the book makes it clear for the prospective teachers develop an understanding of how major theories of learning and models can be relevant and useful in teaching and learning. The inclusion of the chapters on the nature of classroom communication, facilitating complex thinking, teacher-made assessment strategies and examples provided as well as the appendices with respect to preparing students for licensure, research and the reflective practitioner complement the book compared to the other outlets in the area. For example, in the appendix titled "deciding for yourself about the research," the readers are provided with examples of several research problems, how they were conducted and their implications that reflect many of the themes of the book chapters.
The content seems to be accurate, error-free and unbiased.
The book starts with a chapter about the changing teaching profession: new trends in education such as diversity in students, use of technology to support learning, accountability in education, increased professionalism of teachers. Updates can easily be made if necessary if new trends or influences in education were to occur.
The book is written in a clear and easy-to-understand style that is adequate for those who are novice to educational psychology. The language of the text makes it appealing for exploring the book content further. Although the book is written by two authors, it's hard to detect the difference between the authors' writing.
The book is consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
The table of contents is well organized and easily divisible into reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course. The authors do a great job providing headings and subheadings to avoid reader fatigue or overload that contibute to the the reading of the content more appealing.
The topics are presented in a manner that is suitable for an educational psychology course that flows with the course content and activities.
The text does not have any interface or navigation issues when read on-screen or in print.
I have not noticed any grammar mistakes or issues with the writing mechanics that will disrupt the meaning of the text.
The book makes use of diversity and cultural relevance as it provides numerous examples from everyday classroom situations as well as the research it discusses.
This is a book that can rivet the attention of teacher candidates because of its easy-to-understand style. I commend the authors for a book that clearly communicates the purpose of studying educational psychology and how it relates to teaching and learning.
Text covers all aspects of what a teacher would encounter throughout the year in a classroom. Very comprehensive. read more
Text covers all aspects of what a teacher would encounter throughout the year in a classroom. Very comprehensive.
To my knowledge and experience, this text is very accurate on all fronts. It is up-to-date when it addresses standardized testing, management challenges, and student diversity.
The content in this text will need to be updated at times to keep in step with changes in standardized testing. Other than that particular section, I don't believe there will be signifigant updating needed regularly.
Text is easy to read, comprehend, and offers varied examples to address multiple ages of children and adults.
Consistency is not an issue. Text is in step with current terminology.
Text is clearly divided into smaller sections. Very easy to assign.
Text is well organized and easy to follow. Topics are clear and easily defined.
Text is very clear and easy to read. Information is easy to interpret.
No signifigant grammatical errors.
Text is culturally diverse.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: The changing teaching profession and you
- Chapter 2: The learning process
- Chapter 3: Student development
- Chapter 4: Student diversity
- Chapter 5: Students with special educational needs
- Chapter 6: Student motivation
- Chapter 7: Classroom management and the learning environment
- Chapter 8: The nature of classroom communication
- Chapter 9: Facilitating complex thinking
- Chapter 10: Planning instruction
- Chapter 11: Teacher-made assessment strategies
- Chapter 12: Standardized and other formal assessments
About the Book
Chapters in the text can be assigned either from beginning to end, as with a conventional printed book, or they can be selected in some other sequence to meet the needs of particular students or classes. In general the first half of the book focuses on broader questions and principles taken from psychology per se, and the second half focuses on somewhat more practical issues of teaching. But the division between “theory” and “practice” is only approximate; all parts of the book draw on research, theory, and practical wisdom wherever appropriate. Chapter 2 is about learning theory, and Chapter 3 is about development; but as we point out, these topics overlap with each other as well as with the concerns of daily teaching. Chapter 4 is about several forms of student diversity (what might be called individual differences in another context), and Chapter 5 is about one form of diversity that has become prominent in schools recently—students with disabilities. Chapter 6 is about motivation, a topic that is heavily studied by psychological researchers, but that also poses perennial challenges to classroom teachers.
Following these somewhat more basic psychological chapters, we turn to several lasting challenges of classroom life—challenges that seem to be an intrinsic part of the job. Chapter 7 offers ideas about classroom management; Chapter 8, ideas about communicating with students; Chapter 9, about ways to assist students' complex forms of thinking; and Chapter 10, about planning instruction systematically. The book closes with two chapters about assessment of learning: Chapter 11 focuses on teachers' own efforts to assess students, and Chapter 12 focuses on standardized measures of assessment.
We have organized material and features in ways that we hope will allow for a variety of students, instructors, and institutions to use the book. For instructors and courses that seek a strong focus on research and the research process, for example, we have included an extra “chapter” on research methods—Appendix C, “The Reflective Practitioner”—that discusses the nature of research and the research process. We have also included a set of research-related case studies in Appendix B, “Deciding for yourself about the research”, that describe a number of particular educational research programs or topics in detail and that invite students to reflect on the quality and implications of the research.
Whether or not a strong focus on research is a priority in your particular course, there are additional features of the book that are intended to help students in learning about educational psychology. In particular, each chapter ends with a “Chapter summary”, a list of “Key terms”, and links to Internet sites (called “Further resources”) relevant to the themes of the chapter. One of the sites that is cited frequently and that may be particularly helpful to instructors is the teachingedpsych wiki (http://teachingedpsych.wikispaces.com/), an archive of hundreds of teaching and learning materials that supports the teaching of introductory educational psychology. Teachingedpsych is a project of the Special Interest Group on the Teaching of Educational Psychology (TEP SIG), affiliated with the American Educational Research Association.
All in all, we hope that you find Educational Psychology a useful and accessible part of your education. If you are preparing to be a teacher, good luck with your studies and your future! If you are an instructor, good luck with helping your students learn about this subject!
About the Contributors
Kelvin Seifert is professor of educational psychology at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. He earned a BA from Swarthmore College in 1967 and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1973, in a combined program from the School of Education and the Department of Psychology. His research interests include the personal identity development of teachers, the impact of peers in 0pre-service teacher education, and the development of effective strategies of blended learning. He is the author of four university textbooks (with Houghton Mifflin, in traditional print format) about educational psychology, child and adolescent development, and lifespan human development. He is also the editor of the online Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy. Recent publications include “Student cohorts: Support groups or intellectual communities?” (Teachers College Record) and “Learning about peers: A missed opportunity for educational psychology” (The Clearinghouse). His professional service includes serving as chair of the Department of Educational Administration, Foundations, and Psychology at the University of Manitoba, and serving as president of the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group on Teaching Educational Psychology. During his career of 35 years, he has taught introductory educational psychology over 75 times.
Rosemary Sutton attended graduate school and earned her MS in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois and her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in Human Development. She joined the Cleveland State University faculty in Cleveland, Ohio in 1983 and since that time has taught pre-service and in service undergraduates and graduate students educational psychology and educational technology. She has received several University awards for her teaching and has conducted numerous workshops for teachers in North East Ohio.
Dr Sutton has published a variety research articles on teacher development as well as equity issues in mathematics, technology, and assessment. Her recent research interests have focused in two areas: teaching educational psychology and teachers' emotions. Recent publications can be found in Social Psychology of Education, Educational Psychology Review, Journal of Teacher Education, and an edited volume, Emotions and Education.
Since 2004, Dr Sutton has been working as an Administrator, first as the Director of Assessment for the University. This position involved coordinating the student learning assessment for all graduate, undergraduate, and student support programs. In August 2007, Dr Sutton was appointed Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and is now responsible for overseeing offices and functions from academic and student service areas in order to create a campus culture that coordinates student services with the academic mission of the University.