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EDUC 260 Educational Psychology

Educational Psychology is an advanced course that surveys current psychological research and theory to address issues of teaching and learning. Instruction will focus on developmental theories, research methods, classroom management, and instructional techniques. The course will utilize readings, films, lectures, and small group projects, and is well suited for anyone interested in learning more about children, schools, learning, and/or teaching. This course meets the Maryland State Department of Education Human Learning requirement for an initial certificate in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education and Secondary Education. A 15-hour field experience outside of class time is required. Students are placed in a Howard County Public School or may use a K-12 school where they are employed.

Credits               3
Prerequisites     Eligible to enroll in ENGL-121
Instructor          Barbara Maestas
Phone                443-518-4457

Course Objectives | Major Course Topics | Course Format | Orientation |Course Requirements | Texts and Materials |

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the psychological theories, concepts, and principles that apply to teaching and learning.
  2. Identify indicators of development through observations
  3. Recognize developmental level of child based on observing child behavior and recognize importance of these issues in curriculum and instructional materials
  4. Identify and explain the major components of the major approaches to learning
  5. Write and speak on how learning occurs in students and in themselves
  6. Recognize behaviors that enhance and impede learning
  7. Recognize behaviors that indicate that learning has occurred
  8. Define and explain culture, privilege and oppression
  9. Discuss how culture, privilege and oppression influence growth and development
  10. Discuss culture, privilege and oppression in relation to schooling, student performance and success
  11. Reflect on personal motivational patterns in relation to basic theories
  12. Construct appropriate objectives for specific students
  13. Identify and explain the different domains of development
  14. Write objectives specific to the cognitive, affective, and behavioral domains
  15. identify approaches to teaching such as cooperative learning, direct instruction, etc.
  16. Identify the type of teaching being employed in a field experience
  17. Identify materials that are specific to a particular approach
  18. Discriminate among various educational source
  19. Recognize how learning occurs in students and in oneself
  20. Identify behaviors of students and of professionals which enhance learning and impede learning
  21. Identify behaviors that indicate that learning has occurred and justify behaviors identified
  22. name and explain major principles and practices used n group dynamics
  23. Recognize similarities and differences in uses of group dynamic principles and practices to those of educational principles and practices
  24. Demonstrate use of group dynamics principles
  25. Adapt teaching techniques for students based on an understanding of the physical, social, emotional, cultural, and cognitive characteristics of the learner
  26. Discuss the similarities and differences in human development, characteristics of diverse learners, and educational implications of diverse cultural and learning differences
  27. Describe how issues of human diversity (age, mental ability, thinking style, ethnic background, socioeconomic status) impact families and schools and how these influence learning and planning
  28. Define, explain, give examples of critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills
  29. Explain the problem solving process and methods that facilitate the development of these skills
  30. Critically evaluate theoretical understandings about principles of learning and approaches to teaching.
  31. Describe how primary language, culture and familial background interact with the individual's academic and social abilities, attitudes, values and interests
  32. Formulate effective approaches to instruction based n an understanding of the learning process
  33. Describe how each theoretical understanding serves as a basis for the development of techniques for motivating students in th classroom
  34. Evaluate strategies to create learning environments that foster cultural understanding positive social interactions, and active engagement of all learners and in which diversity is valued
  35. Reflect critically on topics related to the teaching-learning process
  36. Determine when to utilize various assessment tools and the purpose for each type of assessment
  37. Describe how assessment information is used for a variety of educational decisions
  38. Determine how instructional practices effectively respond to each learner's needs and capabilities
  39. Discuss life-long, learning and its effect on the quality of life
  40. Identify and explain the value of action research

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Major Course Topics

  • Psychosocial and Cognitive Development
  • Learner Differences and Learner Needs
  • Cultural and Socioeconomic Diversity
  • Behaviorism
  • Information Processing Theory
  • Social Cognitive Theory
  • Higher Order Thinking Skills
  • Devising and Using Objectives
  • Problem Solving and Transfer
  • Constructivism
  • Social Approach to Instruction
  • Motivation
  • Assessment
  • Classroom Management

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Course Format

This course format includes but is not limited to the following:

  • There is a lot of material to cover this semester. The key to success is to keep up and submit your work on time. Therefore, this course is not self-paced as an assignment is due every week. Assignments may be submitted early.
  • Does not require real-time chats.
  • Does require threaded discussions online.
  • The communication in the class will take place through Canvas emails, online threaded discussions and announcements posted on Canvas.
  • The course material is sequential.
  • There is a specific timeline for the completion of each assignment in this class.
  • By electing to take this class online, you are assuming responsibility for your own learning complete assignments in order to learn the course material.
  • This class does not require on-campus meetings.
  • Exams may be taken in the HCC Test Center.

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This course does not have a face-to-face, on-campus orientation.  There is a required orientation that you will complete online.

Course Requirements

  • Review the “Frequently Asked Question” section of the eLearning Homepage.
  • Online Discussions
  • 15-hour field experience
  • Cultural Quilt
  • Learner Motivation in Film
  • Classroom Observations

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Texts and Materials

Snowman, J. (2012) psychology applied to teach in, Boston: Houghton Mifflin

To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.

Review the Technical Information link.

The following plug-ins are required for this course:

  • Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.  NOTE: There have been reported difficulties when using internet Explorer with Canvas.
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don't have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Word Viewer, if you don't have the full version of Microsoft Word
  • Windows Media Player
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Flash
  • Quick Time
  • Real Player

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If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to Barbara Maestas,

Last updated on 09-May-14

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