TEP SIG leaders were asked to respond to three (3) questions: 
(1.) What is the best part of teaching educational psychology?
(2.) What is new in your professional life/career?  New promotions, grants,
centers/institutes involvement, Race to the Top involvement, Job openings in your department, et al. 
(3.) What is your best idea(s) for how educational psychology can inform, or contribute to the reauthorization of ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act)?

Our TEP SIG is thankful to have such thoughtful and caring members, and Dr. Sandra Deemer’s responses to these three questions characterize the views of our members.  We are fortunate to have Dr. Deemer’s leadership vision shaping the future of our TEP SIG. Congratulations on a new book contract – we all look forward to your scholarly contribution to our own work and lives.

Dr. Sandra Deemer has much to say about teaching educational psychology that will resonate with our members:
1.  What is the best part of teaching educational psych?  Share your personal highs, successes, joys in teaching this semester or over your career.
I believe that the best part relates to mentoring new teacher candidates as they begin their courses and fieldwork related to their eventual teacher certification.  At Millersville, our educational psychology courses are at the beginning of the course sequence so our students have their first early field experience while taking my courses.  This is a time of great anxiety for some as they consider whether teaching is the profession for them.  I enjoy aiding them through these developmental processes and keeping the anxiety at a healthy level.  
In terms of the content that I teach, I enjoy exposing students to the “whys” behind the teaching decisions that they make or will make in the teaching profession.  Many times after we discuss a topic, I will hear students begin to understand the actions of their previous teachers.  Even if some of these memories are negative (e.g., why the teacher should not have required students to compete against each other for grades), students learn a great deal as they analyze their own experiences through the lens of educational psychology.
2.  What is new in your professional life/career?  New promotions, grants, centers/institutes involvement, Race to the Top involvement, Job openings in your department, et al.
I have just secured a book contract with Kendall Hunt Publishing to write a book focusing on how secondary teachers recognize the tenets of achievement goal theory in their classrooms.  I will be interviewing outstanding secondary teachers as I construct various chapters on each of the content areas represented in high schools today.  I am hoping that this publication will inform both preservice and in-service educators about the practices of outstanding art, math, science, social studies, English Foreign Language, and Technology Education in our local high schools.
3.  What is your best idea(s) for how educational psychology can inform, or contribute to the reauthorization of ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act).
Related to my thoughts to the second question, I think that the theories in educational psychology have the capability to help us understand how teachers negotiate the accountability systems in existence today and what may in fact deter them from designing creative lessons.  
Thank you Sandra!

Other member news
Henry G. Brzycki, Ph.D., in addition to teaching motivation strategies and positive psychology to K-16 classroom teachers has founded The Center for The Self in The Schools, where he hopes to put a stop to bullying and inhuman behavior.  The Center takes an interdisciplinary view and offers teacher professional development workshops, superintendent and principal coaching, student empowerment programs for grades 5-12 for whole school, grade level, or classroom involvement.  For more information please contact Henry at: henry@brzyckigroup.com; or 814-234-2545.
Stacy DeZutter, Ph.D., is currently conducting research on the culture of college-level writing instruction.  In addition, she has articles in press on distributed creativity and on teaching as an improvisational profession.  Stacy is the service learning faculty mentor at Millsaps College, where she teaches courses in human development, creativity, peace education, and writing.
Zsuzsanna Szabo, Ph.D., moved over the summer to Poughkeepsie, NY accepting a position as Director of Graduate Teacher Education Programs at Marist College and enjoys teaching graduate education courses again. Has article in press at Technology, Pedagogy and Education.
Kelvin Seifert, Ph.D., has recently completed an extensive review of research in early childhood, socio-emotional development that has broad implications for those of us who teach educational psychology as well as for policy makers considering reauthorization metrics.  Dr. Seifert’s abstract is reproduced for your review and interest:

Abstract: Research about Young Children: What Makes It Useful?
By Kelvin Seifert, University of Manitoba
                Early childhood education has had a long affiliation with the field of child study and child development research.  Yet developmental researchers and early childhood teachers have both tended to overlook the extent to which the affiliation is really based on only part of developmental psychology—the part related to children’s social life and development. Classrooms for the young are especially social places, so research meant to illuminate learning processes in such classrooms necessarily must include strong attention to social processes of all kinds.
                As a result of this reality, certain areas of developmental research (for example, “brain” research) cannot really give very specific or helpful advice about how young children learn. Other areas (for example, cognitive development research or information processing research) can be specific and helpful, but only if placed or envisioned in the complex social contexts of early childhood classroom life. Still other areas (for example, research on pretend play, bilingualism, or even theory of mind) have very direct classroom implications because of the frankly social issues on which they focus.
                There is much research evidence that teachers and parents often realize the priority of the social in early childhood classrooms. This insight needs to be communicated more fully to interpreters of developmental research, and applied more deeply to their interpretations, to reduce misinterpretations of developmental research by teachers and parents, and so that developmental researchers can focus their support for early childhood education more effectively.
Note: The above abstract is for a review chapter in submission for the following:
Saracho, O. & Spodek, B. Eds., (in press). Handbook of research on the education of young children, 3rd edition. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Call for Submissions to tep winter Newsletter

Please consider writing/submitting short news items that may include: new developments in the field, your teaching successes using a best practice, career information (such as promotions or new leadership appointments), new eLinks to important and useful websites, etc. We are interested in your comments regarding bullying in our society and schools; reauthorization of NCLB; among other topics.  Contact:  Henry G. Brzycki, Ph.D.: hbrzycki@aol.com.

Book review – new feature

The Nature and Nurture of  Learners: From the Perspective of Educational Psychology
Author: Meryl Englander
Author House Press, (2010)
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
A Book Review by Greg S. Goodman                                                                      
                Meryl Englander has accrued fifty plus years as a high school teacher, supervisor of student teachers, conducting and publishing related research, and teaching educational psychology at Indiana University.   Based upon these experiences, he has compiled a text for teachers that identifies and defines the underlying psychological concepts, and proposes a pedagogy for developing the skills necessary for successful teaching. To achieve these lofty goals, Englander has sectioned the text into five parts.
                Part one is titled The Science of Education and Human Nature as the Rationale for Educational Goals.  Englander observes that humans are born with billions of individual neurons that connect the brain with the rest of the body.  He proposes that the individual’s development of these neurons constitutes education.  Visual images of cortical atrophy are presented to confirm the importance of experience for brain development.   The critical factor in learning and behaving is the quality of the individual’s brain that is composed of three constructs: the intellect, motives, and sense of self.  The three constructs function as a system. Individuals interact with the environment and this process is the means for developing the constructs.   The quality of the environment is the critical factor in the productivity of the individual.  According to Englander, the educational environment is the essential element in the brain’s development. 
                Part two analyzes the complexities of intelligence in terms of the interaction of thinking processes and the complexity of knowledge with respect to a variety of modes of representation.  A solid collection of information is presented concerning knowledge construction from the environment through the brain’s context and neural systems.  Each learner is unique with respect to the levels of development and personal style thus mandating a variety of teaching processes.         
                 Part three addresses motivation as it pertains to both learning and behavior.  Like the intellect, motivation is complex in that humans are driven by as many as twenty different motives, each of which triggers a variety of goals.   Englander observes that motives such as negative self-efficacy inhibit both learning and behavior.   Unfortunately, much of the data for developing particular motives are presented from the perspective of out-dated research perspectives, i.e. a 1961 McClelland publication.
                Part three also includes some solid suggestions for enhancing motivation. Connections are made through the use of various activities such as collegial studying and extracurricular experiences to build solid tools for developing motives.  Englander discusses other major understandings of motivational theory such as learned helplessness, behavior modification, and the use of feedback.
                Part four brings into focus Plato’s fundamental dictate: know thy self.  The text points out that between 1948 and 1968 over 2,000 studies were conducted on the system of self.  Sadly the author chooses an example of race discrimination to demonstrate the ways in which identify is formulated.   His inclusion of a widely reviled racial epithet is inappropriate.
                Eight independent dimensions of self-concept are identified and described.   Individuals define themselves in one or more terms.  The list includes academic competence, kinesthetic competence,    affiliation, power to influence others, destiny control, morality, image, and cultural pride.  Evidence is presented that indicate individuals differ in terms of self description and importance of each.  The impact of one’s sense of self on learning and behavior indicates that teachers need to give attention to its development.  
                Part five contains two chapters devoted to overt behavior.  In the first chapter the astute research of Pianta and Hamre (2009) focuses on the importance of emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support for the creation of a positive climate for learner achievement.                 
               Chapter eleven deals with the issue of responding to undesired behavior.  This issue, if unresolved, is the teacher’s nemesis.  In answering the foundational question of what to do, Englander accurately concludes that punishment is an over-utilized and ineffective tool for developing responsibility and controlling future behavior.  We are better advised to heed his example of Alfie Kohn’s advice listed at the end of the chapter: the environment of the classroom and the culture that the learners and the teacher ascribe to are the major factors in determining the behavioral outcomes of the shareholders. 
                The final two chapters deal with the issue of assessment: The Nature and Importance of Assessment.  From the perspective of the media and political arena, test scores are critical.  However, the value of assessment depends on how various measures are constructed, interpreted, and used.  The details of authentic measurement are explored.  The chapter, Assessing the Educational Enterprise, investigates the development of a testing program to identify individual development and also measures by which we can assess educational programs and communication among the involved individuals.
              The Nature and Nurture of Learners is a cogent assembly of the principle aspects of the art and science of educational psychology as they apply to education.  The focus is on the interaction of the individual’s active brain with the environment.  This text can serve as a good resource for both pre-service and practicing teachers as they use Englander’s questions and exercises to consider how learning can be promoted.  This book is possibly overly ambitious in its goal: “to initiate the underlying needed skills of our teachers.”  Teachers need the skills and knowledge presented; however, this reviewer questions the effectiveness of such a book upon the intended audience.  The poor quality of the text’s illustrations and the use of dated examples; such as, discussing ‘Black English’ rather than Ebonics are detractions.   
1) To subscribe to TEP SIG listserve, send a message to: listserv@listserv.aera.net. The body of the message should contain the following:  ),
2) Check out the online journal, Teaching Educational Psychology http://www.teachingeducpsych.org/
3) Use the website of resources for teaching undergraduate educational psychology http://teachingedpsych.wikispaces.org
4) Post comments or a new discussion topic on our new TEP SIG blog:  http://tepsig.blogspot.com.
5) ASCD Whole Child Initiative: This initiative is of relevance to TEP members in that the whole child/socio-emotional model of education is central to our teaching.

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