News on AERA 2012 conference TEP Sig

After reviewing the many strong proposals we received, the TEP SIG has assembled three sessions for the annual meeting, with a special focus on promising and unconventional approaches for the teacher education classroom. We will offer two paper sessions, titled "Educative Experience in Teacher Education" and "Self‑Knowledge, Metacognition, and Motivation in Pre‑Service Teacher Education."  These sessions will present research on a wide range of innovative techniques for preparing pre‑service teachers, as well as enlightening theoretical perspectives on teaching educational psychology.  Our poster session is titled "Representations as Pedagogical Tools in Pre‑Service Teacher Education," and will examine effective techniques for the use of images and models to aid pre‑service teachers' learning. In addition to these sessions, we'll have our annual business meeting and reception, where attendees can learn about the SIG's recent activities, network with fellow educational psychologists, and enjoy rich conversations about current developments in the field.

We hope to see you in Vancouver, British Columbia, April 13-17, 2012

Open Access Educational Psychology

Members of TEP SIG have repeatedly expressed frustration with the ed psych texts currently available on the market. The quality of the material is generally high, but the books themselves are far too large for the typical one-semester course, and their cost has started to seem excessive (most current major texts are prices well in excess of $100). Instructors often end up skimming, or even omitting, many chapters, and students end up resenting paying for material that is scarcely used in the course.

A partial solution to these problems exists in the form of various open-access initiatives already available online. Three of these deserve special mention:

  1. The Teaching Educational Psychology Wiki (http://teachingedpsych.wikispaces.com). This website contains several hundred class activities, course assignments, and readings suitable for teaching introductory educational psychology. All are free to download and use; they are not under any restrictive copyright. The website is sponsored by TEP SIG and managed by Kelvin Seifert (a former chair of TEP SIG) and Zsuzsanna Zsabo. This fall, Zsuzsanna is planning to involve her graduate students in assessing the quality of the materials, and in recommending revisions as needed.

  1. Educational Psychology, 3rd edition, by Kelvin Seifert and Rosemary Sutton (http://cnx.org/content/col11302/latest/). This is a textbook about introductory educational psychology that is open-access—meaning that it is available free to download by anyone, without copyright restrictions. The book is a comprehensive textbook, and it has been “modularized” by the website managers, so that instructors and students can download short individual parts that are truly useful for their local needs. The text has been peer-reviewed and revised twice, and is currently published by Connexions, a major online, open-access publisher based at Rice University in Houston. Both of the authors are former chairs of TEP SIG.

  1. The Educational Psychology Adopters Group (email: edpsych.adopters@gmail.com). This is an online discussion group focused on further reviewing and revising the content of the Seifert/Sutton Educational Psychology text. Individual instructors within the group focus on particular themes or topics (e.g. information processing theory, motivation, or assessment of learning). They gather student feedback about the topic, recommend additional open-access material to strengthen it, and where necessary write new modules or materials to supplement or replace existing text. In addition to its periodic discussions, the group is applying for funding from the Hewlett Foundation to support the posting of open-access text content about ed psych. If you are interested in participating in the discussions, send an email request to edpsych.adopters@gmail.com.

Book review

Vygotsky and Creativity: A Cultural-historical Approach to Play, Meaning Making, and the Arts. Peter Lang Publishing. First printing edition (April, 2010).

Reviewed by Paige Lunde

Why have the arts all too often been neglected by leaders and scholars in our contemporary society? M. Cathrene Connery, Vera P. John-Steiner, and Ana Marhanovic-Shane have edited a meaningful, passionate and all-embracing book on the mediation between imagination and creativity. Their focus on the ideas of Russian psychologist, L.S. Vygotsky examines connections between past theory and future tools. More importantly, they focus on his framework for defining the association between feeling, imagination, and sign systems.

Art making, role-playing, and dance are the breath of children coming into understanding themselves and the world. And, lucky for us, Vygotsky was compelled to dedicate his life’s work to the psychology of art and how it related to child development. His theories focus on how play and learning awaken a variety of developmental processes that appear when the child is interacting with peers. He explores concepts of thought and speech, further defining connections between the way we receive and relate information in our developmental process.

How do people use art for communication? They communicate through experience. As Georgia O’Keefe said, “The meaning of a word to me is not as exact as the meaning of a color.” Connery seeks to examine how artists develop a visual language, introspectively reviewing her own painting through the lens of Vygotsky. His framework offers a psychological window of how the mind makes and reacts to meaning. Connery delves into that semiotic mediation that uses psychology and physical tools through art making.

Vygotsky asserts that creativity creates cultural meaning through social interactions. Seana Moran explores this process in her chapter entitled Commitment and Creativity: Transforming Experience into Art. She presents a study on writers and the ways they commit themselves to their literature and culture. She interestingly breaks down different genres – questioning the writer’s commitment to their environment. This valuable study highlights how people are not just consumers, but contributors of meaning.

In short, this book creates a picture for the arts throughout child development and takes a rich look at how student engagement enhances student imagination. The chapters speak to the idea that learning is inseparable from the act of creating, and supports committed educational theory and practice - always with the aim of reforming education through the arts.

Call for Editor --TEP Sig Newsletter

Call for Editor

Executive officers of the Teaching Educational Psychology Special Interest Group (TEP SIG) are accepting applications for the position of editor of Teaching Educational Psychology (TEP)The editor position is a three-year term.

Teaching Educational Psychology (TEP) is an online, peer-refereed journal devoted to increasing the shared knowledge base about the teaching of educational psychology to a variety of educational constituencies, including pre-service and in-service teachers, administrators, policy-makers, parents, and the public.  TEP is affiliated with the TEP SIG of the American Education Research Association and Division 15 of the American Psychological Association

TEP is published three times a year (fall, spring, summer) pending appropriate submissions. 

Deadline: January 31, 2012 or until Editor is named.

Qualification and requirements: Qualities needed for the position of editor or co-editor include a record of research related to the scholarship of teaching educational psychology and evidence of managerial skills to oversee the review and publication process.
Major responsibilities of the future editor or co-editors of TEP include
  • Communicating with and assisting authors throughout the publication process,
  • Making executive decisions regarding which manuscripts to publish,
  • Selecting a  pool of competent reviewers to reach conclusions and make decisions on manuscripts in a timely fashion
  • Overseeing and managing the journal website
  • providing a clear vision for the direction of the Journal

Qualified applicants should send email and copy of curriculum vitae to TEP@millersville.edu

Run for Program Chair & Treasurer

2012 Officer Slate Announced!

The following individuals have expressed willingness to serve the Teaching Educational Psychology SIG for the next year.  Please consider these individuals who have volunteered to run for the program chair and secretary-treasurer openings.

Program Chair (Term 2012‑2013)

Cynthia Bolton‑Gary:  Dr. Cynthia Bolton‑Gary is associate professor at the University of South Carolina Beaufort and serves as the Assessment/ Accreditation Coordinator for the Department of Education. Currently, Dr. Bolton‑Gary is the Treasurer / Secretary for TEP‑SIG. Her research interests include: educational psychology, innovative pedagogical strategies, motivation, and assessment.

Pat Haugh: Dr. Pat Haugh is assistant professor at West Virginia University.  Currently, Dr. Haugh is teaching educational psychology online to a cohort of graduate students. Her research interests include undergraduate autobiography, adult problem solving, and reading. 

Maria Oreshkina: Dr. Maria Oreshkina is assistant professor in the Education Department at the University of Scranton (PA). She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in educational psychology and middle childhood education. Dr. Oreshkina's research interests include the study of cognitive and metacognitive development in school children, preservice teacher's beliefs, and the study of learning and development from a socio‑cultural perspective.

Secretary - Treasurer (2012‑2013)

Henry Brzycki:  Dr. Henry Brzycki is Dean of the School of Education at American Public University.  His scholarly work includes investigations of the intersection of education and psychology, teaching educational psychology, and integrating positive psychology into K‑12 curricula. Dr. Brzycki has been a regular contributor to the AERA Annual Meeting and has served the TEP‑SIG for several years as Newsletter Editor.

Martha Strickland: Dr. Martha Strickland is assistant professor of education in the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education at Penn State University. She is currently teaching educational psychology and learning theory at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and she has been a regular contributor to the AERA Annual Meeting.  Dr. Strickland's research interest focuses on enhancing connections between teachers and immigrant/refugee students