The Most Important Psychological Concepts to Apply in the Classroom
[Science Daily and the APA]
In an effort to help teachers educate their students, a new report from the American Psychological Association outlines the 20 most important psychological concepts that can enhance elementary and secondary teaching and learning and offers tips on how to apply them in the classroom.
“Psychological science has much to contribute to enhancing teaching and learning in the classroom,” said Joan Lucariello, PhD, chair of the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education and a contributing author of the report. “Teaching and learning are intricately linked to social and behavioral factors of human development, including cognition, motivation, social interaction and communication.”
For instance, one of the principles outlined in the report makes clear that teachers’ expectations about their students can affect students’ motivation and learning outcomes. Most teachers’ expectations are based on students’ past performance and may be an accurate representation. In some cases, however, if an educator has an inaccurate perception of a student’s abilities and communicates lower expectations (verbally or nonverbally), it could lead the student to perform in ways that confirm the faulty expectations and adversely affect the student’s progress. To counteract this effect, the report recommends that teachers maintain high expectations of all students and check themselves regularly to make sure they are not treating students differently based on their expectations.
“Probably the best antidote to negative expectancy effects is to never give up on a student,” said the report, Top 20 Principles from Psychology for PreK–12 Teaching and Learning.
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