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Unit 4:

Psychological Foundations of
Education presents some of the
principles of psychology that are
relevant to learning and teaching. It
presents an alternative answer to the
problem of the bifurcation of general
and educational psychology in the
curriculum of teacher preparation.
While the solution is provisional
and has obvious imperfections, it is
offered in the hope that it may
stimulate discussion of the problem
and other solutions and/or explicit
justifications for past practice.
Key concepts discussed include
teachers’ attitudes and behavior, different
types of learning, technology in
education, forgetting and extinction, child
development, and intelligence
measurements. Also covered are the
assessment of educational achievement,
the social psychology of the classroom,
and education in urban schools.
Types of
Scientists and psychologists have
developed a number of different models
to understand the different ways that
people learn best. One popular theory, the
VARK model, identifies four primary
types of learners: visual, auditory,
reading/writing, and kinesthetic. Each
learning type responds best to a different
method of teaching.
1. Visual learners
best comprehend information by
visualizing relationships and ideas
Maps, charts, diagrams and even essays
work well for visual learners. Many visual
learners need quiet time to themselves to
study. They may speak fast and they may
prefer to work alone rather than in groups.
You may be a visual learner if …
Your notes are covered with drawings
You are good with remembering faces
but not names
You can spell well
You’d rather read a story than listen to it
You’re good with maps and directions
Study tips for visual learners:
Sit in the front of the classroom so you
can take notes off the board
Translate your notes into charts,
diagrams and lists
Use color coding to your advantage
Study for tests with flashcards
2. Auditory learners
Auditory learners are all ears. They tend
to prefer listening to information rather
than reading it or seeing it visually
Auditory learners may speak and read
slowly. They tend to be linear thinkers and
may repeat things they hear out loud.
You may be an auditory learner if …
You are easily distracted by noises
You have difficulty working quietly for
long periods of time
You are a good listener
You easily remember what others say
Study tips for auditory learners:
Read aloud when possible
Join a study group in order to discuss
ideas with other students
When using flashcards, give responses
out loud
Utilize videos for listening
Record lectures for reviewing notes
3. Kinesthetic learners
They the most hands-on learning type.
They learn best by doing and may get
fidgety if forced to sit for long periods of
time. They do best when they can
participate in activities or solve problems
in a hands-on manner. They tend to have
good coordination and best remember
what they do.
You may be an kinesthetic learner if …
You excel at sports, art or drama
You enjoy building, making or
You have trouble sitting still
You fiddle with objects while thinking
Study tips for kinesthetic learners:
 Study in blocks of time with frequent
Walk around while reviewing your notes
Trace words with your fingers as you study
Use flashcards, games or activities to study
Toss a tennis ball around while you’re
4. Reading & writing learners
Reading and writing learners are extremely
comfortable with the written word.
They prefer to consume information by
reading texts and can further absorb
information by condensing and rephrasing it.
The traditional college lecture and note-
taking environment works well for the
reading/writing learning style.
You may be a reading/writing learner if …
You love making lists
You enjoy reading and writing
You prefer to have written directions
Study tips for reading/writing learners:
Review your class notes afterwards
Use printouts of presentations to follow along
Seek resources in articles, e-books and
Rewrite ideas in your own words
Translate visual information into statements
Howard Gardner of Harvard has
identified seven distinct intelligences.
This theory has emerged from recent
cognitive research and "documents the
extent to which students possess
different kinds of minds and therefore
learn, remember, perform, and
understand in different ways," according
to Gardner (1991).
1. Visual-Spatial Intelligence
Strengths: Visual and spatial judgment
People who are strong in visual-
spatial intelligence are good at
visualizing things. These individuals
are often good with directions as well
as maps, charts, videos, and pictures.
Enjoys reading and writing
Good at putting puzzles together
Good at interpreting pictures, graphs, and
Enjoys drawing, painting, and the visual
Recognizes patterns easily
Potential Career
2. Linguistic-Verbal Intelligence
Strengths: Words, language, and writing
People who are strong in linguistic-verbal
intelligence are able to use words well,
both when writing and speaking. These
individuals are typically very good at
writing stories, memorizing information,
and reading.
Good at remembering written and spoken
Enjoys reading and writing
Good at debating or giving persuasive
Able to explain things well
Often uses humor when telling stories
Potential Career
3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
Strengths: Analyzing problems and
mathematical operations
People who are strong in logical-
mathematical intelligence are good at
reasoning, recognizing patterns, and logically
analyzing problems. These individuals tend
to think conceptually about numbers,
relationships, and patterns.
Excellent problem-solving skills
Enjoys thinking about abstract ideas
Likes conducting scientific
Good at solving complex
Potential Career Choices:
Computer programmer
4. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
Strengths: Physical movement, motor control
Those who have high bodily-kinesthetic
intelligence are said to be good at body
movement, performing actions, and physical
control. People who are strong in this area
tend to have excellent hand-eye coordination
and dexterity.
Good at dancing and sports
Enjoys creating things with his or her
Excellent physical coordination
Tends to remember by doing, rather
than hearing or seeing
Potential Career
5. Musical Intelligence
Strengths: Rhythm and music
People who have strong musical
intelligence are good at thinking in
patterns, rhythms, and sounds. They
have a strong appreciation for music
and are often good at musical
composition and performance.
Enjoys singing and playing musical
Recognizes musical patterns and tones
Good at remembering songs and melodies
Rich understanding of musical structure,
rhythm, and notes
Potential Career Choices:
Music teacher
6. Interpersonal Intelligence
Strengths: Understanding and relating to
other people
Those who have strong interpersonal
intelligence are good at understanding and
interacting with other people. These
individuals are skilled at assessing the
emotions, motivations, desires, and
intentions of those around them.
Good at communicating verbally
Skilled at nonverbal communication
Sees situations from different
Creates positive relationships with others
Good at resolving conflict in groups
Potential Career Choices:
7. Intrapersonal Intelligence
Strengths: Introspection and self-reflection
Individuals who are strong in intrapersonal
intelligence are good at being aware of their
own emotional states, feelings, and
motivations. They tend to enjoy self-reflection
and analysis, including daydreaming, exploring
relationships with others, and assessing their
personal strengths.
Good at analyzing his or her strengths
and weaknesses
Enjoys analyzing theories and ideas
Excellent self-awareness
Clearly understands the basis for his or
her own motivations and feelings
Potential Career Choices:
8. Naturalistic Intelligence
Strengths: Finding patterns and relationships to nature
Naturalistic is the most recent addition to Gardner’s
theory and has been met with more resistance than his
original seven intelligences. According to Gardner,
individuals who are high in this type of intelligence are
more in tune with nature and are often interested in
nurturing, exploring the environment, and learning about
other species. These individuals are said to be highly
aware of even subtle changes to their environments.
Interested in subjects such as botany,
biology, and zoology
Good at categorizing and cataloging
information easily
May enjoy camping, gardening, hiking, and
exploring the outdoors
Doesn’t enjoy learning unfamiliar topics that
have no connection to nature
Potential Career Choices:
Another factor that makes your
student differ from one another is
learning style. Learning style is the way
a person process, internalize, and
studies new and challenging material.
Dunn and Dunn present different learning
styles according to five (5) groups of
stimuli. (Dunn, 2000)
Professors Rita and Kenneth Dunn have done years
and years of research and writing about their observations
in the classroom, and the bulk of it showed up in the
1970s. What they saw was that some students like
learning alone, while others like having the teacher
floating nearby at all times. The hypothesis, that
environmental, emotional, sociological, and physical
elements contribute to the learning environment, and
therefore to different students' individual ways of learning.
And for the Dunns, the takeaway was that teachers ought
to provide a range of strategies to address all those styles
and make learning more efficient
1. Environmental
The environmental strand refers to these
elements: lighting, sound, temperature,
and seating arrangement. For example,
some people need to study in a cool and
quiet room, and others cannot focus
unless they have music playing and it is
warm (sound and temperature elements)
2. Emotional
This strand includes the following
elements: motivation, persistence,
responsibility, and structure. For example,
some people must complete a project
before they start new one, and others
work best on multiple tasks at the same
time (persistence elements)
3. Sociological
The sociological strand represents elements to
how individuals learn in association with other
people: (a) alone or with peers, (b) an authoritative
adult or with a collegial colleague, and (c) learning
in a variety of ways or in a routine patterns. For
example, a number of people need to work alone
when tackling a new and difficult subject, while
others learn best when working with collegues
(learning alone or with peers element)
4. Physiological
The elements in this strand are: perceptual
(auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic), time
of day energy levels, intake (eating or not
while studying) or mobility (sitting still or
moving around). For example, many people
refer to themselves as night owls or early
birds because they function well at night or in
the morning (time of the day element).
5. Psychological
 The elements to this strand corresponds to the
following types of psychological processing:
hemispheric, impulsive or reflective, and global
versus analytic. The hemispheric element refers
to left and right brain processing modes; the
impulsive versus reflective style describes how
people leap before thinking and others crutinize
the situation before moving an inch.
Global learners
They prefer to work with an
environment with soft lighting and
informal seating.
People with this processing style
need breaks, snacking, mobility
and sound.
Analytic learners
They prefer to work in an
environment with bright light and
formal seating.
They work best with few or no
interruptions, in a quiet environment,
or little or no snacking.
What is Temperament?
Temperament describes individual styles or the “how” of
behavior. These personal characteristics can be seen when
children are playing with friends, doing their math
assignment, or watching television. We all recognize children
who are always on the go, as compared to others who move
at a slow and deliberate pace. We also know children who
are overly intense, who have a short fuse, and who are
easily irritated and upset. Still other children are shy, uneasy
in new situations and with new people.
Keirsey stated that there are
four types of temperament.
Understanding the different types
of temperament is important to
determine how we should deal
with students in our classroom.
The different types can be
characterized by the following:
Sensible, Adaptable, Active (SP)
33% people have this
temperament. They have a
combination of sensate qualities
and perceiver qualities, and are
usually very tuned in to the here
and now.
They like doing and playing
today, and not being too worried
about tomorrow. They are
spontaneous and easygoing.
They like to get involved in new
and interesting activities.
School can be boring for the SP,
if it means sitting still and doing a
lot of written work. But school can
be fun for them if that’s where the
“action” is.
Sensible, Decision-making (SJ)
30% people have this
temperament. They have a
combination of sensate qualities
and judging qualities. They are
usually the dependable and
responsible ones.
The SJ is very service-oriented and are
good “team players.” They like situations that
have been spelled-out and are well
organized. SJ’s like institutions like school,
teams, church and family.
They don’t mind step-by-step work, and
they like and do well in school (partly
because most teachers are SJ’s
Enthusiastic, Insightful (NF)
22% people are NFs. They
have intuition combined with
feeling qualities and are
generally very good with
people and language.
The NF is usually very enthusiastic and
warm. They are very oriented toward
cooperative things, and stay away from
competitive things. They usually have very
strong feelings about things and people –
they either really like them or really don’t.
NFs are very personal and thrive in
supportive, creative, and harmonious
Logical, Ingenious (NT)
15% people have this temperament.
They have a combination of intuition and
a thinking style, resulting in someone
who always needs to know “why.” NT’s
are less interested in how things have
been done, and more interested in how
they can improve and in changing them.
They are very imaginative, and are
very comfortable in the “world of
They like to be good at things, and
always want to be learning. They can
appear unemotional, and can be
accused of having an “attitude”,
which is usually not the case.
There is a close relationship between a
learner’s personality and his/ her learning style. A
learner’s personality determines the ways a
learner controls his/ her emotions and feelings
during the learning process. According to Myers-
Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) an instrument widely
used to discover the learning preferences of
individuals, there are four different personality
types of learners. Each of them differ in their
learning style and have a different approach
towards learning.
a) Extroverts: Extroverts feel
energized in the presence of people
and while interacting with them.
Extroverts also enjoy working with
others and sharing ideas with them.
They believe that better output can be
delivered if they work in as a part of a
 They also feel that learning together
with other group members proves to
be more effective than learning
alone. They learn effectively through
concrete experiences, information
from the outside world and
relationships with others.
b) Introvert: Introverts on the other
hand prefer processing information
or ideas in their own minds. They
seem to function better by studying
and working on their own. They
learn effectively while handling
individual and independent
c) Sensing (or sequential): This
type of learner takes-in
information and arranges it in a
sequential way. He/ she tends to
organize his/ her information
through the use of the five
Sensing learners learn more
effectively from observable
facts and figures. The strength
of such learners lies in the fact
that they are willing to process
information in a systematic
d) Intuitive: Intuitive learners
take more interest in theories
and possibilities. Often they
make good guesses without
following the sequential steps
of learning.
Intuitive learners learn more
effectively through their deep
insights, using their imagination
and their command over general
concepts instead of going to the
depth of the matter. Their strength
lies in their ability for
 Learning Process: Kolb's
(1984) ‘Experiential Learning
Style Theory’ is typically
represented by a four STAGES
learning cycle in which the
learner 'touches all the bases‘.
Kolb identified two separate learning activities
that occur in the learning cycle:
1. Perception (the way we take-in information,
our emotional response, or how we think or feel
about it); and
2. Processing (how we deal with information,
how we approach a task). This is represented
on the diagram as two axis dividing the cycle
into four quadrants.
to Learn
Teachers and parents recognize the power of
motivation in enhancing learning outcomes and helping
students to achieve their best at school. A motivated
student might do his or her homework without being
asked to, go above and beyond the requirements of
assignments and participate in classroom discussions
without being prompted. More importantly, he or she
may be more able to view a poor exam result as a
learning opportunity instead of as an academic failure.
So what motivates students to learn and how can we
encourage them?
There are two main types of
motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsically
motivated individuals learn because of a desire that
comes from within. Extrinsic motivation is when an
outside force is involved in encouraging students to
learn. Whereas adults are more autonomous and
can make decisions about what they want to study,
children are often forced to learn whatever is in the
school curriculum.
This can mean they are not always intrinsically
motivated to master a specific subject and may rely
on extrinsic motivation, including rewards or
negative consequences based on performance.
However, there are ways to help foster more intrinsic
motivation in kids. See below for a list of ideas for
teachers and learn more in our posts on the
importance of motivation and motivating kids to
Ideas for fostering motivation and
1. One step at a time
2. Let students choose
3. Praise effort over result
4. Focus attention through engagement
5. Review progress and set realistic
Discipline and
The Teacher
and Policy-
A Deep-Dive Look Into Educator Engagement in
 We often hear about bringing teachers to the table
in policy discussion, but what does policy
involvement and advocacy look like? How some
teachers have effectively engaged in the policy
process and is intended to encourage other
educators to engage in similar activities and
policymakers to recognize their value? It is
organized by the types of policy engagement
experienced by STOYs and Finalists. These are:
 Informing and Shaping Federal Policy
 Engaging Educator Colleagues in the
Policy Process
 Working With Policymakers to Craft
 Effectively Engaging With State
 Hybrid Roles: Bridging Policy
Development and the Classroom
 Advancing Teacher Leadership Through
Policy at the National and International
 Shaping Policy Through Relationships
with Unions and Organizations
 Educators Serving as Policymakers
 Supporting Engagement in Policy
Through Teacher Leadership
Including teachers in the development of
policy is as important, if not more important,
for gaining buy-in as asking teachers to
weigh in on the value or effectiveness of a
policy after it has been developed. The
interviews and vignettes show that we have
much to learn about engaging with
Too many times, educators go about
outreach to policymakers in ways that are
counterproductive, frustrating both parties.
These insights provide local, state and
national leaders, as well as teachers
themselves, with models of what it can look
like when teachers work to influence policy
as well as how those opportunities could be
expanded and improved.
Key lessons learned:
 In order to be truly effective in working to
shape policy, educators need some release
time from the classroom in order to interact
directly with policymakers;
 School administrators need help in
understanding the value that these
interactions can bring to their schools;
We need cultural shifts. School culture
needs to embrace the idea that working on
policy is an important part of an educator’s
Educators who engage in policy must also
feel supported by their colleagues in order
to stay engaged in the policy work.
“Every student can
learn, just not on the
same day or the same
- George Evans