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Psychological Foundations of Education - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124801509, 9781483258164

Psychological Foundations of Education

1st Edition

Learning and Teaching

Authors: B. Claude Mathis John W. Cotton Lee Sechrest
eBook ISBN: 9781483258164
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st January 1970
Page Count: 796
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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. This text should have a variety of uses in classes where students are preparing for teaching. It was written specifically for those situations in which the prospective teacher is introduced to psychology through a one- or two-semester integrated sequence.

Table of Contents


1. Psychology and Education

What Is Psychology?

The Purposes of Psychological Study

How Psychological Knowledge Grows

A Modern View of the Moon Illusion

What Is Educational Psychology?


Suggested Readings


2. The Teacher and the Class

Teachers' Attitudes about Behavior

The Role Characteristics of the American Teacher

The Personality of the Teacher

Learning in the Classroom and Effective Teaching


Suggested Readings


3. Learning: The Acquisition of New Responses

Acquiring Information or Developing Habits?


Motivation and Learning

All-or-None Learning versus Gradual Learning

The Problem

Discrimination Learning


The Discrimination Learning Paradigm

Paired-Associates Learning


Some Typical Reinforcements

Secondary Reinforcers

Behavior Modification: Reinforcement Principles in Human Behavior

Effect of Amount of Reinforcement on Speed of Response

Effect of Amount of Reinforcement on Quality of Performance

Delay of Reinforcement

Delay of Informative Feedback

Latent Learning

Response Prompting

Stimulus Generalization

Transfer of Training

Definition of Transfer of Training

Effects of Stimulus and Response Similarity upon Transfer

Effects of Number of Trials during Training upon Transfer

Transfer of Structure-Advanced Organizers

Learning to Learn and Learning Sets

Several Aspects of Verbal Learning

Difficulty of Learning as a Function of Task Length

Mnemonic Devices

Effect of Degree of Meaningfulness upon Learning

Incidental Learning

Effects of Similarity within Parts of a List

Thinking and Problem Solving

The Mediation Hypothesis

A Representative Experiment on Problem Solving

Reversal versus Nonreversal Shifts as Related to Mediational Responses 99

Transfer of Mediating Responses in Complex Problems


Discovery Methods and Learning by Rules

A Model of School Learning


Suggested Readings


4. Learning and the Technology of Education

Automated Instruction and Programmed Learning

The Programming of Instruction

Programmed Instruction and the Learner

Defining Objectives in Learning

Learning: Theory and Application

Computer-Assisted Instruction

Technology and Innovations in the Curriculum


Mathematics Instruction

Instruction in Other Areas

Science, Technology, and Education


Suggested Readings


5. Forgetting and Extinction: The Elimination of Behavior


Forgetting as a Function of Time since Learning

Effects of Completeness of Learning upon Forgetting

General Effects of Massing and Distribution of Practice


Other Effects of Distributed Practice

Meaningfulness and Retention

Retention of Classroom Learning

Different Measures of Forgetting

Savings in Relearning from Previous Learning

Means of Maximizing Recall

Interference Theory: Proactive and Retroactive Inhibition

Immediate (Short-Term) Memory

Two-Process Theory


Comparison of Extinction and Forgetting

Spontaneous Recovery and Interference Theory

Successive Acquisitions and Extinctions

Partial Reinforcement Effects

Frustration and Partial Reinforcement

Some Principles of Response Elimination, with Hints for Classroom Application

Effect of Habit Reversal upon Learning Sets


Appendix to Chapter 5

Suggested Readings


6. Thinking and Concept Formation

René Descartes

John Locke

Contemporary Views of Thinking

Problem Solving

Creativity and Problem Solving

Concept Learning

Stimulus Generalization and Concepts

Efficient Learning of Concepts

Concept Attainment in the Classroom


Suggested Readings


7. The Physical Basis of Behavior

The Physical Organization of Behavior

The Neuron

The Myelin Sheath

The Nerve Impulse

The "All-or-None" Principle of Nerve Conduction

The Synapse

The Eye

The Ear

Taste and Smell


The Central Nervous System

The Spinal Cord

The Brain

The Autonomic Nervous System

The Central Nervous System and Behavior

Brain Stimulation and Learning

Sensation and Perception


Suggested Readings


8. Education and the Atypical Child

Incidence of Exceptional Children and Youth

Visual Problems

Auditory Problems

Speech Impairment

Motor Impairments and Special Health Problems

Cerebral Palsy

Other Crippling Conditions


General Health Problems

Mental Retardation

Psychoneurological Learning Disability

The Emotionally Disturbed Child


Suggested Readings


9. Normative and Biological Studies of Child Development

Behavioral Development during the First Year of Life

Responses Available at Birth

Normative Data

Gesell's Findings for Infants under One Year

A Comparison of Infant Humans and Infant Chimpanzees

Children's Behavior One Year and Over

Children from 18 Months through Four Years of Age

Children from Five through Ten Years of Age

Youth from 11 through 16 Years of Age

An Application of Gesell's Techniques to Classroom Procedures

Typical Growth Patterns


A Note on Research Methods: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Studies


Height and Weight at Two and at Maturity

Psychological Consequences of Different Growth Rates

Changes in Body Proportion

Other Aspects of Growth

Muscular Development and Activity

An Example of Developmental Norms with an Indication of Variability

Children's Sleep

Effects of Impoverishment of the Environment

Restriction of Experience in Young Animals

Effects of Delayed Schooling

Effects of Unusually Early Training

A Modern Assessment of Readiness

A Summary of the Comparative Effects of Age and Experience upon Development

General Notions

Behavior Largely Dependent on Age for Its Development

Behavior Largely Dependent on Training

Suggested Readings


10. Psychological Processes of Development

Development of Language Behavior

The Thought Processes of Children

Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development in Children

The Sensory-Motor, Preverbal Stage: The First Eighteen Months of Life

The Stage of Preoperational Representation: Eighteen Months to Six Years

The Stage of Concrete Operations: Seven to Eleven Years

The Stage of Formal Operations: Twelve to Fifteen Years

Some Research on Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

Application of Piaget's Theory to Teaching

Development of Emotional Responses in the Young

Sex Differences

High School Interests and Activities


Suggested Readings


11. Motivation and Learning Theory

Hunger Affects Effortful Behavior in the Rat

Thirst Drive

Sexual Drive—Its Biological Aspects

Human Sexual Drive

Activity Drive

Curiosity Drive

Other Drives

Pain Stimulus Removal Drives

Frustration Drive

Secondary Drives

Conditioned Fear Drive

The Concepts of Threat and Stress


Conditioned Appetitive Drives

Abundancy Motivation

Achievement Motivation

A Hierarchy of Human Needs


Suggested Readings


12. Motivation and Schooling

Relation between Affiliation Need and Academic Achievement

Use of Prestige as a Motive for Study

Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Motivation

Effectance—The Drive for Competence

Achievement Motivation in the Classroom

Level of Aspiration

Motivational Aspects of Knowledge of Results (Informative Feedback)

Praise, Reproof, and Discipline

Contingent Reinforcement versus Teacher Warmth:Contradictory Principles?

School Marks as Motivating Stimuli

An Alternative to School Marks: Token Reinforcers

Fruitful Uses and Limitations of Competition

Benefits of Having Students Work Together

Learning Factors in Group Situations

Text Anxiety and Defensiveness

Intellectual Interests and Their Relation to School Activity


Suggested Readings


13. Personality

Dimensions and Structure of Personality


The Structure of Personality

Assessment of Personality

Self-Report on Personality

Report on Stimuli

Report by Observer

Symbolic Stimuli

Behavioral Observation

Some Common Personality Tests and Devices

Genetics and Personality

Physiological Bases for Personality

Constitution and Personality

Physiology and Emotion

Development of Personality

Adjustment and Failures of Adjustment

The Modification of Inadequate Patterns of Adjustment

Personality and Psychology


Suggested Readings


14. Intelligence Measurements and Their Uses

Scope of Intelligence Testing

Types of Intelligence Tests

The Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.)

Variability of I.Q. Scores

Correlation—A Statistical Measure Essential to the Study of Intelligence

Scoring Problems with Adolescents and Adults

Criteria of a Good Intelligence Test

Direct Measurement, Correctness of Answer Key, and Objectivity of Scoring

Relative Independence of Special Experience

Reasoning Rather Than Knowledge or Memory

Intelligence, Not Achievement Tests

A Measure of Mental Products, Not Processes

Limitations of Intelligence Tests

Factor Structure and Special Abilities

General Intelligence versus Many Abilities

Creativity—One Example of a Special Ability?

Evidence for a Relationship between I.Q. and Learning Ability

Determiners of Intelligence: Heredity and Environment

Heredity: Its Genetic Basis

Genetic Influence in Intelligence

Environmentally Produced Shifts in Intelligence Scores

Intelligence as Related to Experience and Maturation

Growth in Childhood

Changes in Adults

Variability of I.Q's from Test to Retest

Intelligence Scores in Ethnic and National Groups

Some Facts about Ethnic Group Differences

Are Mean I.Q. Differences among Different Ethnic Groups Eradicable?

Are Intelligence Tests Socially Biased?

Three Explanations for Social-Class Differences in Intelligence Scores

Possible Cultural Bias

Producing Culturally Fair Tests

The Practical Value of Intelligence Testing

Prediction of Academic Success

Intellectual Requirements of Different Occupations


Suggested Readings


15. The Assessment of Educational Achievement

Some Terms Distinguished

Evaluation and Measurement

Discrimination and Mastery

Tests of Educational Achievement

Theory of Testing: True Scores and Error Scores

The Information Provided by Test Scores

The Reliability of Test Scores

Definition of Reliability

Coefficients of Stability—Test-Retest Correlations

Coefficients of Equivalence

Effect of Length of Test on Reliability

The Validity of Test Scores

Content Validity

Criterion-Related Validity

Construct Validity

Relation between Reliability and Validity

Essay Testing

The Distinction between Essay Tests and Objective Tests

Within-Reader Reliability

Inter-Reader Reliability

Increasing Reliability by Adding Readers

Increasing Reliability by Having a Computer Score Essays

Validity of Essay Tests as Compared with Objective Tests

Relation of Factor Analysis to Validity Studies

Suggestions to Teachers Who Use Essay Tests

Rules for Developing Essay Test Questions

Rules for Evaluating Essay Test Papers

Time Limits and Test Performance

Item Analysis, Selection, and Revision

The Use of Test and Evaluation Procedures

Evaluation of an Individual Pupil

Other Evaluations

Misuse of Achievement Tests

Standardized Tests of Achievement

Implications of Achievement Tests for Psychology in General

Growth Curves of Achievement

Need for Bench Marks in Achievement Testing

A Nationwide Assessment Program

Achievement Growth as a Function of Subject Matter

Prediction of Achievement Scores

Predicting from Aptitude Scores

Predicting from Other Achievement Scores

Variations of Achievement Test Scores in Different School Systems

Rural versus Urban Schools

Socioeconomic Factors

Differences between Student Achievement in the United States and Great Britain

A Twelve-Nation Comparison of Mathematical Achievement

Possible Changes in School Achievement in Succeeding Generations

Relation of Testing and Evaluation Methods to Teaching

Three Points of View: Conventional Subject Matter, Test Theory, and Behavioral Objectives Approaches

Methods of Course Content Selection

Standards for Adequacy of Course Planning and Presentation

Standards for Adequacy of Student Performance


Suggested Readings


16. The Social Psychology of the Classroom

The Classroom as a Social Situation

Reinforcement and Learning in the Social Situation

Competition for Reinforcement

Implicit Reinforcement of Responses


Development of Attitudes


Social Influence on Behavior


Social Facilitation of Behavior

The Nature of Group Membership


Communication, Persuasion, and Attitude Change

Improvisation and Attitude Change

Group Atmosphere

Group-Centered Processes

Democratic-Authoritarian Leadership


Suggested Readings


17. Urban Schools and Learning

Equal Education—The Coleman Report

Head Start

Higher Horizons—New York City

Compensatory Education and Cultural Deprivation

The Urban School—Some Observations


Suggested Readings


Author Index

Statistical Index

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1970
1st January 1970
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

B. Claude Mathis

John W. Cotton

Lee Sechrest

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