Evaluating Discipline-based Goals and Educational Outcomes in Developmental PsychologyAnne L. LawDepartment of PsychologyRider University
Developmental Psychology Sophomore level courseRequired for all Education & Special Education majorsChosen as a major requirement by most psychology majorsClass size 35-40
Chronic DilemmasStudent performance and moraleStudent effort not matched by performanceHigh level of student disengagementAmount of material to cover during one semesterSeeming incoherence across topicsCreating coherence between students future goals and course content
Challenge of translating knowledge as acquired by disciplinary practices into knowledge to be used by consumers
Experience with Assignment Design Based on Disciplinary PracticeExamples of Earlier Efforts:Observational exercises or other types of data collectionReading and analyzing research articlesReading and critiquing popular articlesProblems with these sorts of assignments:Frequent substitution of personal experience as evidenceNarrow exposure to developmental phenomenaDifficulty connecting observation (or other data) to existing research
Goals of Course RevisionIntroduce students to discipline-based methods of inquiry relevant to their futureIntroduce students to the range of research conducted by developmental psychologistsInclude specific mechanisms to improve critical thinkingInclude opportunities to practice informed decision making
Inquiry-based PedagogyA pedagogical strategy that uses significant, real-world problems as devices for students to encounter and use foundational, disciplinary knowledgeTypically involves: access to a broad range of resources, collaborative research teams, instruction through facilitation of problem solving
Inquiry-based ActivitiesStudents are randomly assigned to teams of 3-4Each team is assigned to a problemTeams use web and print resources to assemble a source baseStudents create answers for their problems using relevant sourcesProblem solutions are organized into a powerpoint presentationEach group posts their presentation to BlackboardAll students view all presentations and participate in a virtual discussion
Students working in project teams
Student Assessment & Course GoalsDaily Log each team evaluates their progress and identifies any needsHelps me monitor progress and act as facilitator Project Reviews teams are partnered and conduct an evaluation of one other projectUse growing understanding of content area to critically evaluate Blackboard Dialog all students review and comment on every projectCreates exposure to entire area of content
Creation of ProblemsCoherent division of content several weeks of course coverageIdentification of significant subtopics within one unitCreation of problems that could be solved using relevant contentEntire set of problems accesses total content to be coveredSpecify meaningful audience for each problem
Cognitive DevelopmentSet of problems would include:Theories of Cognition Developmental changeIntegration with social and emotional developmentIndividual DifferencesCultural PracticesProblem #10: By the end of elementary school children have developed distinct meta-memory skills. Their understanding of their own attention, memory, and problem-solving provides the necessary preparation for advancing to more complex and independent learning. You have been hired as a consultant to an after-school program for 5th and 6th graders. What advice would you give the staff to evaluate the meta-memory skills of these children? What activities would you propose that would strengthen both information processing and childrens understanding of their own cognition?
Sample of student presentation Illustrating key features of assignmentProblem redefinitionOrganization of key conceptsUse of information to solve problemTypes of resources chosen
Cognitive: The mental process or ability by which knowledge is acquired.Metamemory: Understanding of memory as cognitive process An aspect of metacognition refers to the understanding of memory as a process.Ability to asses ones own memory characteristics and limitations, the demands made by different memory tasks and strategies likely to benefit memoryAbility to monitor the contents of ones own memory and to make decisions about how to designate cognitive resourcesEx: have I memorized everything fullyBegins to emerge and improve during middle school
Multistore models: Information processing model that describes a sequence of mental structures through which information flows. PassingEx: Like data passing through a computerSensory Store: Memory store that holds information for very brief of time in a form that closely resembles the initial inputWorking memory: Short-term memory store in which mental operations such as rehearsal and categorization take place Long-term memory: Memory that holds information for extended periods of time.
Attention: First step in cognitive processing and is a critical phase. Research evidence corroborates that children who have greater attention spans and persistence in tasks have higher IQ scores, and achievement in school. Older children are much more likely than younger to children to ignore information irrelevant or distracts from some central activity or problem.
One of the most important cognitive skills is the ability to solve problems. There are many reasons why children will need to solve problems whether they are completing an analogy, computing an arithmetic solution, and many more, or just in every day life . There are steps to help people solve them: 1. Planning the steps to the solution of the problem 2. Attend to the portions of the problem that are relevant to its solution 3. Select from a number of strategies to help you achieve your goal 4. Test the strategy to see if it works if it does, use this new knowledge to apply to other similar contexts.
Activities To Evaluate Metamemory
Microgenetic ApproachExamining a childs performance while she is engaged in a cognitive task, making note of any changes in behaviors that occur from trial to trial.
Tests: helps evaluate long term and short term memoryMultiple ChoiceTrue/FalseFill in the blankFlashcards: repetition of flashcards helps memoryDefinitions for any subjectRecalling memory
Bukatko, Danuta, Marvin Daehler. Child Development. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.After School and Other Out-of-School Programs. www.aed.org/youth_atterschool.htmlK-12 Program of Studies. www.newalbany.k12.oh.us/curriculum/grade5.htmLanguage Development. www.wiu.edu/users/mfeam/midchild1.htmPerformance and Metamemory: Do Students Know What They Dont Know? 2002. EBSCO Publishing. www.library.rider.edu/databases/
Student presentation illustrating:Creative problem definition & solutionBreadth of problem areas and potential solutionsGoal-directed nature of problem solving
You are preparing a briefing for the UN on cognitive development and how nations should respond to childrens needs regarding their cognitive development. The delegates will want to know something about the universal aspects of cognitive development- what could u tell them about this? However specific cultural practices influence cognitive development-tell them about this as well. Choose whether you will emphasize universal aspects of cognitive development of emphasize the influence f specific aspects of culture on cognitive development
Korean VS American
Definition- Speech of one people as distinguished from that of others; specialized words or phrases of a certain trade
Mothers use more verb and action sequence when speaking to their child
Mothers use more nouns and ask questions that require a nominal for an answer
Conclusion- While American children can distinguish different nouns better; Korean children can distinguish the actions that are associated with those nouns
Definition- To make oneself known in words or actions
Chinese VS American
Able to identify fearful and sad situationsAre less likely to smileAnd are less likely to cry
Tend to be more outgoing and sociableEager to interact with the environmentFrequently smile
Conclusion- Children of different cultures are apt to show varying patterns of emotional reactions to the same situation
Children that live in a non carpentered world can distinguish the lines as equal in the Muller-Lyer Illusion, but due to less formal education they cannot understand depth cues shown in 3-D photos or artwork
Children that live in a carpentered world cannot distinguish the lines as equal in the Muller-Lyer Illusion, but due to better formal education they understand depth cues shown in 3-D photos or artwork much better
Review of Course Goals
Introduce students to discipline-based methods of inquiry relevant to their futureSolutions reflect use of discipline-based discourse and value of empirically-derived conclusionsIntroduce students to the range of research conducted by developmental psychologistsUse of internet resources makes available wide array of re