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Self-Assessment Answers

  1. In the first paragraph, Ellen Mathis does not understand why her students are nonproductive and unimaginative. According to educational psychology research, which of the following teacher characteristics is Ellen most likely lacking?
    ANSWER: c) Ellen most likely lacked intentionality. Although Ellen is a knowledgeable teacher, she did not know how to tailor her teaching style to meet her teaching goals with the current set of students. Nor did Ellen take into account student motivation (e.g., writing about something one is interested in is much more intrinsically motivating than writing about one's summer experience). Finally, Ellen did not apply the lessons of educational psychology to her classroom.

  2. Leah Washington talks with Ellen Mathis about getting students to write interesting compositions. Which of the following statements summarizes Leah's approach to teaching writing?
    ANSWER: a) Leah employs a variety of activities that are motivating to her students. For instance, she began by having her students listen to interesting stories written by other students, then gave her students the chance to write their own personally meaningful stories.

  3. According to research on expertise development, what characteristic separates novice teachers from expert teachers?
    ANSWER: d) Expert teachers are critical thinkers; they evaluate their conclusions through logical and systematic examination of the problem, the evidence, and the solution.

  4. Educational psychologists are often accused of studying the obvious. However, they have learned that the obvious is not always true. All of the following statements demonstrate this idea except one. Which one is obvious and supported by research?
    ANSWER: d) There is research evidence from numerous programs-from methods for specific school subjects to strategies for the reform of entire schools-that intentional teachers balance competing goals according to the needs of particular students and situations.

  5. Leah Washington discusses many of her teaching strategies with Ellen Mathis. One can easily see that Leah views teaching as a decision-making process. She recognizes problems and issues, considers situations from multiple perspectives, calls upon her professional knowledge to formulate action and
    ANSWER: a) She selects the most appropriate action and judges the consequence. As such, her teaching style is dynamic, fitting the constraints of her current teaching environment while remaining consistent with her knowledge of educational psychology and her goals as an instructor.

  6. The products of research are principles, laws, and theories. Leah Washington describes many principles and theories of educational psychology as she speaks with Ellen Mathis about teaching students to write compositions. First, describe an instruction with which Ellen Mathis is having difficulties, and then describe principles and theories she can use to engage her students in exciting and meaningful lessons.
    ANSWER: According to the introduction, Ellen Mathis was having difficulty motivating her students to write imaginative material in creative writing. Further, her students' papers were full of errors. As a result, Ellen wondered if her students were developmentally ready to write creative papers. However, after speaking to Leah Washington, Ellen learned that she too could apply lessons learned from research on motivational processes to stimulate student curiosity.

  7. The goal of research in educational psychology is to examine questions of teaching and learning using objective methods. These research methods include experiments, correlational studies, descriptive research, and action research. Think of a research question, and then describe how you would go about answering your question using the above methods.
    ANSWER: One possible research question is: "Does academic performance affect self-esteem?"
    • Experimental method: Create student groups with one failure and the other the success group, with a third control group for comparison, if desired. A second strategy would be to compare a group of students tracked in a remedial learning class to a group of students in traditional classes.
    • Correlational method: The correlational method can be employed by having students complete age-appropriate measures of self-esteem, and then correlating self-esteem scores with academic performance.
    • Descriptive method: A researcher interested in self-esteem and academic performance can observe students with different levels of academic performance and log behaviors indicative of high and low self-esteem.
    • Action method: Instructors can assess strategies in their classrooms designed to enhance academic performance (e.g., rewarding effort rather than grades) and monitor the impact of those strategies on student self-esteem. This information can then be used to facilitate change locally.


  8. Intentional teachers are aware of resources available for professional learning. They continually refine their practices to address the needs of all students. List four actions you could take to find information to help you teach your students with limited English proficiency.
    ANSWER: Possible answers include:
    • Contact the school counselor and ask about district programs for limited English proficiency students.
    • Ask the building Administrator to connect you with teachers who have had success working with students with limited English proficiency.
    • Contact the Department Chair of Special Education and ask for resources or personnel available to teachers of students with limited English proficiency.
    • Contact District Central Office and ask for resources, personal, or workshops available to teachers of students with limited English proficiency.
    • Contact an area Community College or University and ask for resources or instructors with knowledge of teaching students with limited English proficiency.
    • Research the internet for classroom materials or instructional techniques for teaching students with limited English proficiency.





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