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Transforming classrooms: Education psychology for teaching and learning

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Product Description

By Carol A Christensen

Published: 2001
ISBN: 978-1-876682-17-0
Pages: xx+196
Imprint: Post Pressed


While Transforming Classrooms: Educational Psychology for Teaching and Learning is substantially informed by current scholarship and rigorous analysis, it is above all a practitioner's handbook: accessible, informative and continually relevant to the everyday practice of teachers, classrooms, and learners.

Drawing on an exhaustive base in research and theory, and infused with a sympathetic understanding of the tasks and needs of contemporary teachers and students, this book provides practical assistance in ways to create environments of educational excellence. It reviews a wide range of issues that are critical in understanding current educational practice. It explores the ways educational psychology can be used to develop classrooms that foster academic achievement and a love of learning, as well as nurture students' social and personal development. It describes practical classroom strategies to facilitate the development of active, independent and self-regulated learners. Moving beyond popularist models of individual constructivism, it addresses emerging sociocultural theories of learning. Thus classroom teaching and learning are seen to be processes of social engagement where teachers and students must work together to nurture and support social, personal and intellectual growth and development.

An indispensable reference for classroom teachers and students of education, Transforming Classrooms should also be a most useful aid for parents, home schoolers, older students, and other members of the community.

Table of Contents


Section I: Understanding Student Learning

Chapter 1 - Of Mind, Brain or Soul: Historical Conceptions of Mind and Humanity

  • History of Ideas on Thinking
  • Mind as a Natural Phenomena
  • Predetermination of Mind

Chapter 2 - Establishment of Psychology as the Science of Human Behaviour

  • The Development of Intelligence Tests
  • Behaviourism: The Environment as the Sole Determinant of Learning
  • Piaget and the Emergence of Development Psychology

Chapter 3 - Thinking and Learning in Classrooms

  • The Role of Knowledge in Thinking and Learning
  • Information Processing, Perception and Attention

Chapter 4 - The Architecture of Human Cognition: Memory and Remembering

  • Working Memory
  • Long-Term Memory
  • Remembering and Forgetting

Chapter 5 - Learning as Construction of Knowledge

  • Cognitive Strategies and Encoding Knowledge for Long Term Memory
  • Metacognition

Section II: Teaching for Thinking and Learning

Chapter 6 - Socio-cultural View of Cognition

  • Vygotsky's Theory of Development: From Social Experience to Individual Thought
  • Peer Collaboration to Promote Thinking and Learning
  • Cooperative Learning

Chapter 7 - Motivating Student Learning

  • Historical Development of Theories of Motivation
  • Achievement, Attribution and Cognitive Approaches to Motivation

Chapter 8 - Managing Classrooms for Learning

  • Influence of Cultural and Social Context
  • Schools, Behaviour and Learning
  • Inside Classrooms
  • Dealing with Individual Student Behaviour

Section III: Social Cognition, Social Relationships, and Sense of Self

Chapter 9 - Social Cognition: Thinking and Learning about Social Relationships

Chapter 10 - Peers, Friends and Social Groups in Classrooms

  • Classrooms as Social Groups

Chapter 11 - Developing a Sense of Self

  • Self-concept
  • Self-Esteem
  • Cultural and Societal Factors Influencing Self-Concept and Self-Esteem

Section IV: Perspectives on Assessment

Chapter 12 - Assessment: Tests and Measures or Ways to Better Understand Students?

  • Traditional Perspectives
  • Alternatives to Standardised Tests

Chapter 13 - Trends in Assessment to Enhance Teaching and Learning

  • Assessing Cognitive and Metacognitive Skills

Chapter 14 - Assessment to Enhance Social and Affective Development

  • Assessing Social Dimensions of Classrooms
  • Assessing Students' Individual Social Development


...one of the most informative educational texts I have read recently... Christensen's text takes the reader through the key educational theorists of the 20th century who have been so influential in developing our knowledge about thinking and learning. She explains clearly how psychological research has become a dynamic field in informing educators about cognitive and metacognitive strategies appropriate to both primary and secondary classrooms... This is a book which has obviously been written for practising teachers as the author constantly relates this information to practical classroom situations with activities designed to deepen the reader's understanding.

Transforming Classrooms: Educational Psychology for Teaching and Learning is a text I recommend very highly for all teachers who are keen to explore the most recent research into teaching and learning . The fact that it contains so much current scholarship and is based on rigorous analysis is reason enough for this recommendation. However, it is so much more than just important insights into current educational psychology.

Christensen has a deep understanding of the needs of classroom teachers and she continually locates her insights into practical classroom settings. In so doing, she makes this a highly valuable resource for everyday teaching. But perhaps even more importantly, in coming to an understanding of teaching as a social development, Christensen's work will give all teachers a very clear appreciation of the vital role they play in the evolution of each individual's social growth and the overall development of humanity.

Catholic Education Office

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