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Ibn Zohr University 2012-2013Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences E-learning: Educational PsychologyDepartment of English Coordinator: Dr. Youssef TamerTEFL & ICT Master Program Essay: Educational psychology is a purely applied science concerned withimproving the learning and teaching process by applying the psychologicaltheories, concepts and principles to teaching and learning in education. Itanalyses students learning mental processes and studies learning situations aswell as how teachers can effectively help students learn to achieve a healthylearning growth. Educational psychology covers different varied theories andapproaches which tackled the learning and teaching process issue fromdifferent backgrounds and perspectives. The Behavioral Approach and theSocial Approach psychologists came up with concepts and principles as aremarkable contribution in improving the conditions of teaching and learning.However, both approaches undergo certain limitations. To start with, the Behavioral Approach favored the importance andeffectiveness of experience and observation over the mental processes tomake a meaningful connection between children’s behavior and learning. Insimpler words, to understand how learning operates on, behavior must be onlyanalyzed by directly observed experience, not by the mental processes inchildren’s brains. Ivan Pavlov, B.F Skinner and E .L Thorndike are the mostprominent psychologists of Behaviorism trend. Their contributions to the fieldwere remarkable. First, Pavlov came up with the Classical Conditioning Conceptbased on his experiments on his dog. The outcomes or the implications of hisexperiment are simply that an organism learns in response to a stimulus.Pavlov stated that there are two types of stimuli; unconditioned stimulus UCS,and conditioned stimulus CS which are , in their turn, associated with two typesof responses; unconditioned response UCR, conditioned response CR. Second,Skinner came up with a similar concept like Pavlov’s. It’s the Operant Condition.Skinner states that the consequences of a certain behavior determine whetherthe same behavior will continuously occur or not. Reinforcement andpunishment are new concepts that Skinner made use of in explaining his newconcept to learning. According to him, reinforcement (reward) and punishmentincreases and decreases the probability that a behavior will occur respectively. Done by Yassine AIT HAMMOU
Ibn Zohr University 2012-2013Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences E-learning: Educational PsychologyDepartment of English Coordinator: Dr. Youssef TamerTEFL & ICT Master ProgramThus, the more meaningful reinforcement is, the more efficient it is for thechild to boost their behavior. Third, Thorndike came up with anotherinteresting concept which he named “the Law of Effect”. Behaviors should bestrengthened by being followed with positive outcomes. Negative outcomesweaken a certain behavior. So, here the terms positive and negative outcomesmay go hand in hand with the terms reinforcement (reward) and punishmentwhich Skinner had used. As far as the Social Learning Theory concerns, it is considered as one ofthe most inflectional theories of learning and development. Albert Banduraand Lev Vygotsky are the main figures of this theory. To begin with, Bandurabelieved that direct reinforcement only could not account for all types oflearning. He came up with a new social element concept which is“Observational Learning” (or modeling). This concept to learning states thatpeople can learn new information and behaviors by watching other people.There are three basic social learning concepts in Bandura’s theory. First, peoplecan learn through observation. Then, the internal mental cognitions andthoughts are a crucial element in this learning process. Finally, learning doesnot necessarily lead to a change in behavior. To explain the ObservationalLearning concept, Bandura identified three models of observational learning; aLive Model (actual individual demonstrating or acting out a behavior), a VerbalInstructional Model (descriptions and explanations of a behavior) and aSymbolic Model (real or fictional characters displaying behaviors in books,films, television, etc.). As for Internal Mental States, Bandura emphasized thatthe external environmental reinforcement cannot be the only factor toinfluence learning and behavior. Internal thoughts and cognition and intrinsicreinforcement are to be taken into account in this regard. Last but not least,Bandura believes that Observational Learning proves that people can learn newinformation without even demonstrating new behaviors or changes inbehaviors. In other words, the new learned information will not necessarilyresult in a change in behavior. For a social learning to be successful, Bandurastated certain requirements and steps to be followed in the observationalsocial learning and Modeling process: Attention, Retention, Reproduction andMotivation. Regarding Vygotsky’s contribution in the social learning theory, hestated that socialization affects the learning process in an individual. He also Done by Yassine AIT HAMMOU
Ibn Zohr University 2012-2013Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences E-learning: Educational PsychologyDepartment of English Coordinator: Dr. Youssef TamerTEFL & ICT Master Programfocused on the language as an important factor in the social learningdevelopment of the child and how important language learning is for the child’ssocial learning development. Language can enhance thinking through theinteraction with the ideas and cultures surrounding the child. Vygotsky’s SocialDevelopment Theory includes three major concepts. First, Role of SocialInteraction in Cognitive Development. It simply means that the social andcultural interaction plays a crucial role in the internal cognitive developmentprocess of the child. Next, the More Knowledgeable Other (MKO). The learnerusually faces some difficulties while learning, so the MKO is a person usually anadult, a teacher or expert with a better knowledge and high level who canprovide assistance to the learner. Finally, the Zone of Proximal Development(ZPD) which Vygostky is famous for. The ZPD is the distance between what thelearner knows and what he or she does not. In other words, it is the inability toperform a specific task independently and which can be performed by theassistance and guidance of an adult or skilled person. Both the Behavioral and Social Learning Theories have certain limitations.Starting with the Behavioral Theory, it can be stated that Skinner’s theoryseems to some extent limited and unsuitable for certain educational contexts.The term “Reinforcement” which Skinner made use of in his theory sounds a bitbroad and vague that it lacks specific information, procedures and clues to howreinforcement can be effectively used to change behaviors. The same things gowith “Reward” in the sense that it remains ambiguous with the lack of clues tothe kind of reward which will be provided to learners as an effectivereinforcement. Besides, natural desired behaviors need no reinforcement. Ifdesired behaviors occurring naturally are reinforced they may result inextinguishing them when the reinforcement absent. Regarding, the SocialLearning Approach, the term “Reinforcement” again rises a problem in itself inthe fact that one cannot know what the observer’s reaction would be liketowards certain reinforcement. In simpler words, reinforcement for somepeople may be punishment for others who observe it. Done by Yassine AIT HAMMOU
Ibn Zohr University 2012-2013Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences E-learning: Educational PsychologyDepartment of English Coordinator: Dr. Youssef TamerTEFL & ICT Master Program http://www.csun.edu/science/ref/theory-research/theorists/theorists.html http://psychology.about.com/od/psychology101/u/psychology-theories.htmWhat is Educational PsychologyEducational Psychology is the study of practices and behaviors of people in a learningprocess. It usually deals with students in class rooms. Educational psychology studies themental activities of students in the light of psychological principles. “Educational Psychology is an applied science which describes and explains the learningexperiences of an individual from birth to an old age.” “Educational Psychology provides a framework for looking at students, the learning processand learning situation.” Educational Psychology not only helps in improving the performance of students but it alsohelps teachers and educational planners, in their way to achieve best education system, healthylearning atmosphere and healthy learning growth of students.What is Educational Psychology?Educational psychology is a scientific field concerned with applyingpsychological theories and concepts to the understanding and Done by Yassine AIT HAMMOU
Ibn Zohr University 2012-2013Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences E-learning: Educational PsychologyDepartment of English Coordinator: Dr. Youssef TamerTEFL & ICT Master Programimprovement of teaching and learning in formal educational settings.In simpler terms, it is concerned with the study of how students learnand how teachers can help them to learn effectively. Educationalpsychology draws on and combines various psychological theoriesand principles – such as those related to human development,motivation, learning, behavior management and assessment, amongothers – in order to improve the conditions of teaching and learning.Educational psychologists study the process of learning not onlyamong the general population but also among sub-groups such asgifted children and those with various learning disabilities.The goal of educational psychology is not to provide specificprescriptions for teachers and other individuals who have an influenceon a learner’s educational attainment, as if there were only a few setways in which one can optimize the processes of teaching andlearning. Rather, research in this field is designed to uncover generalprinciples which can be applied in various ways across diverseeducational settings and learners. Research in educational psychologyis designed to answer questions such as: How do people learn? Whatmotivates them to learn? And what factors interfere with learning? Done by Yassine AIT HAMMOU