Last time we began exploring the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education (CPSE’s) report on how students and instructors alike can benefit from psychology’s insights into the learning process.
We began by looking at two aspects, namely the importance of harnessing students’ existing knowledge and differences across their motivation to learn. Today we continue with three other factors: the classroom space, classroom management, and assessment.
The best teachers don’t place each student on a private island, but instead understand that classroom is inherently a site of social interaction.
Fostering students’ ability to communicate clearly and analyze others’ viewpoints critically are not only keys for successful learning, but also skills with lifelong usefulness. These abilities create emotional well-being within the classroom, as does the teacher who establishes and maintains the classroom as a safe space. A happy student is also a successful one.
Managing the Classroom
Fortunate students will always remember that one instructor who could make even the dullest of subjects exciting and engaging. An important aspect of those teachers’ success is their classroom management abilities.
The best instructors know how to situate themselves as a credible authority figure, while also maintaining a learning environment of mutual respect and openness. Students can learn good behaviors just as they might internalize bad ones, so it’s important for teachers to clearly communicate their expectations, provide ample feedback, and remain proactive in dealing with student issues.
Assessing Students’ Work
Student assessment is a robust field all to itself within educational psychology, but its insights offer teachers a multitude of ways to improve their students’ education.
Some of these include mindfulness of testing backwash, or what students take away from a new teacher’s testing style (format, difficulty, length, etc.) after the first test. Also important is clear communication to students of how they will be tested, as well as continuity between classroom learning and how that learning can be accurately and fairly assessed.
At the rising school, we aren’t content to practice the same teaching methods year in and year out. Instead, by staying on the cutting edge of developments in the education field, we prepare students for college and a successful career in the 21st century.