General Learning Objectives

Last revised: August 2005

Additional detail about what you need to know or what should be included in an essay answer can be obtained by selecting the number of each objective. General guidelines on essay writing are located at the bottom of this document.

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1. Define educational psychology and discuss how it can help teachers and administrators to carry out their respective roles. Include in your discussion how the use of the scientific method and research have impacted the development of a knowledge base for educational psychology. [1-28] [PPT Presentation: Introduction] [PPT Presentation: Research]

2.. Draw and discuss a model of the teaching-learning process. Name and define each of the categories of variables in your model and identify some of the research that has been used to build the model. (Be certain to identify the source of your model.) [McIlrath & Huitt; 1995; Huitt, 1999]  [PPT Presentation #1] [PPT Presentation # 2] [PPT Presentation # 3]

3. Provide an overview of the systems model of human development presented in class, describing how the behavioral, cognitive, humanistic and learning/development theories address different factors in this model. [PPT Presentation - Basics] [PPT Presentation - Context]


4.. Discuss at least 5 important trends that are presently influencing or are likely to influence education during the next 20 years. Include in your discussion the impact the transition to the information age is having on the required knowledge, attitudes, and skills required for successful living. Make recommendations on how professional educators should respond to changing conditions. [PPT Presentation] [Connections video][PPT in Spanish]

5. Name and discuss the essential foundations and competencies needed to work effectively in the information age as developed by the (U.S. Department of Labor) Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). Discuss Dr. Huitt's critique of the SCANS report in terms of important attitudes, knowledge, and skills for being successful in the information age? How do these compare to the concept "Becoming a Brilliant Star?" What evidence would you use to persuade students, parents, educators and community members that these are indeed important? [See # 4 above; Huitt, 1997; Huitt, forthcoming] [PPT Presentation] [Brilliant Star]


6. Discuss the research relating to the effects of teacher expectations and efficacy on student performance. What can teachers do to maximize the positive effects of teacher expectations? [Ashton, 1984] [PPT Presentation]


Behavioral Theories

7. Compare and contrast three major behavioral theories of learning, giving examples of how each of these can be used in the teaching-learning process. [29-82] [PPT Presentation]

8. Define operant learning and give original examples of four different methods for altering behavior using this theory. Discuss how this theory can be applied to the teaching-learning process, including how the Premack principle can be used to determine reinforcers. Additionally, name and define each of the schedules of reinforcement, and give an example of each kind as it might be used in the classroom. [48-80] [PPT Presentation]

Cognitive System

9. Define and discuss the major viewpoints and theories related to the cognitive system in the systems model of human behavior How has this viewpoint influenced the development of a constructivistic approach to learning . [Chapters 4, 5 & 6] [PPT Presentation -- Overview] [PPT Presentation--Constructivism][PPT-Constructivism in Spanish]

10. Define and differentiate the stage, levels-of-processing, parallel distributed processing, and connectionist models of information processing. Draw and discuss the information-processing model of memory and give an example of how it works. Discuss the kinds of stimuli likely to arouse the orienting response and describe how short-term memory and long-term memory operate. Discuss some principles for getting information into both types of memory. How might these principles be implemented to improve instruction? [136-189] [PPT Presentation -- Information Processing] [PPT Presentation -- Stage Model] [PPT Presentation --Using the Theory] [PPT Presentation - Terms]

11. Describe each of the six levels of Bloom's taxonomy of the cognitive domain, providing an original example of actions students might take to demonstrate competency at each level.  [PPT Presentation--Domains]

12a. Give a definition of intelligence that you could defend, explaining why you believe you could defend it. Give examples of ways your definition of intelligence might be measured and skills people might have who would do well on those measures. Describe how would you differentiate measures of intelligence from measures of achievement? [PPT Presentation-Overview] [PPT Presentation-Sternberg] [PPT Presentation-Gardner]

12b. Suppose you were asked to give a talk to parents and educators on the topic "Can IQ scores be raised?" You are asked to discuss both the hereditarian and environmental aspects of the issue. What would your arguments be for both a strong hereditarian position and a strong environmentalist position? Be certain to give specific suggestions from an environmentalist perspective on how IQ could be raised.  [Power Point Presentation]

13. Describe intellectual development according to Piaget, including a discussion of both the process and the stages of development. Note behavioral characteristics of each stage, describing how assimilation and accommodation are exemplified for each stage of development. Describe specific actions that teachers can take to incorporate Piaget's theory into the classroom. Compare Piaget's theory to Vygotsky's sociohistorical theory of cognitive development. How do these relate to the constructivistic approach to learning? [447-455; 285-328] [PPT Presentation-Process] [PPT Presentation-Stages]

14. Define critical thinking and discuss why it is an important topic to be addressed by today's educators. How is critical thinking similiar to and different from creativity? [Hummel & Huitt, 1994] [PPT Presentation][PPT in Spanish]

15. Define metacognition and describe five ways to help students increase their metacognitive skills. [190-207] [PPT Presentation]

16. What is the SQ3R/SQ4R/PQ4R method of study? What is the relationship of study habits and attitudes to achievement? What can you as a teacher do to improve these in students? [236-238] [PPT Presentation]

Affective/Emotional System

17. Name and discuss the major viewpoints and theories related to the affective/emotional system in the systems model of human behavior. [PPT Presentation]

18a. Name and define five values you believe are especially important for students in the 21st century. Support your proposal with research, theory, and statements the requirements of being successful in an information age economy. How would recommend educators go about teaching those values? Be specific. Which approach would you use for each value? Give examples of how you would do this. [see #4 & #5 above] [PPT Presentation]

18b. Describe each of the five levels of Krathwol's affective domain, providing an original example of actions students might take to demonstrate competency at each level. [PPT Presentation]

19. Name and describe Erikson's theory of psychosocial development. Note behaviors associated with each stage and the implications of the theory for classroom practice. Evaluate the theory--that is, what evidence exists for its validation or what evidence would lead you to reject it? Compare Erikson's theory to that proposed by Bingham and Stryker for female development.[442-443] [PPT Presentation]

20. Describe how optimism and enthusiasm might influence the teaching/learning process. [Seligman] [PPT Presentation]

Regulatory System

21. Name and discuss the major viewpoints and theories related to the regulatory system in the systems model of human behavior. [PPT Presentation]

22. Define the terms self-concept and self-esteem and discuss how these might influence learning. [373-375] [PPT Presentation]

23. Name and discuss the stages in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. How does this theory relate to achieving excellence in the ten domains and three core elements presented in the "Becoming a Brilliant Star" exercise discussed in class? [336-341] [PPT Presentation]

24. Name and discuss the major principles and objectives of humanistic education. Describe what a teacher might do in order to implement these principles. Summarize the findings from the meta-analyses examining the outcomes of open education discussed in your text. Include findings regarding both achievement and affective outcomes. [PPT Presentation]

25. Discuss social learning theory and the social cognitive theory of learning. Define conation, describe how it works and how it might develop. How does goal-setting impact conation and learning? How does conation relate to self-regulation and self-control? What can educators do to help students develop conation? [83-135] [PPT Presentation-Social learning and social cognition] [PPT Presentation-Conation]

Summary of Learning and Development Theories

26. Define learning and compare and contrast the factors that behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, and social cognitive theorists believe influence the learning process. Mention ways in which the theories are alike and ways in which they are different and how each can be used by educators to improve student learning. [see relevant objectives above] [PPT Presentation]

27. Name and discuss at least 5 principles of learning that most learning theorists agree on, regardless of their theoretical orientation. Give specific examples of how these principles could be used in the classroom. [PPT Presentation]

28. Discuss how your view of humankind's spiritual nature might influence your interpretation of human growth and development literature as well as the teaching/learning process. [PPT Presentation]

29. Describe the structure and functioning of the brain and other components of humankind's biological nature that might influence human growth and development as well as the teaching/learning process. [PPT Presentation] [PPT Presentation - Physical Development]

Moral and Character Development

30. Define character and describe why it may be an important issue for today's educators. How does character relate to values and virtues? Name 5 values and/or character traits that are important for success in the 21st century. Support your proposal with research, theory, and statements the requirements of being successful in an information age economy. Describe at three different approaches to impacting character development and relate these to theories and issues discussed in the course. [PPT Presentation]

31. Name and discuss Kohlberg's stages of moral development. Is it possible to train people to make advances along these stages? Compare Kohlberg's theory to Gilligan's theory of female moral development. [PPT Presentation]


32a. Define motivation and discuss why a concept like motivation is or is not necessary in a model of teaching and learning and human behavior. If it is necessary to what aspects of learning might it apply? Discuss how the concepts of underachievement and overachievement might be related to motivation. [329-388] [PPT Presentation]

32b. Discuss the differences between internal and external motivation. Describe the positions that behaviorists, cognitivists, constructivists, humanists, and social cognitivists might take on this distinction. How might the three major theories of learning help you to decide what you can do as a teacher or administrator to influence student motivation? [review previous objectives]

Model of Human Behavior

33. Name and define the major aspects of the systems model of human behavior presented in class. Be certain to distinguish between internal and external influences on development. Explain why context is such an important aspect of human behavior at this point in history. How can such a model help educators in their professional roles? [see #3, #4, #5 above; summarize #7, #9, #17, #26, #30, #32] [PPT Presentation]


34. Discuss J. B. Carroll's model of school learning. Relate Carroll's model to Bloom's model of mastery learning and to the concept of Academic Learning Time. [408-409] [PPT Presentation]

35. Define and discuss academic learning time and how it might be improved? (be specific about whether the proposed changes relate to the school or to the classroom; if to the classroom, whether they relate to instruction or management).  [PPT Presentation]


36. Describe why planning is an important classroom activity. Name and define the major steps often used by educators in the planning process. Provide an original example of how you might use this process. Write an instructional objective for six different topics according to the standards set forth by either Mager or Gronlund. [71-73; 389-433]  [PPT Presentation--Planning] [PPT Presentation--Objectives]


37. Name and discuss four different categories of models of instruction, relating each category to a theoretical approach to learning and to a component of mind or behavior. [389-433; Rosenshine, 1995]  [PPT Presentation--Overview] [PPT Presentation--Direct Instruction]


38.Name and describe at least three general categories of classroom management activities a teacher might use if implementing a behavioral approach to classroom management, giving original examples of each. State which of these principles would be especially important during the first week of school year, and why. [61-63; Randolph & Evertson, 1994] [PPT Presentation--Overview] [PPT Presentation--First Week]

SES and Compensatory Education

39. Summarize the findings of the studies regarding the lasting educationally significant effects of early education compensatory education programs for low-income children. What recommendations would you make for continuing these types of programs? [PPT Presentation]

Technology and Education

40. Discuss how technology can be applied to instruction and give an example of how you might use different technologies as a professional educator. [272-283][PPT Presentation]


41. Define and contrast the following terms related to measurement and evaluation of educational outcomes, giving original examples of each: [6-10]

a) reliability and validity; 
b) formative and summative evaluation; and 
c) criterion-referenced and norm-referenced tests. 

Discuss how and when these concepts would be important in classroom assessment, evaluation, and grading practices relative to the important variables discussed in this course. [Dietel et al., 1991; Popham, 1999] [PPT Presentation]


In general, when you write an answer to an essay question you should follow the format you learned in Freshman English:

Some examples of good essay writing are provided by the Educational Testing Service, developer of the GRE-Writing Test.

There are a number of common errors in student writing that you should avoid. If you are not comfortable with writing, you might want to write some sample essays have have them checked by someone in the student writing center located in West Hall, Room 204.

Return to:

Dr. William G. (Bill) Huitt
Dept. of Psychology, Counseling & Guidance
Valdosta State University
Valdosta, GA 31698-0001
(912) 333-5613