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Educational Psychology Reader

The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition

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Edited By Greg S. Goodman

The revised edition of Educational Psychology Reader: The Art and Science of How People Learn presents an exciting amalgam of educational psychology’s research-based reflections framed in twenty-first century critical educational psychology. As a discipline, educational psychology is reinventing itself from its early and almost exclusive identification with psychometrics and taxonomy-styled classifications to a dynamic and multicultural collage of conversations concerning language acquisition, socially mediated learning, diverse learning modalities, motivation, the affective domain, brain-based learning, the role of ecology in increasing achievement, and many other complementary dimensions of how people learn. Many polymaths of the discipline are included in this volume, providing daunting evidence of the range and intellectual rigor of educational psychology at this historical juncture. Featuring a collection of renowned international authors, this text will appeal to scholars across the globe. The Educational Psychology Reader is an ideal choice as either the primary or supplemental text for both undergraduate and graduate level educational psychology courses.
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20. Encouraging the Discouraged: Students’ Views for Elementary Classrooms

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CHAPTER TWENTY

Encouraging the Discouraged

Students’ Views for Elementary Classrooms

Julia Ellis, Susan Fitzsimmons, & Jan Small-McGinley



Every teacher is faced with students whose troubled behavior challenges the teacher’s sense of pedagogical responsibility. But what would the nature of that pedagogical responsibility be under such conditions, and how could one research this question in a way that retained the living voice of the child? This chapter reports on a project that attempts to address those questions. In the context of a video production project we sought to engage students with a history of behavioral difficulties in sharing their views about how elementary school teachers can transform modes of discouragement into modes of encouragement.

The students discussed many aspects of helpful teacher practices. In this paper we provide a brief overview of the ideas they related and then focus on their specific suggestions and experiences related to encouragement. In examining the encouragement or discouragement stories they shared, we saw that encouragement became linked with experiencing teachers as caring and discouragement became linked with experiencing teachers as punishing. Because punishment interfered with both a student’s ability to concentrate on schoolwork and the student’s relationship with the teacher, frustration, punishment, alienation and discouragement easily became a self-perpetuating cycle of despair. Students wanted teachers to recognize their limits and provide appropriate help or at least calming, encouraging words. The students prized personal recognition for accomplishment or improvement and treasured...

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