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Program Evaluation,
Action Research, and the
Why Research
Is Important
The Scientific
Research in
Educational Psychology
The Goals of Educational Psychology
The Nature of Teaching
Exploring the
Field of
Educational Psychology:
A Tool for Effective Teaching
In the quotation on page three, Canadian astronaut
Julie Payette comments that education opens the door to the future. As a teacher you will open this door for your students, and you will help shape that future by helping the youth of today become the leaders of tomorrow. In this chapter we will examine what the field of educational psychology is about.
These are some of the questions we will explore:
• What are the major challenges of teaching?
• Is teaching more of an art than a science?
• When you imagine yourself as a teacher,
what is your image of yourself What kind of teacher do you want to be?
• What can the science of educational psychology offer to teachers in the classroom?
01-EdPsy-Chap01-6123 8/22/06 3:19 PM Page 2

ducation opens the door to the future. It gives us options. It helps us reason. It is always in motion.
Julie Payette
Canadian Astronaut, Contemporary
When preparing for the writing of this text, we asked teachers from around the country to reflect on the craft of teaching. Almost everyone we surveyed included some comments or words of advice for those who were beginning their teaching careers. Below, four award-winning educators from across Canada offer suggestions about how to make teaching a positive experience for yourself and your students.
“I’ve learned that a teacher’s job is never truly fin-
ished, so it’s important to find a healthy balance
between your extended professional life and your
personal life. For example, while participating in
school co-curricular activities can provide teachers
with valuable insights about students personalities
and interests—information that can be used when
planning lessons and for classroom manage-
ment—assuming too many of these responsibilities
is problematic for some teachers. Select one or two
co-curricular activities that you enjoy but that still
leave time for yourself and your family and friends.”
“Teachers need to teach students how to learn,
but teachers also need to continue in their own pro-
fessional development and learning. I recommend
that teachers attend national or international con-
ferences in their specific subject or interest area.
These large conventions can help teachers develop
a sense of career direction and focus. They also
provide a host of valuable teaching materials and
instructional ideas for classroom use.”
“Beginning teachers should strive to be flexible and
open to new ideas. Teaching the same concept from
a variety of perspectives makes your lessons engag-
ing and addresses the learning styles of the students
in your classroom. Being flexible also means being
sensitive to the perspectives of students and parents.
Parents are depending on you to create the best
learning environment possible for their children. Put
yourself in their shoes and plan accordingly.”
“One of the best pieces of advice I’d offer a
beginning teacher is to remember to celebrate
your students successes. Acknowledge your stu-
dents’ efforts and accomplishments. If you believe
in them and show them that their efforts are val-
ued and recognized, they will respond accordingly.
After all, helping students learn to succeed is what
teaching is all about.”

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