“Take a Break,” says a small sign in a small corner of a second-grade classroom. A small corner that represents a big change at Dan D. Rogers Elementary School in Dallas, Texas. Last year we began small changes such as these as part of a school-wide effort to have a uniform approach to Social-Emotional Learning on our Campus. With the help of my leadership team, a group of core teachers, and our district’s Psychological and Social Services Department, we met over the summer and began to formulate lessons, gather tools, and purchase materials to begin our program which we now call, “Our Mind Time.” This a title that was coined by one of our district social workers, Veva Lane.
Every semester, psychology students around the country anxiously file into their required, introductory statistics classes. Although some love it, statistics tends to be difficult and anxiety-producing for psychology students (who sometimes refer to it as Sadistics 101). To combat this, publishers have released a flurry of student-friendly textbooks designed to make statistics more palatable. However, students often face challenges learning statistics, and, frankly, don’t generally like it.
Think back to the days of playing dress-up—those moments when you slipped on your mother’s nicest dress or carefully slid your arms into your father’s fanciest jacket. Besides drowning in a sea of baggy cotton, what else did you feel? Did you walk with the grace of a ballerina? Experience a sudden rush of maturity? Notice a shift in your perspective? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place!
Are you reading my mind? People, on learning I am a psychologist, often assume I can. Sure psychological science does provide a lot of information about how humans think, feel, and behave. That said, I don’t read minds although as an educator I would love to have that power. Here’s a new study that just may help me power up.
Over the last quarter century, as public education has made a hard shift towards “accountability” and increased standardized testing, the trend towards the use of research-based instruction in classrooms has become nearly as ubiquitous as the Scantron sheets students are asked to bubble in multiple times each semester.
An undergraduate education will prepare you for several careers. And, for many of you, graduate school is the intended step forward from the bachelor’s degree. If that is your intention, as it is mine, possibly the most essential part of your graduate school application is being able to share your research experience. For scientific fields like psychology that continually adapt to new information, a demonstration of your ability to conceptualize, theorize, test and analyze critical information is crucial. But sometimes, the most difficult part of this axiom is finding the research position. Having entirely redirected my career path halfway through my undergraduate study, I was forced to find a research job that not only fit my new interest but was also readily available in order to make up for two years of “lost” time.
Teachers are exposed to a constant barrage of methodologies that promise to improve both instructional strategies and student learning through institute days, team meetings, seminars and the media. While some of this information is helpful, some of the suggestions have little or no empirical data to support their effectiveness. The Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education (CPSE), a group of psychologists and psychology teachers within APA, recently announced the publication of the “Top 20 Principles from Psychology for pre-K to 12 Teaching and Learning.” The Top 20 document was created by psychologists representing a wide range of divisions, including those focused on education, school, developmental, social, cognitive, psychometrics, media, counseling and clinical psychology. Each of the contributors has some expertise in the application of psychological science to early childhood, elementary, secondary, gifted or special education; social/emotional learning; or school climate.