Student Learning

Why It’s Important to Support the Psychological Well-Being of Early Childhood Educators

It’s the first day of class and Marie is a brand new teacher. She has just finished her professional degree and has had some experience as an assistant teacher, but this is her first time being the head teacher in an early childhood setting and being fully responsible for the children in her care.    During her training she learned about developmentally appropriate practices and working with families and children from diverse backgrounds, but nevertheless she feels overwhelmed and underprepared to deal with the day-to-day challenges of being an early childhood educator.  Marie is expected to provide a high-quality experience for her children but her own anxiety and stress is getting in the way of her ability to provide the children in her classroom with a nurturing and positive educational environment.  Her anxiety sometimes spills over into her interactions with other teachers and parents which in turn affects the behavior and learning of the children under her care.


Technology in Education: Why Being a Luddite is No Longer an Option

On Twitter, educator Justin Tarte wrote about technology in education no longer being a luxury but a necessity. Larry and Laurie, the campus Luddites and technophobes will need to retire to make way for the new tech-savvy teachers of tomorrow. Technology will not be for the rich districts; it will be for everyone. Every school will have some form of 1:1 and all teachers and administrators will need to be able to adapt to changing software and technological tools in the future. Good teaching and good pedagogy will still be needed, but we are approaching the science of learning from a different place than when I began teaching. This is a great change.


Starting a Campus-Wide Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Program

“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.


Teaching (and Learning) Psychology Statistics in an Age of Math Anxiety

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.



Dress to Impress: Does Suiting Up Bring More Confidence?

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!



Is Research-Based Instruction a Reality in Education? The Example of Learning Styles and Dual Coding

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.



Looking for a research job?

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.