10 psychological principles that can make learning more efficient

10 Psychological Principles Can Make Learning More Efficient Students

Through institute days, team meetings, seminars, and the media, teachers are constantly exposed to a flurry of approaches that claim to enhance both teaching tactics and student learning. Despite the fact that some of this material is useful, several of the recommendations are supported by little or no empirical evidence.

10 psychological principles are aimed to apply research widely to pre-K to 12 instruction, but they may also be used to strengthen introductory psychology courses and help students learn more successfully in all classrooms. Here are some high school psychology teaching ideas and applications.

Learning and cognition: How do students learn and think?

Lots of studies in cognitive and educational psychology have shown ways to enhance thinking and learning in the classroom. Some of the most significant research on teaching philosophy that influences student progress is highlighted in the first eight principles.

1. Growth perspective

Cognitive development and learning are impacted by students’ views or opinions about their intellect and abilities.

According to research, students who adopt a growth mindset, which holds that intellect is flexible and that success is correlated with effort level, are more likely to stay goal-focused and persevere in the face of failures. A discussion of development vs fixed mindsets is an excellent approach to start the year in a psychology class since it enables students to comprehend how their perceptions of intelligence might affect their own academic progress.

2. Prior information

Students’ prior knowledge has an impact on their learning.

According to research, pupils’ past knowledge affects both conceptual development and conceptual change. Students contribute to their current knowledge via conceptual development, and they rectify misunderstandings or flaws in knowledge through conceptual transformation. Prior to the start of each unit, formative assessments must be used to establish a baseline level of student understanding in order to facilitate conceptual development or change.

Starting the course with a brief list of five to ten true/false statements and having a class discussion about the outcomes are two ways to evaluate past knowledge. The conclusions of this discussion might serve as a guide for choosing assignments and activities that are suitable for encouraging conceptual development or change. Students may utilize prior knowledge to help them integrate background material and make connections between different course sections.

3. Stage theories’ restrictions

Learning and cognitive growth in students are not constrained by developmental milestones in general.

According to research, learning and cognitive growth are not constrained by developmental milestones in general. Teachers of Piaget’s cognitive stage theory should make sure to mention the method’s drawbacks as well.

Lev Vygotsky‘s notion of the zone of proximal development and the importance of relationships with people who are more competent should both be emphasized in psychology programs. This study may be used by teachers to create teaching that makes use of scaffolding, differentiation, and mixed-ability grouping. The ability of the most talented pupils to collaborate with those who will push them, such as other students or the teacher, is also crucial.

4. Context-facilitating

Environment determines how we learn, therefore applying what we learn in one context to another requires assistance.

When teachers assist students in transferring knowledge from one setting to another, pupils improve and engage in deeper learning. If teachers spend time concentrating on deeper learning, students will also be better able to generalize their understanding to different situations. One way to cultivate this talent is to have students come up with answers to issues from the real world based on what they have learned about a specific topic.

5. Exercise

Practice is a major component in acquiring knowledge and skills over the long term.

This concept outlines scientifically supported methods for teaching pupils how to more efficiently store information in long-term memory. Examples from this concept may be used to guide teaching throughout the course in addition to those in the memory unit. Teachers may help students improve their knowledge, abilities, and confidence by regularly giving formative assessments via practice problems, exercises, and sample examinations. Additionally, teachers who perform practice exercises at regular intervals (distributed practice) will aid students in improving their long-term recall skills. Incorporating principle four, practice exams should include open-ended questions that demand both the recall of prior knowledge and the challenge of applying that knowledge to novel circumstances or scenarios.

6. Remarks

Giving pupils feedback that is precise, thorough, and timely is crucial for learning.

This concept emphasizes the value of instructors’ answers and outlines the best ways to provide feedback to students in order to keep or boost their desire to study. Giving pupils feedback that is precise, thorough, and timely is crucial for learning. Additional details regarding feedback techniques, including five main tactics, may be found in the CPSE book “Using Classroom Data to Give Systematic Feedback to Students to Improve Learning.”

7. Self-control

Self-regulation among students aids in learning, and self-regulation abilities may be taught.

Self-regulation abilities may be taught by direct teaching, modeling, and classroom management. These abilities include attention, organization, self-control, planning, and memory techniques.

 By emphasizing learning objectives at the beginning and end of lessons, using classroom calendars, highlighting challenging concepts that will require more practice, breaking large projects into manageable components, using well-designed rubrics, and allowing sufficient processing time through questioning, summarizing, and practice, teachers can serve as role models for organizational techniques and help students. 

This study’s findings may be used by psychology students to their own study habits, such as developing self-control by reducing the distractions offered by social media and mobile phones. The creation of studies examining the boundaries of attention and the discussion of the findings with students might also be encouraged.

8. Originality

Creativity in students may be encouraged.

Since creativity is not a fixed characteristic, it can be taught, fostered, and improved. It is seen as a crucial ability for the technologically advanced society of the twenty-first century. This concept outlines specific ways to set up tasks in a way that fosters creativity as well as suggestions for how to model creative problem-solving. Opportunities for student-designed research projects, multimedia projects, demonstrations, and model construction are all examples of creativity in the psychology classroom. Numerous suggestions for engaging kids creatively are included in the TOPSS unit lesson plans.

Motivators for students: What inspires them?

Students that are driven and enthusiastic about studying do better. The key strategies for improving student motivation and engagement have been highlighted by CPSE.

9. Internal inspiration

When students are more internally driven to succeed rather than externally motivated, they are more likely to like studying and do better.

This concept focuses on how teachers may foster students’ intrinsic drive via engaging in classroom activities and practices that cater to their basic demand for autonomy. It is essential to remember that not all relevant things are intrinsically motivating to all pupils, and therefore extrinsic motivation has a role in education. When intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are often explored throughout the motivation section, students may consider their own personal motivations and how they affect their achievement. Students might also investigate the study on the overjustification effect, which is covered in this concept.

10. Goals for mastery

When students choose mastery objectives rather than performance goals, they persevere in the face of difficult activities and digest material more thoroughly.

While students who construct performance goals often are focused only on demonstrating acceptable ability, students who develop mastery goals are focused on acquiring new abilities or improving current abilities. When students establish performance objectives, they have a propensity to avoid assignments that might highlight their inadequacies and thereby lose out on chances to practice new abilities. Individuals who have mastery objectives are more likely to be driven to advance their levels of competence and acquire new abilities. Although performance objectives may be more suitable in certain situations, such as contests, Principle 10 offers specific techniques for structuring teaching that may be utilized to support students in choosing mastery over performance goals.

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