EDU-256: Educational Psychology

Health and Human Services
Education & Human Services
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Educational Psychology
Cross-Referenced Course
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
ENG-132 and PSY-131 both with a C grade or higher
Catalog Course Description

Applies the principles and theories of educational psychology to teaching and learning in diverse school settings. Topics address all domains of learning and cognition. Theoretical examination includes the academic development of children socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically. This course also includes the following content areas: special education, multicultural educational programs, principles and teaching methodologies, managing classroom discipline, motivating students to learn, leading classroom instruction, and assessing K-12 differences in students’ learning.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

To provide an integrative approach in which students will be expected to combine theoretical concepts with practical application. Students will be able to increase their knowledge of learners’ learning processes. They will also be able to apply their knowledge of educational psychology theories and effective practices through classroom methods.
This course addresses the Michigan Department of Education's core teaching practices and teacher standards.
Core Teaching Practices
Lower Elementary PK-3 Education Preparation Standards
Upper Elementary 3-6 Education Preparation Standards
Professional Standards 5-12
Special Education Preparation Standards

Core Course Topics
  1. Educational Psychology Theorists and their theories
    • Explain the concept of pedagogy and its implication for academic achievement.
    • Identify educational psychology theorists and their pedagogical practices.
  2. Educational Development of Children
    • Compare and contrast the different social developmental stages of children within the learning setting.
    • Compare and contrast the different emotional developmental stages of children within the learning setting.
    • Compare and contrast the different physical developmental stages of children within the learning setting.
    • Compare and contrast the different cognitive developmental stages of children within the learning setting.
  3. Learning and Cognition
    • Diagram the information processing system and explain its application to retention and retrieval.
    • Identify memory facilitation strategies and reasons for forgetting.
    • Demonstrate role modeling to facilitate learning.
    • Describe the techniques of operant learning (reinforcement and punishment).
  4. Student Motivation
    • Identify personal and classroom factors that influence motivation to learn.
    • Describe how students and teachers can enhance academic achievement.
  5. Classroom Management Theories and Interventions
    • Develop effective classroom management interventions.
    • Discuss appropriate and inappropriate use of consequences.
  6. Methodologies and Instruction
    • Compare and contrast direct teaching and constructivist teaching designs.
    • Describe the steps of the problem-solving process.
  7. Student Differences and Diversity
    • Define and describe ableism, its intersections with other oppressions (e.g., linguicism, racism, sexism, trans/homophobia, etc.), and how inclusive teaching practices can impact student experiences (academic, social, disciplinary) and identities and transform learning communities. Explain how socioeconomic status, ableism, and gender play a role in the educational attainment of children.
    • Generate ways to address the different learning styles of students.
    • Design a lesson to reach children of different intelligence(s).
    • Discuss the rise of multiculturalism and its impact on educational programs. The student will be aware of complex issues involving traumatic experiences. This includes learning about the development of the whole child, including but not limited to cultural and linguistic context, economic conditions of families, social-emotional needs, trauma, health status and disabilities, peer and adult relationships, children’s individual and developmental variations, opportunities to play and learn, family and community characteristics, and the influence and impact of technology and the media.
  8. Testing and Measurement
    • Identify the purposes for testing.
    • Identify ways to measure student learning.
    • Compare norm-referenced grading to criterion-referenced grading. The student will compare and contrast effective testing procedures to ineffective testing procedures as well as compare and contrast the different purposes for screening formative and cumulative testing (i.e., achievement vs. diagnostic).
  9. Special Education
    • Describe the purpose of special education laws.
    • Discuss the pros and cons of labeling children and tracking.
    • Discuss the different special education settings.
    • Describe the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process.
  10. Current Educational Issues and Trends
    • Discuss and analyze contemporary educational issues and their implications for teaching and/or educational policy.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Assessment may include the following but be limited to:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Test Analysis
  • Group presentations
  • Self-designed rubric
  • Professional Article/Video Critique/Analysis
  • Classroom Management Case Studies
  • Classroom observations
General Course Requirements and Recommendations

The recommendation is that this course should be taken before EDU 201 and EDU 202.


Textbook(s) will be determined by the program faculty.


General Education Categories
  • Social Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Civil Society and Culture - U.S. and Global
MTA Categories
  • Category 4: Social Sciences
Satisfies Wellness Requirement
Effective Term
Fall 2023