Educational Psychology

EDUC 240


Course Overview:

The field of educational psychology focuses on human growth and development in educational settings. Educational psychology involves the study of such questions as: How do people learn? How do the characteristics of the learner (individual differences, personality, and cultural background) influence learning? How can classrooms and schools be organized to facilitate learning? What are the most effective ways to teach? How can we best facilitate learning? What factors influence motivation to learn? How should teachers approach classroom management and discipline? How do we assess learning? How can principles of developmental, social, and cognitive psychology be applied to education?

The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of ways educational and psychological principles are beneficial in working with others in a teaching, advising, or counseling capacity. One of the purposes of this course is to encourage students to reflect on the questions, “What should teachers know and be able to do?” and, “What types of attitudes, values, and dispositions should teachers have?”

Please note that Education 240 includes a rigorous service-learning experience in the Durham Public Schools and local community centers. Each student is required to participate in a tutoring experience that consists of two visits per week. The specific logistics vary depending on the site where you tutor.

VIDEO: In the video below, Emily Falcon talks about teaching children with special challenges in EDUC 240:

“This semester I’m working with a child on the autism spectrum, and exploring how he learns best. If we hadn’t gone into the classrooms and seen how the teachers are working with the students and how the students are responding to different activities we’re learning about in class, I don’t think I would’ve gotten the true perspective of what it’s like to teach in a kindergarten classroom on a day-to-day basis.”



Education 240 is an interactive class that will require you to share your thoughts and participate in hands-on activities. We could spend every class simply going over theories and facts found in our textbooks. Instead, we will use class time not only for teacher-directed instruction, but also for cooperative learning activities, open-ended discussions, panel discussions, videotapes, and visits by individuals involved in the field of education.

**Service-learning wil take place in local schools and community centers.  You will be required to tutor a child (or group of students) for at least two times each week throughout the semester.

Past Student Projects;

1) What is Asian-American? Stereotypes, Identity, Expectations, and Influences on Education and Well-Being by Yuyi Li. (PowerPoint from presentation below).

2) Biology and Bits: Improving Biology Education by Jennifer Zou (She is a computer science major and hand-coded this site! PPT below).

2) Co-teaching in the Classroom by Olivia Glass

3) Decoding Dyslexia by Aditi Sabhlok

4) Engaging All Students: Student Participation at the College Level by Cindy Tay (can only be opened in Google Chrome for some reason--we're working on getting it to work on other platforms)

5) What are the Effects of Bullying on Student Achievement? by Morgan Schultz

Principles of developmental, social, and cognitive psychology as applied to education, with a focus on how children learn. Examination of the impact on learning of race, class, gender, and ethnicity, including a comparative analysis of cultural differences in American schools. Through structured service-learning experiences in local schools, students reflect through writing on ethical issues in teaching. Required service-learning.



Curriculum Codes
  • CCI
  • EI
  • SS
Cross-Listed As
  • PSY 240
Typically Offered
Fall and/or Spring