Course Information: Educational Psychology (Education
215) - Cornell College
Professor Kerry Bostwick and Consulting Librarian Jean Donham.
The course is required for both the elementary and secondary
teacher certification programs. Students are required to observe
in an assigned classroom for two days where they take field
notes. The librarian provides a workshop before the two observation
days so that students can read the research literature in
Type: Field Experience
Block Plan Context:
Description of Assignment:
Students present a School Observation Paper following their
observations in the public schools, which is due at the end
of week 2. The paper consists of four parts. The description
of the four parts as detailed to the students is listed below.
- A description of the physical environment of the school.
When discussing the physical environment, articulate your
feelings or first impression upon returning to a K-12 public
- Describe the student you shadowed in great detail, but
change the student's name for confidentiality purposes.
- Provide detailed commentary and support as to where you
believe your student to be in relation to Piaget's
theory of cognitive development, and Erikson's stages of
psychosocial development or Kohlberg's stages of moral development
or Gilligan's "ethic of care."
- How students were kept "on-task"
- Motivational issues
- Teacher accommodation of instruction to meet individual
- How students were assessed (also, were they told in advance
- Attitude(s) expressed by the teacher(s) to students
- Attitude(s) expressed by the students to the teacher(s)
- In your opinion, were the assignments (daily work) interesting
- Discuss the learning environment
- Organization of the classroom
- Classroom duties.
- Discuss gender issues:
- Did the teacher call on males and females equally?
Did the teacher have a system?
- How did the males and females interact with each other?
- Discuss your observation of Vygotsky's Social Constructivism
or Bandura's (behavioral theory) Social Cognitive Theory
of Learning in the elementary or secondary classroom.
- Discuss the teacher's method or methods of instruction
relating to Vygotsky or Bandura (as you observed) and discuss
the students' reactions to the teaching method you observed.
- Conclusion of your paper to include: 1) discuss the most
valuable lesson you learned as a result of these two observation
days in the schools; 2) discuss your personal comments about
the observations (elementary or secondary) and its relevance
to you as a potential public school teacher, coach, parent,