Susan R. Goldman and Catherine E. Snow
The demands of literacy tasks change appreciably after students have mastered the basics of reading words accurately and with reasonable automaticity. At about age 10 reading becomes a tool for acquiring information, understanding a variety of points of view, critiquing positions, and reasoning. The results of international and US assessments show that many students who succeed at early reading tasks struggle with these new developmental challenges, focusing attention on the instructional needs of adolescent readers. Commonly used approaches to comprehension instruction in the postprimary grades, such as teaching reading comprehension strategies, do not adequately respond to the multiple challenges adolescent readers face. One such challenge is the need to acquire discipline-specific ways of reading, writing, and thinking, often from teachers who are themselves insufficiently aware of how reading literature differs from reading science or history. We argue that appropriate attention in instruction to discipline-specific literacy practices, to maintaining an authentic purpose for assigned literacy tasks, and to the role of focused discussion as a central element in teaching comprehension would improve reading outcomes and would revolutionize current theories about the nature of reading comprehension.
Advising students for postgraduate studies in psychology is an activity with which most faculty members in psychology are comfortable and, often, enjoy; however, when students approach their faculty members for advice or letters of recommendation for graduate school opportunities outside of psychology, are faculty really prepared? The goal of this chapter is to give direction and hints to help faculty prepare and support their students who decided to pursue graduate opportunities outside the field of psychology. This chapter offers: (a) a discussion of planning to maximize the undergraduate curricular and extracurricular experiences; (b) a review of skills, attributes, and characteristics deemed desirable by graduate programs, and (c) discussion of student as teacher in the application process. Where possible and appropriate, examples and literature from other disciplines (e.g., business, medicine) are provided.
Alex M. Moore, Nathan O. Rudig, and Mark H. Ashcraft
This article reviews the topics of affect, motivation, working memory, and their relationships to mathematics learning and performance. The underlying factors of interest, motivation, self-efficacy, and maths anxiety, as well as an approach concerning people’s beliefs about fixed versus malleable intelligence, can be grouped into an approach and an avoidance constellation of attitudes and beliefs, with opposite relationships to outcome measures of learning and mastery in maths. This article then considers the research on working memory, showing it to be central to arithmetic and maths processing, and also the principle mental component being disrupted by affective and emotional reactions during problem solving. After discussing the disruptive effects of maths anxiety, choking under pressure, and stereotype threat, the article closes with a brief consideration of how these affective disruptions might be minimized or eliminated.
Holly K. Craig
African American English (AAE) is a major American dialect. Recent research has focused on student patterns of AAE feature usage and found important relationships between AAE and reading achievement. This chapter provides background information on the nature of dialects and then focuses specifically on AAE, identifying the major features that characterize child discourse. Intrinsic student factors and extrinsic influences on feature production are discussed as well. An important influence on AAE feature production is style shifting: the changes a speaker makes to his or her speaking patterns in response to differences in the communication context. The chapter will discuss recent research that shows an inverse relationship between AAE feature production and reading achievement, and the mounting evidence that a student’s ability to style shift from AAE to Standard American English in literacy tasks is positively related to reading achievement. A final section of the chapter identifies needed directions for future research.
This chapter reviews well-being programs taught to young people in schools evaluating their benefits and downsides. It then considers the application of positive psychology theories to wider teaching and learning processes. Findings on self-determination theory, emotional intelligence, positive emotions, and theories of self-regulation, flow, and humor are applied to aspects of the learning environment including behavior management, lesson design, and assessment feedback in ways that promote student resilience and increase student learning. The chapter describes specific classroom practices teachers and educators can use to increase useful emotions in their classroom. The chapter ends with a warning about the potential dangers of inappropriately increasing self-esteem or positive emotions.
This article reviews recent research exploring children’s abilities to perform approximate arithmetic with non-symbolic and symbolic quantities, and considers what role this ability might play in mathematics achievement. It has been suggested that children can use their approximate number system (ANS) to solve approximate arithmetic problems before they have been taught exact arithmetic in school. Recent studies provide evidence that preschool children can add, subtract, multiply, and divide non-symbolic quantities represented as dot arrays. Children can also use their ANS to perform simple approximate arithmetic with non-symbolic quantities presented in different modalities (e.g. sequences of tones) or even with symbolic representations of number. This article reviews these studies, and consider whether children’s performance can be explained through the use of alternative non-arithmetical strategies. Finally, it discusses the potential role of this ability in the learning of formal symbolic mathematics.
Across a variety of languages, many words comprise more than one meaning unit, or morpheme. In the present chapter, reading studies employing readers’ eye movement registration are reviewed that examine how such polymorphemic words are identified in sentence context. The reviewed studies have examined how compound words, derived words, and inflected words are identified in sentence context. Studies are also reviewed that have investigated whether the meanings of polymorphemic words are constructed out of the meanings of their components. More generally, it is concluded that polymorphemic words are identified during reading using both whole-word representations available in the mental lexicon (the holistic route) as well as accessing the word identity via the component meanings (the decomposition route). Moreover, word length plays a significant role in modulating the relative dominance of the two access routes, with the decomposition route being more dominant for long polymorphemic words.
L. Zamarian and Margarete Delazer
Neuroimaging has significantly contributed to our understanding of human learning by tracking the neural correlates underlying the acquisition of new expertise. Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) suggest that the acquisition of arithmetic competence is reflected in a decrease of activation in frontal brain regions and a relative increase of activation in parietal brain regions that are important for arithmetic processing. Activation of the angular gyrus (AG) is related to fact learning, skilled retrieval, and level of automatization. fMRI investigations extend the findings of cognitive studies showing that behavioural differences between trained and untrained sets of items, between different arithmetic operations, and between different training strategies are reflected by specific activation patterns. fMRI studies also reveal inter-individual differences related to arithmetic competence, with low performing individuals showing lower AG activation when answering calculation problems. Importantly, training attenuates inter-individual differences in AG activation. Studies with calculation experts suggest that different strategies may be used to achieve extraordinary performance. While some experts recruit a more extended cerebral network compared with the average population, others use the same frontoparietal network, but more efficiently. In conclusion, brain imaging studies on arithmetic learning and expertise offer a promising view on the adaptivity of the human brain. Although evidence on functional or structural modifications following intervention in dyscalculic patients is still scarce, future studies may contribute to the development of more efficient and targeted rehabilitation programmes after brain damage or in cases of atypical numerical development.
William Buskist and Jared Keeley
Excellent teachers embody several characteristics that distinguish them from their colleagues. Definitions of excellence are remarkably consistent across students, professors, alumni, and administrators, evidencing two major factors: the interpersonal and technical aspects of teaching. However, because excellent teaching is a multifaceted concept, no two individuals will display excellence in the same manner. This chapter offers concrete advice about how to develop teaching excellence through knowing your subject matter; developing and refining your communication skills; increasing the value you place on student learning; tinkering with your teaching; learning more about how students learn; maintaining high, but fair academic standards; establishing rapport with your students; becoming enthusiastic about your subject matter; and finally, assessing your teaching.
Jamie G. McMinn
The decision to become an administrator in higher education is one that faculty members may consider. There are many factors that influence this decision, and it is important to understand the benefits and costs to one’s teaching, scholarship, and personal life while pursuing administrative paths. This chapter addresses some of these factors, combining personal experience and the experiences shared by colleagues, while also reviewing the literature on academic administration and offering personal reflections on why a faculty member would consider making the transition to administration. Higher education administration is not for everyone, but with careful consideration of one’s goals and values, it can be a rewarding endeavor.