Program in Teaching

Courses

PSYC 101 (F, S)Introductory Psychology

An introduction to the major subfields of psychology: behavioral neuroscience, cognitive, developmental, social, personality, psychopathology, and health. The course aims to acquaint students with the major methods, theoretical points of view, and findings of each subfield. Important concepts are exemplified by a study of selected topics and issues within each of these areas. [ more ]

PSYC 232 (F, S)Developmental Psychology

An introduction to the study of human growth and development from conception through emerging adulthood. Topics for discussion include prenatal development, perceptual and motor development, language acquisition, memory and intellectual development, and social and emotional development. These topics form the basis for a discussion of the major theories of human development, including early experience, social learning, psychoanalytic, cognitive-developmental, and ethological models. [ more ]

PSYC 242 (F, S)Social Psychology

A survey of theory and research in social psychology. Topics include the self, social perception, conformity, attitudes and attitude change, prejudice, aggression, altruism, attraction and love, intergroup conflict, and cultural psychology. Applications in the areas of advertising, law, business, and health will also be discussed. [ more ]

PSYC 272 (S)Psychology of Education

This course introduces students to a broad range of theories and research on education. What models of teaching work best, and for what purposes? How do we measure the success of various education practices? What is the best way to describe the psychological processes by which children gain information and expertise? What accounts for individual differences in learning, and how do teachers (and schools) address these individual needs? How do social and economic factors shape teaching practices and the educational experiences of individual students? The course will draw from a wide range of literature (research, theory, and first hand accounts) to consider key questions in the psychology of education. Upon completion of the course, students should be familiar with central issues in pre-college education and know how educational research and the practice of teaching affect one another. [ more ]

MATH 285 T (S)Mathematics Education

This course will be a study of mathematics education, from the practical aspects of teaching to numerous ideas in current research. This is an exciting time in mathematics education. The new common core state standards have sparked a level of interest and debate not often seen in the field. In this course, we will look at a wide range of issues in math education, from content knowledge to the role of creativity in a math class to philosophies of teaching. In addition to weekly tutorial meetings that focus on some of the key questions in math education, we will also meet weekly as a group to discuss the mechanics of teaching. Each student will also be responsible for teaching bi-weekly extra sessions for MATH 200 at which they will make presentations, field questions, and offer guidance on homework questions. Students will also attend the MATH 200 lecture, and do some grading for the course. [ more ]

PSYC 327 Cognition and Education

Not offered this year

This course will examine the cognitive processes underlying learning in educational settings. Students will come away with a richer understanding of how the mind encodes, stores, and retrieves knowledge, and how learners monitor and manage their own learning. We will examine common educational practices and how they depart from what research recommends. Although the class is primarily about cognition, we will delve into related topics such as motivation, determination, and inequality. Most of the readings will be scientific research articles on cognition and/or education. [ more ]

PHIL 331 T Contemporary Epistemology

Not offered this year

Epistemology is one of the core areas of philosophical reflection. In this course, we will study the literature in contemporary philosophy on the nature of knowledge and rational belief. Epistemologists seek answers to the following kinds of questions: When is it rational to have a particular belief? What is knowledge (as opposed to mere opinion)? In order to be justified in holding a belief, must someone know (or believe) that she is justified in holding that belief? What, if anything, justifies our scientific knowledge? These questions are typically asked within a framework where the overarching goal is attaining truth and avoiding falsity. Beyond this common ground, however, epistemologists are much divided. Some maintain that these issues are solely the provinces of philosophy, using traditional a priori methods. Others maintain that these questions will only yield to methods that incorporate our broader insight into the nature of the world including, perhaps, feminist thought or science. Both stances face severe difficulties. Further, even where there is agreement as to the proper way of answering epistemological questions, there is a stunning variety of possible answers to each question. [ more ]

PSYC 332 Cognitive Development

Not offered this year

In this course we consider how mental abilities, such as language, memory, thinking and imagination develop during the childhood years. We begin by asking how infants, who do not have language, make sense of their world and then move on to examine the development of language, memory, reasoning, and imagination. Throughout these discussions, we consider the impact of biology (e.g. changes in the brain) and culture on cognition, as well as the similarities and differences in the cognitive abilities of normally developing children and children with developmental problems (e.g., autism). All students will design and conduct an empirical research project. [ more ]

PSYC 336 Adolescence

Not offered this year

Why do we define adolescence as a distinct stage of development? What are its perils and accomplishments? What internal and external forces make adolescence such a volatile and formative stage of life? The course considers a range of empirical and theoretical material, as well as fiction and film, in order to identify and understand the behavior and experience of adolescents. Topics include: identity, sexuality, romantic love, intellectual growth, family relationships, psychological problems, education, and variation between cultures. [ more ]

PSYC 341 / WGSS 339 Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Not offered this year

This course will examine social psychological theories and research that are relevant to the understanding of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. We will take a variety of social psychological perspectives, emphasizing sociocultural, cognitive, personality, or motivational explanations. We will examine the impact that stereotypes and prejudice have on people's perceptions of and behaviors toward particular groups or group members and will explore a variety of factors that tend to exacerbate or weaken this impact. We also will consider some of the sources of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination and some of the processes through which they are maintained, strengthened, or revised. In addition, we will examine some of the effects that stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination can have on members of stereotyped groups, as well as some implications of the social psychological research findings for issues such as education and business and government policies. A major component of this course will be the examination of classic and ongoing empirical research. [ more ]

PSYC 350 Child Psychopathology

Not offered this year

This course explores the rapidly evolving field of psychological disorders in childhood and adolescence. We will examine the intertwined effects of individual characteristics (e.g., genetics, neurobiological factors), relationship processes (e.g., parenting, family functioning, peers), community settings (e.g., schools, neighborhoods), and the broader cultural context (e.g., poverty, stigma, media). Using a developmental framework, we will examine the emergence and maintenance of specific psychological disorders, as well as variations in how children cope with cataclysmic stressors (chronic illness, physical and sexual abuse). The goals of this course include (1) appreciation of the dynamic interplay between biology and experience in the unfolding of psychopathology, (2) exploration of diagnostic criteria and phenomenology of specific disorders, and (3) exposure to a wide range of research-based strategies for prevention and intervention. [ more ]

PSYC 351 Childhood Peer Relations and Clinical Issues

Not offered this year

An exploration of the important ways peer relationships influence children's emotional, cognitive, and social development. We consider various aspects of childhood peer rejection, including emergence and maintenance of peer difficulties, short- and long-term consequences, and intervention and prevention programs. A variety of research methodologies and assessment strategies will be considered. All students will design and conduct an empirical research project based on the concepts discussed. [ more ]

PSYC 372 (F)Advanced Seminar in Teaching and Learning

This advanced seminar will give students an opportunity to connect theory to practice. Each student will have a teaching placement in a local school, and participate in both peer and individual supervision. In addition, we will read a range of texts that examine different approaches to teaching, as well as theory and research on the process of education. What is the best way to teach? How do various theories of child development and teaching translate into everyday practices with students? Students will be encouraged to reflect on and modify their own teaching practices as a result of what we read as well as their supervision. Questions we will discuss include: What is the relationship between educational goals and curriculum development? What is the relation between substance (knowledge, skills, content) and the interpersonal dynamic inherent in a classroom setting? How do we assess teaching practices and the students' learning? What does it take to be an educated person? [ more ]

PHIL 379 / AMST 379 American Pragmatism

Not offered this year

Along with jazz, pragmatism stands as the greatest uniquely American contribution to world culture. As the music wails in the background, we will study the classic pragmatists: William James, C. S. Peirce, and John Dewey. We will continue with the contemporary inheritors of the tradition: Cornel West, Richard Rorty, and Hilary Putnam. Although it has influenced both analytic and continental philosophy, pragmatism is a powerful third philosophical movement. Always asking what practical difference would it make, our authors investigate the central questions and disputes of philosophy, from epistemology and metaphysics to ethics and religion. Rather than seeing philosophy as an esoteric discipline, the pragmatic philosophers (with the possible exception of Peirce) see philosophy as integral to our culture and see themselves as public intellectuals. [ more ]

PSCI 410 Senior Seminar in American Politics: Civic Education in America

Not offered this year

Despite the fact that, according to a recent poll by the National Constitution Center, 8 in 10 Americans believe that democratic government requires an informed and active citizenry, fewer than 4 in 10 can name the three branches of the federal government. Whether or not we regard this particular encyclopedic fact as especially important, few disagree with the idea that, when it comes to politics and citizenship, Americans are an ill-informed people. But what exactly would we want Americans to know more about? And how exactly might we get them to learn it? Taking these questions as its starting points, this senior seminar will tackle the state of civic education in America -- its promise and its pitfalls, its past iterations and its practice in contemporary times. In the first half of the semester, we will look closely at a series of debates about the goals, substance, and effect of civic education, including whether (and why) we should want it, what exactly it can and should look like (perhaps looking to civic education in other nations for meaningful points of comparison), and what sorts of effects it may have on citizens individually and the polity at large. In the second half of the semester, we will seek to put what we have learned into action, with students selecting a particular subject (an institution, a value, a process) and developing a civic education curriculum around it for introduction at several distinct grade levels in local schools. Embodying the idea that you never know something as thoroughly and meaningfully as you might until you have taught it, this seminar will seek simultaneously to deepen our own civic knowledge and practices and to cultivate more meaningful knowledge and practices in others. [ more ]