PSYC 101(F, S)Introductory Psychology

An introduction to the major subfields of psychology: behavioral neuroscience, cognitive, developmental, social, and psychological disorders and treatment. 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 221(S)Cognitive Psychology

This course surveys current research on human cognition. Topics include perception, attention, learning, education, memory, psychology and law, categorization, language, judgment, decision making, reasoning, intelligence, problem solving, and consciousness. [ more ]

PSYC 232(F)Developmental Psychology

An introduction to the study of human growth and development from conception through emerging adulthood. Topics for discussion include prenatal and infant development, perceptual and motor development, language acquisition, cognitive development, and social and emotional development. These topics form the basis for a discussion of the major theories of human development, including those about early experience, neural plasticity, dynamic systems, information processing, social learning, attachment, parenting, and family systems. [ more ]

PSYC 242(F, S)Social Psychology

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

PSYC 272Psychology of Education

Last offered Spring 2020

This course introduces students to a broad range of theories and research on education. What can developmental research tell us about how children learn? 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 TMathematics Education

Last offered Spring 2015

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. Anyone interested in this course should contact Prof Pacelli early in the fall semester if possible. [ more ]

AFR 318 / PSYC 334(F)Defining and Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline

The school-to-prison pipeline describes a system of processes that pushes children out of school into jails and prisons. This course will explore the pipeline and the relationships between school, prison, and society. We will begin with the history and creation of the modern-day school-to-prison pipeline, focusing on the educational and public policies that encourage the criminalization of "others", with particular emphasis on folks of color and under-resourced communities. We will also look to firsthand accounts from those pushed into the pipeline to humanize the topic and engage in thoughtful and compassionate discussion. Together, we will define "school" and "prison", identifying how these definitions are aligned with the most current iteration of the pipeline, and how they can help us as we work to dismantle it. [ more ]

AFR 324 / PSYC 337(S)Critical Perspectives in Special Education

What makes special education "special"? This course will explore the role, purpose, and function of special education in the United States. Given special education's assumption of dis/ability (Baglieri, 2012), we will also create collective and individual frameworks for discussing and deconstructing dis/ability. This course will examine history, policy, and pedagogy related to special education; we will also discuss how law and school practices have systemically and systematically excluded students of color from general education classrooms, leading to the overrepresentation of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx children in special education. We will listen to narratives shared by people with dis/abilities and our educational histories to understand how personal connections to special education influence our current beliefs and future practice. [ more ]

PSYC 327Cognition and Education

Last offered Spring 2020

In this class we will read scientific articles about two interrelated topics. One is societal issues in schooling, such as fads, charter schools, tracking, dropping out, international differences, and segregation. The other is principles in the cognitive psychology of learning, such as desirable difficulty, that can be used to improve educational practice. [ more ]

PHIL 331 TContemporary Epistemology

Last offered Fall 2012

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(S)Children's Mathematical Thinking and Learning

Are babies statistical experts? Will I ever be good at calculus? What are we born with and what do we learn? Before children are ever taught formal mathematics in a classroom, they are confronted with situations where they must use their informal understanding of geometry, space, and number to successfully navigate their environments. In this course we read and discuss both foundational and cutting-edge articles from neuroscience, cognitive science, education, and psychology to understand how humans bridge this gap between the informal and formal mathematical worlds. We will also tackle questions such as: How do culture and language affect numerical understanding? What are the sources of children's mathematical misconceptions? What are the effects of early environmental input or input deprivation on mathematical development? What do we know about gender differences in math achievement? How do stereotypes, prejudice, and math anxiety affect math performance? For your laboratory component, you will work with a small group of other students to develop an original research project that tests a specific hypothesis about children's mathematical thinking and learning. Data will be collected in community schools, with the permission of parents, teachers, and children. Your results will be written-up in for your final paper, which will be in the style of an empirical journal article. [ more ]

PSYC 338Inquiry, Invention and Ideas

Last offered Spring 2020

Children tinker, explore and create, but some more than others, and under some conditions more than others. What leads children to investigate, invent and build their own ideas? We will examine the development of curiosity, invention, and the ability to have or construct an idea. We will also look at what accounts for individual differences between children, including the role of intelligence, creativity, social cues, and opportunity. We will look at how these processes unfold at home and in school, and discuss the educational implications of the research we read, and the research we conduct. [ more ]

PSYC 341 / WGSS 339Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Last offered Spring 2020

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 372Advanced Seminar in Teaching and Learning

Last offered Fall 2018

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 ]

PSYC 373(F)Critical Issues in Learning and Teaching

In this seminar we will take a deep dive into several key topics in education. We will examine psychological research as well as a range of other materials (essays, film, recordings of children and personal experiences) to help answer a series of questions, including: Does the kind or quality of schooling have a measurable impact on children? How do you create curriculum? How does one conduct high quality classroom observations? What do good teachers have in common? What is the best way to help teachers get better at what they do? Can remote learning work well in K-12 settings? [ more ]

PHIL 379 / AMST 379American Pragmatism

Last offered Fall 2017

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 ]