Courses

PSYC 101(F, S) LEC 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 ]

HIST 155(S) TUT School Wars

Throughout the 20th century, parents, students, teachers, and policymakers have fought bitterly about the purpose of and practices in public schools. Public schools have been the site of a series of intense conflicts over the meanings of democracy and equality; the relationship between the individual, the family, and the state; and about completing claims to recognize the rights of teachers, children, and parents. Organized both chronologically and thematically, this course examines a series of "school wars" in the 20th century, focusing especially on battles over religion, race, and sex. Topics will include evolution/creationism, segregation and desegregation, bilingual education, sex education, free speech, and school prayer. This course asks how, why, and with what consequences schools have been an arena of cultural conflict in the United States? How do these debates help us understand the contested relationship between the rights of children and students, the rights of parents and families, the rights of communities and states, and the obligations of the federal government? How can historical analysis shed light on our present-day "school wars"? Many of these conflicts wind up in court, and we will be looking at some key Supreme Court decisions, but we will also draw upon memoirs, social histories, oral histories, popular culture, and other archival and documentary sources that focus on the experience of teachers and students. Tutorials meet in pairs. Every week, each student will either write an essay (1000-1250 words) that responds to and analyzes the readings OR a short essay (no more than 500 words) that responds to their partner's paper and raises further questions for discussion. [ more ]

PSYC 221(S) LEC Cognitive Psychology

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

PSYC 232(F, S) LEC 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) LEC 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 areas such as advertising, law, economics and business, and politics will also be discussed. [ more ]

PSYC 272 LEC Psychology of Education

Last offered Spring 2023

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 TUT Mathematics 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 ]

PSYC 327(S) SEM Cognition and Education

This class will examine two interrelated topics in education. One is societal issues in schooling, such recruiting teachers, tracking, international differences, and fads. The other is principles in the cognitive psychology of learning, such as metacognition, spacing effects, and retrieval practice, that can be used to enhance learning. Most of the readings will be scientific articles. [ more ]

PHIL 331 TUT Contemporary 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) SEM 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 either online or 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 333 TUT Children's Minds

Last offered Spring 2022

Humans stand out in the animal world for their capacity to develop ideas and consider those of other people. Where does this capacity come from, and how does it develop? Why do some people seem more inclined to consider ideas than others? What can schools do to foster the pursuit of ideas? Young children ask questions, tell stories, speculate, invent, and predict. By middle childhood, they are capable of constructing ideas about any number of complex topics: death, justice, infinity, and the nature of time, to name four. Yet by adolescence only some people are disposed to pursue ideas. We will examine data on children who collect objects (such as bugs or rocks) and information (about things like dinosaurs, contagion, and death), and examine the role such collections play in the capacity to construct ideas. We will consider research on how and when children puzzle over philosophical problems (for example, identity and fairness), how they learn to plan, their ability to learn from thought experiments, their emerging conception of what an idea is, and what they know about knowledge and its role in shaping beliefs and making decisions. We will also spend time looking at individual and cultural variation, as well as the influence of adults. We will read work in developmental, educational and cognitive psychology, as well as anthropology. [ more ]

PSYC 338 SEM Inquiry, Invention and Ideas

Last offered Spring 2024

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 339(F) SEM The Social Psychology of Prejudice

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 sources of prejudice and processes through which it is 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, sports, and business and government policies. A major component of this course will be the examination of classic and ongoing empirical research. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

Catalog details

WGSS 345(F) SEM The Pedagogy of Liberation

Education is inherently political, and politics necessarily involves pedagogy. Who should teach, what is taught, how it is taught, and why it is taught are questions hotly debated at all levels and in all sites of education because the answers have implications for societal reproduction or transformation. Politicians, activists, even family members at the dinner table all seek to educate in ways that incline us toward particular political positions. At the heart of this class stands the question: if different pedagogies point us in different political directions, then what kind of pedagogy or pedagogies serve the end of liberation from oppression and why? Are there certain pedagogical "goods" that reliably serve the goal of liberation across sites? Or do different sites require different approaches? To begin to answer these questions, we will engage a variety of thinker-teachers and groups known for their commitment to a "pedagogy of liberation." While feminist thinkers will be foregrounded, we may also look to thinker-teachers who and groups that do not claim this label. In addition to engaging texts which reflect on different aspects of radical pedagogy (content, form, method, etc.) and radical pedagogy in different settings (the college classroom, the social movement headquarters, the home), we will witness radical pedagogy in practice. Moreover, we will enact various radical pedagogical strategies in our own classroom and beyond. [ more ]

PSYC 353(F) SEM Family and School-Based Interventions

The development of child psychopathology is influenced by a complex interplay of factors related to the individual (e.g., genetic risk), the family (e.g., instances of abuse), the school environment (e.g., incidents of bullying), and the broader context (e.g., socioeconomic factors like poverty). In comparison to adults, the manifestation of symptoms in children and adolescents is more directly linked to their immediate surroundings. Consequently, interventions primarily centered around the family and school settings are commonly employed in the prevention and treatment of psychological and behavioral issues. Throughout this course, we will delve into the associations between risk and protective factors from various settings and the emergence of externalizing and internalizing symptoms in children and adolescents. A comprehensive examination of the role of parenting and family dynamics in the origins of disorders in children will be undertaken. Our discussions will also encompass a spectrum of practical and ethical considerations associated with working with children and families. The objectives of this course include gaining an enhanced understanding of crucial risk and protective factors, exploring how such knowledge can be applied at the individual, family, and population levels, and grasping the utilization of behavior analysis and case conceptualization as tools for crafting precise and effective interventions for children and adolescents. To accomplish these objectives, we will analyze case studies and research articles, adopting a hands-on approach to applying knowledge of risk and protective factors in both assessment and intervention design. Emphasis will be placed on addressing the myriad practical and ethical challenges linked to working with children and families during these discussions. [ more ]

PSYC 372 SEM Advanced Seminar in Teaching and Learning

Last offered Fall 2023

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 SEM Critical Issues in Learning and Teaching

Last offered Fall 2020

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 379(S) SEM American Pragmatism

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 ]