Applications of Psychological Science to Teaching and Learning: Gaps in the Literature
Purpose and Process
The task force examined factors that affect learning and found that courses provided to teaching candidates rarely emphasize the interactions between child development, learning theory, motivation, cultural and other individual differences. Members of the task force were selected based on their expertise in several subdisciplines of psychology including: motivation, development, assessment, behavior management, social psychology, and learning and instruction. Separately and together, members of the task force translated literature from psychological science on 10 topics useful for teachers in schools. The focus of the work was to integrate developmental and contextual concerns with research on instruction. Based on the task force’s expertise, the available psychological literature and recent findings from the APA Teacher Needs Survey, the 10 teaching strategies were identified and developed into modules.
In the course of preparing each module the authors were able to explore whether there were serious gaps in the literature that, if they were filled, would enhance the effectiveness of these strategies for wider audiences, whether by virtue of age, ethnicity or disability. This document provides a summary of some of the gaps in the literature that Task Force members discovered in the course of module preparation.
Task Force Members
Chair: Mary Brabeck, New York University
Carol Dwyer, Educational Testing Service
Sandra Graham, University of California — Los Angeles
Thomas Kratochwill, University of Wisconsin — Madison
Joan Lucariello, City University of New York
Barbara McCombs, University of Denver
Sara Rimm-Kaufman, University of Virginia
Margaret Semrud-Clikeman, Michigan State University