How Students Learn: Reforming Schools Through Learner-Centered Education
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Declining levels of academic performance in science and mathematics, disciplinary and drug abuse problems, and increasing violence in America's schools have generated extensive national debate over the past two decades. These concerns are viewed not only as a crisis in education but also as reflecting significant deficiencies in American society. In response to these issues, various reform strategies have been advocated, yet many of them ignore what psychologists know about children's learning.
In How Students Learn: Reforming Schools Through Learner-Centered Education, leaders in the psychological and educational communities suggest that successful school reform must not only uphold standards but also must recognize students' differences and unique learning styles. The volume examines current research on how students learn and presents the theoretical perspectives and research findings of leading authors in educational psychology. The chapters reflect the work of these distinguished educators and psychologists in developing and articulating the psychological knowledge base that is most relevant to education.
List of Contributors
—Charles D. Spielberger
- Introduction: Learner-Centered Schools and Classrooms as a Direction for School Reform
—Nadine M. Lambert and Barbara L. McCombs
I. Learner-Centered Perspectives for Classroom Teaching
- The Research Base for APA's Learner-Centered Psychological Principles
—Patricia A. Alexander and P. Karen Murphy
- Contextual Factors Influencing the Classroom Application of Learner-Centered Principles
—Craig L. Frisby
- Promoting Positive Expectations in Schooling
—Rhona S. Weinstein
- Cognitive Principles Applied to the Development of Literacy
—Linda R. Kroll
- Cognition and Subject Matter Learning
—Merlin C. Wittrock
- Designing a Community of Young Learners: Theoretical and Practical Lessons
—Ann L. Brown and Joseph C. Campione
II. Learner-Centered Perspectives in the Design of Assessment Systems
- Why Learner-Centered Assessment Is Better Than High-Stakes Testing
—Scott G. Paris
- Using Learner-Centered Assessment on a Large Scale
—Joan Boykoff Baron
- Cognitive, Metacognitive, and Conative Considerations in Classroom Assessment
—Robert J. Marzano
III. Dilemmas in Assessment: Policy and Educational Reform
- Higher Education Assessment and National Goals for Education: Issues, Assumptions, and Principles
- Educational Assessment and Diversity
—Trevor E. Sewell, Joseph P. DuCette, and Joan Poliner Shapiro
- Dilemmas in Assessing Academic Achievement
—Andrew C. Porter
IV. Teacher Education for the Learner-Centered Classrooms of the Future
- Cognitive Theory for Education: What Teachers Need to Know
—Richard E. Mayer
- Integrating Metacognition, Affect, and Motivation in Improving Teacher Education
—Barbara L. McCombs
- Developmental Psychology as a Guide for Teaching and Teacher Preparation
—Paul Ammon and Allen Black
- Teaching Educational Psychology: Learner-Centered Constructivist Perspectives
—Hermine H. Marshall
V. Summary and Conclusions
- What Have We Learned and Where Are We Going in School Reform?
—Barbara L. McCombs and Nadine M. Lambert
Appendix: Original Version of the Learner-Centered Psychological Principles: Guidelines for School Redesign and Reform
About the Editors
Nadine M. Lambert, PhD, received her doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Southern California and her master's degree in education from Los Angeles State University. Dr. Lambert is currently professor in the Graduate School of Education, University of California at Berkeley, where she has been since 1964.
During her more than 30-year career in psychology and education, Dr. Lambert has made major contributions in both areas. She was director of the School Psychology Training Program for the Berkeley campus and also served as Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the School of Education. She continues to be a leader within APA, serving as one of the co-chairs for the Presidential Task Force on Psychology in Education that resulted in the creation of the learner-centered psychological principles. She has also headed a number of other special APA committees and played a major role in establishing the APA Education Directorate.
Dr. Lambert's School Psychology Program at Berkeley was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health as a model of education and training programs from 1966 to 1987. During this time and to the present, this work and her program evaluation studies demonstrate that teachers, principles, and other school administrators perceived the positive impact of the school psychologists on the academic, personal, and social well-being of students in the system. The scientist-professional model of the program has set a standard for a comprehensive service-delivery role of school psychologists in California as well as those trained by graduates of Berkeley's program nationally.
Dr. Lambert has authored major books in the fields of education and psychology and has served in an editorial capacity on several significant professional journals in both fields.
Barbara L. McCombs, PhD, received her doctoral degree in educational psychology from Florida State University.
Dr. McCombs is presently senior director for the Human Development and Motivation Group at the Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory in Colorado. She has more than 20 years of experience directing research and development efforts in a wide range of basic and applied areas. These include large-scale projects for the U.S. Department of Education on learning and motivational strategies for students and teachers, and social skills training curricula for enhancing job success.
Dr. McCombs's expertise is in motivational and self-development training programs for empowering youth and adults. She is co-author of the McREL Middle School Advisement Program for enhancing student self-development in critical nonacademic areas. She is also the primary author of the Learner-Centered Psychological Principles: Guidelines for School Redesign and Reform (1993), written by APA's Presidential Task Force on Psychology in Education, which she co-chaired.
Under Dr. McCombs's direction, her Human Development and Motivation Group at McREL has recently completed a professional development program for teachers that is based on the learner-centered principles, titled For Our Students, For Ourselves: Putting Learner-Centered Principles to Practice. In addition, she is directing a project to inspire a new vision of American education and to bring information and useful strategies related to effective practice to school administrators, teachers, parents, and school boards through the use of telecommunications technologies. Included in these strategies is the use of the Internet for the professional development of teachers of students at risk of educational failure, the All Children's Education Network (ACEnet).
Dr. McCombs's work extends to systemic reform strategies, including community involvement and empowerment programs for schools with a high percentage of students at risk of academic failure.