7211.09 - Psychology for Teachers

Course number
Psychology for Teachers
Although this course is an independent unit, it is nevertheless conducted in conjunction with another course, Social Education and General Didactics for Teachers (7213.10). Students will gain insight into selected trends in the academic study of psychology that are particularly relevant to the teaching vocation. Thorough knowledge on how children develop, learn, think, communicate and so on will help and guide the students, when they, as future teachers, will (1) plan courses, (2) teach, (3) assess their work and (4) document work plans and their results. In this course, students will - become aware of what characterises psychology as a science, and what characterises the methods, which are central to the practice of psychology - gain thorough knowledge on how children develop, how nature and social context (including the school environment) influence this development - gain insight into some basic theories on how children learn, and into how the concepts of teaching and learning are related - become aware of the logic that has shaped the Faroese educational system, including how the school, as a social context, and the traditions that characterise the school as an educational context influence the attitude, sense of identity and wellbeing of the individual students - become aware of the pedagogical challenges in working with students with special needs, with whom the Faroese school teacher also works
The course is in five parts. Each part focuses on a particular field of study. There is a progressive relationship between the parts, the latter building on the former. How the parts are related will be shown as the course develops. 1. In the first part we will focus on psychology as a field of study and as science. Psychological schools will be linked to their relevant scientific traditions, so that students will become aware of the relationship between scientific theory and psychology as science. In addition, various methods in psychology will be considered. 2. Part two is on developmental and personal psychology. Among the many, a few theories will be considered, e.g. those of John Bowlby, Daniel Stern and Heinz Kohut. 3. In part three, the students will work on learning and cognitive psychology. Various theories will be explained and analysed, e.g. the cognitive learning theory of Jean Piaget, the operative constructivism of Niklas Luhmann, the russian psychology of Vygotsky, the theory of situated cognition of Jean Lave and Etiénne Wenger, Abraham Maslow’s theory of motivation, and van Deurzen Smith’s notion of the four existential dimensions. The students will also work with Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and Dunn and Dunn’s theory about learning styles. 4. Social psychology is an independent part of this course. Students will familiarise themselves with Urie Bronfenbenner’s Ecological system theory. In addition, the students, taking their cues from post-structuralism and social constructivism, will work with discourse analysis. 5. This part is on clinical psychology. Some of the issues students will be informed on are F70-F79: Mental retardation, F84: Autism/Asperger syndrome and F90-91: ADHD.
Assessment method
Students are assessed on two projects. (1) On completion of the course, each student will write a report on what the course has been about. (2) After completing their course, the students have a 3-week practicum. After the practicum, the students will write a research paper that covers both this course and the course in pedagogy and general didactics. The paper should be either grounded in the practicum or make reference to it. The research paper is a group project and will be defended orally. The evaluation is two-fold. (1) The students will receive the grade passed or not passed for the report. Internal examiners will be used. (2) The research paper, which covers both this course and the course in pedagogy and general didactics, will be defended orally. Grades will be awarded according to the current grading scale. External examiners will be used.