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Educational Psychology

Learning Sciences

A new interdisciplinary science of learning has emerged, based on research psychology, education, computer science, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, neuroscience, and other fields that study learning.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

An MRI is an imaging technique that uses a magnetic field along with radio waves and a computer to create detailed pictures of the inside of the body. A funtional MRI uses the MRI to measure the tiny changes that take place in the brain during brain activity


View that emphasizes the active role of the learner, in building understanding, and making sense of information

First Wave Constructivism

A focus on the individual and psychological sources of knowing, as in Piaget's theory.

Radical Constructivism

Knowledge is assumed to be the individual's construction; it cannot be judged right or wrong


Being able to internalize (or take for yourself) knowledge and skills developed in interaction with others, or with cultural tools

Second Wave Constructivism

A focus on the social and cultural sources of knowing, as in Vygotsky's theory


How public knowledge in disciplines such as science, math, economics, or history is constructed

Community of Practice

Social situation or context in which ideas are judged useful or true

Situated Learning

The idea that skills and knowledge are tied to the situation in which they were learned and difficult to apply in new settings

Complex Learning Environments

Problems and learning situations that mimic the ill-structured nature of real life

Social Negotiation

Aspect of learning process that relies on collaboration with others and respect for different perspectives

Intersubjective Attitude

A commitment to build shared meaning with others by finding common ground and exchanging interpretations

Multiple Representations of Content

Considering problems using various analogies, examples, and metaphors

Sprial Curriculum

Bruner's design for teaching that introduces the fundamental structure of all subjects early in the school years, then re-visits the subjects in more and more complex forms over time

Inquiry Learning

Approach in which the teacher presents a puzzling situation and students solve the problem by gathering data and testing their conclusions

Problem-Based Learning

Methods that provide students with realistic problems that don't necessarily have "right" answers.

Anchored Instruction

A type of problem-based learning that uses a complex, interesting situation as an anchor of learning

Cognitive Apprenticeship

A relationship in which a less experienced learner acquires knowledge and skills under the guidance of an expert

Reciprocal Teaching

Is designed to help students understand and think deeply about what they read


A philosophy about how to relate to others - how to learn and work


A way of working with others to attain a shared goal

Cooperative Learning

Situations where elaboration, interpretation, explanation, and argumentation are integral to the activity of the group and where learning is supported by other individuals

Reciprocal Questioning

Students work in pairs or triads to ask, and answer questions about lesson material

Jigsaw Classroom

A learning process in which each student is part of a group and each group member is assigned part of the material to be learned by the whole group. Students become "expert" on their piece and then teach it to the others in their group

Structured Controversy

Students work in pairs within their four-person cooperative groups to research a particular controversy

Fostering Communities of Learners (FCL)

A system of interacting activities that results in a self-consciously active and reflective learning environment and uses a research, share, and perform learning cycle.

Service Learning

Combines learning with personal and social development for secondary and college students

Digital Divide

A split between access to technologies between those who fall into high versus low socioeconomic status.

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