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Online Course

Learning, Knowledge, and Human Development

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera

  • Provider Coursera
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Duration 4 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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This course sets out to provide an understanding of theories of learning and development and how these theories relate to educational technology. It has two components. The first is theoretical, in which we attempt to develop an overall frame of reference, locating approaches to the psychology of learning in terms of large paradigm shifts, from ‘behaviorism’ to ‘brain developmentalism’ to ‘social cognitivism’. The second component is practical, in which we will use these theoretical concepts to ‘parse’ a technology-mediated learning environment for its underlying presuppositions.


COURSE ORIENTATION + Foundations of Educational Psychology
-This course sets out to provide an introduction to educational psychology. It includes a variety of voices and perspectives from the College of Education at the University of Illinois. Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope offer a historical and conceptual overview of the field, classified broadly under the terms "behaviorism," "brain developmentalism," and "social cognitivism." This is followed by four quite different practical examples of educational psychology at work. Dorothy Espelage discusses her work on the social and emotional conditions of learning in her research into bullying at school. Denice Hood gives an example of the application of psychology to educational counseling. George Reese speaks about "productive struggle" in learning. And finally, Joe Robinson-Cimpian discusses the application of quantitative psychology to analyze test results for the purposes of school and curricular placement.

Brain Developmentalism and Social Cognitivism
-In this module, we explore the main theories and theorists in approaches to educational psychology that we call "brain developmentalism" and "social cognitivism."

Social and Emotional Conditions of Learning and Student Development
-This module and the following one present four leading educational psychologists from the University of Illinois demonstrating the range of applications of educational psychology. In this module, Dorothy Espelage explores the socio-emotional conditions of learning, with a particular focus on her research into bullying. Then, Denice Hood discusses student development.

Productive Struggle in Learning and Quantitative Psychology
-Two more, quite varied applications of educational psychology: George Reese discusses productive struggle, and Joe Robinson-Cimpian the application of quantitative educational psychology at a systems level.

Taught by

Dr William Cope and Dr Mary Kalantzis

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