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University of St. Francis logo · College of Education · COE

Educational Psychology

  • Template 2017
  • Section TMPL
  • 3 Credits
  • 07/21/2017 to 07/29/2100
  • Modified 08/15/2023

Mission Statement

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership. 


Directs teacher candidates in the application of the principles of psychology to education. Special emphasis is given to understanding growth and development, cognitive processes, theories of learning, and motivation. Candidates will apply course concepts as they begin to develop lesson planning skills. (IAI Course #: SED 902)

Course Overview

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction and overview of the psychological processes and issues underlying the educative process.  We will explore learning from the perspectives of classic and current psychological theories, and seek to develop an understanding of the many influences on learning, including motivation, development, and individual differences. This course focuses on real-world applications, with special consideration given to the multiple contexts (e.g., classrooms, schools, communities, families, cultures) in which learning takes place.


Prerequisite: EDUC 210/MEDU 665 or concurrent registration


College of Education Mission

The mission of the College of Education is to prepare competent and caring educators who understand students, serve the community and develop professionally to become ethical decision-makers and leaders.

Understanding Our Students

Candidates will explore various areas of learning, development, and motivation.  Candidates will examine general tendencies as well as individual differences.  Learning and assessment approaches will be discussed in terms of identifying multiple and diverse means of facilitating students’ achievement and development.

Serving the Community

In this course, candidates will examine the critical role of teachers in the context of the communities in which they serve.  Throughout, we will consider the challenges and rewards of teaching in urban settings. Discussions will also explore the role of teaching and learning related to citizenship and the common good. 

Finding Our Professional Selves

Candidates will develop an explicit and comprehensive theory of teaching, learning, and development based on existing theories and research.  Candidates will begin to define personal theories of learning and motivation that will serve as a framework for their classroom instruction and educational decision-making.


Course outcomes are aligned with the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (IPTS) and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment & Support Consortium (INTASC). Candidates will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of cognitive and language development in children and adolescents, and the ability to apply concepts to authentic educational situations based on developmental considerations. (IPTS-2A, 2I, 5C: I; 2A, 2G: D. INTASC 2)
  2. Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of individual variations in temperament, social and emotional competence and personal and cultural experiences, and the ability to use that understanding to enrich students’ educational experiences. (IPTS-1C, 1E, 1G, 1I, 1J, 1K, 2E, 3C, 5C: I. INTASC 2)
  3. Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivational processes and the ability to recognize and apply evidence-based strategies that foster students’ motivation for learning. (IPTS-4C, 4K, 4N, 5B, 5F, 5S, 9A: I; 4D: D. INTASC 5)
  4. Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of Social Constructivist theory and the ability to recognize and apply evidence-based strategies to authentic educational situations. (IPTS-3K, 5B, 5C, 5S: I, 2A, 2C, 9A: D. INTASC 2)
  5. Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of how individuals process, store, and retrieve information and the ability to apply evidence-based strategies to authentic educational situations. (IPTS-3K, 5B, 5C, 5S: I, 2A, 2C, 9A: D)
  6. Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of complex cognitive processes, including critical and creative thinking and problem solving, and the ability to identify and apply evidence-based strategies to authentic educational situations. (IPTS-5B, 5I, 5S: I; 2C, 5A, 9A: D. INTASC 4)
  7. Candidates will demonstrate an emerging ability to create instructional plans and formative assessments, via the USF lesson plan, in order to guide instruction and achieve instructional objectives. (IPTS-3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3G, 3H, 3I, 3J, 5C, 5G, 5H: I. INTASC 7, 8)
  8. Candidates will demonstrate the ability to monitor, present, and express oneself in and written communications that reflect professionalism, integrity, personal responsibility, confidentiality, altruism and respect. (IPTS-6E, 9H, 9I, 9K: D. INTASC 6)

Illinois Professional Teaching Standards

I = Introduced, D = Developed

INTRODUCED: 1C, 1E, 1G, 1I, 1J, 1K, 2A, 2C, 2E, 2I, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3G, 3H, 3I, 3J, 3K, 4B,4C, 4K, 4N, 4O, 5A, 5B, 5C, 5G, 5F,5H, 5R 5S, 7A, 7B, 7C, 7D, 7E, 7F, 7G 7K, 7L, 8A, 8D

DEVELOPED: 2A, 2C, 2G, 6E, 9A, 9H, 9I, 9K


Methods of Evaluating Student Progress toward Course Outcomes

The purposes of assignments are (1) to allow candidates the opportunity to synthesize course material, (2) to facilitate the assessment of individual student progress towards course outcomes, and (3) to help the instructor determine whether adjustments are needed to ensure that course outcomes are mastered. Instructions, success criteria, rubrics and (for Outcome Assessments) sample student work are available in the appropriate assignment area.

Quick Checks (QC) are assessments that help me see your progress toward mastery of an outcome. These are checked and graded for completion. Candidates should use these to self-assess their strengths and challenges, and adjust learning plan accordingly.

Formative Assessments (FA) are designed to help teacher candidates process concepts from the readings and lessons, and to provide me with information regarding candidates’ progress towards lesson learning targets. Formative assessments are checked, graded and include feedback; they must be submitted to the Assignments area no later than 11:59 p.m. the day after the lesson. 

Outcome Assessments (OA). Candidates are expected to demonstrate mastery of all course outcomes via Outcome Assessments, including writing competency. Instructions, success criteria, rubrics and other supporting materials are posted in the appropriate Assignments area. Wise candidates carefully read the assignment instructions and use the success criteria as a checklist to ensure that their work is complete and of high quality. Candidates are also encouraged to work with the Ed Psych tutor or Writing Tutor well in advance of assignment due dates.

To ensure the authenticity of their work, assessments will be filtered through TurnItIn, as noted on the course web site.

Writing Competency. Candidates are expected to demonstrate competence in writing (integrity, use of conventions, and APA style) by the end of the course. Each unit project will be assessed on these criteria. The final two unit project scores will count towards the final grade.

Graduate Project. Candidates taking the course for graduate credit will complete a project to fulfill graduate program requirements. The project must be related to Course Outcomes; the topic, format and due date is negotiated by the end of the second week of the semester.

Institutional Policies

Students should use the MyUSF portal as the first resource for guidance and support on items such as student complaints, safety, security and transportation questions, contact information for various USF departments, student support services such as counseling and academic resources. Information on these resources can be found in the For Students section of the MyUSF portal.

  • A complete listing of university policies and procedures can be found in the University of St. Francis Catalog and Student Handbooks. Students are expected to follow all policies in the USF Catalog and Student Handbook, both of which can be found in the student portal.
  • Students are expected to be familiar with and follow the various procedures and guidelines regarding USF’s COVID-19 Response, including the USF Preparedness Plan and other materials incorporated in the Saints United resource hub (
  • Policies not covered in this document will be handled in accordance with the USF Catalog, Student Handbook, and Program Handbook as applicable.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Collaboration is only acceptable when it is explicitly acknowledged. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses. Since a lack of integrity hinders the student’s academic development, it cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Violations include but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and denying others access to information or material. See the University of St. Francis Catalog for further clarification and information on grievance procedures.

Services and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (ADA)

The University strives to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). A student who requires special accommodations or arrangements due to a disability should contact the Office of Accessibility Services. This contact preferably should occur no later than the first week of classes. Early contact before the semester starts is encouraged to allow sufficient time to provide accommodations. Extra time is needed for some types of accommodations such as sign language interpreters or special text formatting. Should a need arrive after the start of a semester; the student is encouraged to contact the Office of Accessibility Services as soon as possible. Note that accommodations are not retroactive. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

USF is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs, regardless of the course format. If you have a documented disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in a course, complete course requirements, or benefit from the University’s programs or services, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 815-740-3631 or [email protected] . The Office of Accessibility Services is located on the third floor of Tower Hall in room N320. Consultations are welcome; please contact the Office of Accessibility Services for an appointment.

Technology Support

If you are experiencing any difficulty using Canvas or need technical assistance, you have several options to receive support:

  1. 24x7 Live Canvas Support. Canvas has a 24 hour support by clicking on ? Help while in Canvas. You can Chat with Canvas Support, Report a Problem, or call the Canvas Support Hotline. If you experience technical difficulties or have a question about Canvas, you can receive support 24 hours a day seven (7) days a week through the Canvas help menu. From the help menu; select Report a Problem to send an email support request, select Chat with Canvas Support (Student) for a “live” text-based click-to-chat session, or to speak to someone directly use the toll-free number listed under the Canvas Support Hotline (Student). NOTE: Responses to Canvas’ email based Report a Problem request system will go to your USF email account, NOT your personal email.
  2. Online Self-Service Help Resources. A student user guide and other resources for solving issues related to Canvas can be found at
  3. You can phone the Technology Support Center for personal help at (815) 768-8324 or (866) 337-1497 (toll-free) between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday or fill out a Technology Support Center ticket and select Canvas/Online courses as the component.

For any technical support issues that are not related to Canvas, you can also contact the USF Technology Support Center (TSC). You can reach them via:

Academic Support Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) located in Room N316 in Tower Hall (815-740-5060 or [email protected]) offers various types of academic services.  Online and distance learning students can contact ARC for appropriate resources.  ARC serves students who need tutoring in many areas of study including writing and math.  Library services include a number of online services and full text databases.  Call the Library at 815-740-5041 for additional information.  If you need academic-related resources or assistance, please contact the Academic Resource Center.