Possible Exam 2 Questions

1. a) A student currently attributes her failure to an internal/stable cause. Give an example of an internal/stable cause to which the student might attribute her failure. Explain how that is an internal/stable cause.

b) Describe a strategy a teacher might use to change the above student's internal/stable attribution for her failure to an internal/unstable attribution in the student's mind. In answering this question, use a specific example of an internal/unstable cause.

2. Ms. K. wanted her students (at least most of them) to induce how to add fractions with common denominators. So she presented her students with a number of such problems answered correctly and a number of such problems answered incorrectly. Ms. K. identified which were answered correctly and which were not. She then asked her students to figure out how to correctly solve such problems by looking at the examples she presented. Very quickly her brightest student raised her hand and described how to solve these problems. Ms. K. repeated the student's explanation and expanded on it to make sure the rest of the class understood.

  • Did Ms. K. meet her objective as stated in the first sentence? Briefly explain.
  • Did most of Ms. K.'s students learn through deductive learning or inductive learning? Briefly explain.
  • What is one thing you might have suggested that Ms. K. do differently? Why?

3. A friend of yours comes up to you and says, "I'm pretty smart. Do you think that's because of how I was raised?" How would you answer your friend?

4. a) In general, does research better support between-class ability grouping or within-class ability grouping? Explain.

b) In general, research also finds that mixed-ability groups tend to be a more effective arrangement than same-ability groups. From what you have learned so far this term, why would that make sense?

5. Name a specific concept you expect to teach in school.

a) Describe how you could help students distinguish the defining attributes from the variable attributes for that concept.

b) Will the method of instruction you described in a) lead students to construct their own meaning about the concept? Explain.

6. a) What does it mean to focus on the process of learning rather than the product of learning?

b) Should focusing on the process of learning promote a more flexible or a more fixed view of intelligence in students? Explain.

c) Give an example of a specific strategy or technique that a teacher could use that would promote more of a focus on the process of learning in students.

7. Each day in Mr. Z's music theory class, Mr. Z introduces the new theory concepts through lecture. Then, he gives each student a worksheet that provides students with an opportunity to practice what he has taught. At the end of class Mr. Z always reviews the concepts and answers any questions his students might have. Although Mr. Z is delivering well-organized and clear instruction, he notices that his students are not very engaged in the learning. Use self-determination theory to suggest two different strategies Mr. Z could employ to increase the intrinsic motivation of his students. Be sure to use the terminology of self-determination theory in your answer.

8. Pick a specific form of cooperative learning described in the text. Be sure to address the specific form of cooperative learning you chose in your answer.

a) Explain how that particular form of cooperative learning can promote constructivist learning.

b) Explain how that particular form of cooperative learning can accommodate individual differences among students.

9. a) Explain how expectancy theory would suggest that the level of a person's motivation is dependent upon the attributions that person makes for his past success or failure.

b) Explain how a person's level of self-efficacy for a task is also dependent upon the attributions that person makes for his past success or failure on that task.

10. For this question:

  • a) list the defining attributes of the concept of "an experiment."
  • b) List one variable attribute of the concept of "an experiment."
  • c) Briefly describe a non-constructivist method for teaching about experiments.
  • d) Briefly describe a constructivist method for teaching about experiments.

11. a) Why is it often difficult to teach to a student's "level"?

b) According to the research, has identifying and using a student's learning style been helpful in addressing individual differences in the classroom? Explain.

12. You have a number of weaker, less motivated students in your class who usually attribute their failure to uncontrollable factors. Select two of the strategies we discussed in class for promoting a learning orientation toward learning. Describe one specific way you could combine those two strategies to better motivate and raise the self-efficacy of those students. In your answer, be sure to explain how your approach will move the students' attributions away from uncontrollable factors.

13. Someone comes up to you and says, "Hey, you took an Ed Psych course, didn't you?   Maybe you can help me.  We have quite a few Hispanic-Americans living in one section of our town.  I don't have anything against them, but their kids' test scores are bringing down the whole average of the town, and we don't look quite as good against other communities around here.  I know it is probably a hopeless case, but is there anything we can do?"  Use research in Chapter 4 to support an answer to this person.  You do not have to cite specific research or authors' names, but you should make reference to the findings of the research.

14. a) Is deductive learning or inductive learning more consistent with constructivism? Why?

b) Which method of learning, deductive learning or inductive learning, is more common in school? Why?

c) Which method of learning, deductive learning or inductive learning, more likely contributes to a performance orientation towards school? Why?

15. a) How might a student's attributions for her success and failure in school be different if she has a learning orientation towards learning than if she has a performance orientation towards learning?

b) How might a student's orientation (learning or performance) towards learning be related to his fixed or flexible beliefs about intelligence?

16. Describe how you constructed your current understanding of the concept "inductive learning" from when you first heard it in this class to where your understanding of the concept is now. You can include diagrams in your answer if you like. Avoid being too superficial.

17. Explain how developing a flexible or growth mindset in students can help overcome the stigma of negative labels assigned to individuals or groups of individual students.