PsycholARTSical: Psyched about the arts/About this project

What is PsycholARTSical?Edit

This wikibook is an ongoing collaboration between students at the University of Toronto’s Teacher’s College, OISE (The Ontario Institute for Studies of Education). [1]

At OISE, teacher candidates are divided into groupings called cohorts. Each cohort is defined by an area of focus interest. The students working on this wikibook belong to SP8: The Arts cohort.

One of the core classes at OISE is “Pychological Foundations of Learning and Development.” This course examines key principles of psychology which educators may utilize to teach more effectively.

Our course instructor, Michel Ferrari, encouraged us to use WikiBooks as a venue to discuss the theoretical principles outlined in our core textbook, Educational Psychology (3rd Canadian Edition), and to associate our new knowledge with our classroom experiences.

The title of this wikibook reflects our cohort's dual interest in Psychology and the Arts. Several names for this project were suggested and put to vote; The most popular choices were “PsycholARTSical” and “Psyched About The Arts”. Ultimately, a compromise was made, and we opted to use the second title as a sub-heading.

To quote the philosophy of an erudite band of soldiers, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” [2]

General Information & Organizational IssuesEdit

Welcome everyone to PsycholARTSical.

This section will help ease your Wikibook experience by explaining how WikiBook will be used in the context of our class.

Posting to our WikiBookEdit

What content do I post? and where?

Consider our Wikibook to read as a book of dialogues that respond to the chapter read. The book will engage with concepts and theories from the readings with supporting evidence from our experiences.

What differentiates the Wikibook and the Discussion?

  • Wikibook is where our weekly responses go:
Everyone should respond to one or more concepts in the chapter read that week. If you have your own practicum experience which proves a fact or theory mentioned in the course textbook, feel free to include it here. Be sure to include page number citations to the textbook (or other sources) when appropriate.
  • Discussion is where the editorial comments go:
If you feel that changes need to be made to a particular section (e.g. I think this section is getting repettitve... or, I'm not sure everything in this section is is relevant... or, I really think this paragraph would work well in this other section...), post it here.

Post your signature after each posting to the Wikibook and the discussion board.

Remember the total is 300 words per week for your responses.

How to Format Your ResponsesEdit

Posting responses under each sub-heading will keep it organized for our editors.

If you wish to start a sub-heading, simply enter 3 equals signs, your title, then 3 more equals signs.

Try to include your response in an appropriate section.


  • When you create an opinion posting, please position an asterix (*) at the start of your entry.
This will create a marker that will help differentiate your post from the next person's.
Use a colon (:) at the beginning of each successive paragraph, to indent your text, and keep things alligned within your posting.

(SIDEBAR) If you want to include a "sidebar" to someone else's comment, use multiple colons to indent your response.

Similarly, if you want to use bullets to create a list, indent it.
  • Here is a fine example
  • Of a list
At the end of your posting, include your signature. It is easier to find signatures if they are all formatted similarly.
Your signature should be positioned on a new line, and preceded by a colon.
--Mjcaskenette (talk) 19:59, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

  • If everything is indented this way, it will be a lot easier to differentiate one posting from another, and keep things from looking like one huge mass of text.
In addition, we should try to leave a couple of lines between each person's contribution.

Role of the EditorsEdit

The editors are the group of people chosen each week to review all of the changes that have occurred that week.

Editors also monitor for spelling, grammar and content errors, fixing information where necessary.

Editors do not need to edit the discussion material, only the Wikibook.

They do need to summarize both in the weekly presentation.

There is an "Ask the Editors" section on the discussion board.

Assignment guidelinesEdit

There has been concern expressed by some in the class that more structure is needed to guide work on your assignments.

First let me assure you all that I have been following comments and decisions about how to structure the Wiki-Book very closely and am completely satisfied with how it is developing; on its present course it will generate a good group mark for the class.

This is certainly a matter of a teaching style that may not satisfy everyone, but my aim is to provide only the minimum guidance needed to allow you to develop the project to your joint satisfaction. Perhaps I have not made a point of emphasizing this, but all of my comments each week about the report on the status of the Wiki-Book are my feedback to class on my assessment of the state of the project.

In Week 2 (first report) I expressed concern that the book was only a summary of the Woolfolk chapter and that many of the best ideas were taking place in the discussion. This was the consensus of the class yesterday (Week 3) and a decision was made to integrate ideas and examples into the book, keeping a dialogic format that has been very successful in the discussion page, with the discussion page reserved for editorial comments or questions that step outside the issues relating to the book. I think this is an excellent decision and addresses the concerns I raised in Week 2, to the extent that your discussion also specifically refers to the key ideas for each identified section of the chapter.

With this as a general frame, let me specify more clearly what I expect of the project overall, and from each individual contributor to it. [Reactions and discussion of any aspects what follows that you would like to discuss generally, please post to the discussion page. If you would like to speak to me privately about something, either email me your comments, or speak to me after class.]

  • The Wiki-Book has 2 parts:

* Part 1: Discussion of the key theoretical ideas in Woolfolk et al chapter under discussion for that week, as illustrated by examples from your own experience in schools in Ontario. (c. 300 words)

Criteria for evaluating contributions:

  • Breadth: An entry that addresses a very narrow issue (e.g., “I disagree with the notion of ‘seductive details’ raised on page xx of Chapter 10” will receive a poor mark for breadth [5/10]). Those that address a general theme in the chapter (e.g., “The entire chapter on motivation seems to favor task-mastery approaches, but I think it is important to introduce students to competition and the need to meet externally set criteria for quality performance.” will receive top marks for this criteria [10/10]). A good mark will be given to comments that address topics in a text section in a targeted way, “The issue of intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation is an important one for teachers to consider when designing assignments and assessments for their students. For example, I let students write their own exam questions and that motivated them to really determine what mattered most in the lesson.” [8/10].

  • Depth. Depth refers to the depth of consideration and scholarship that is reflected in an entry. This may include adding additional information or additional details about ideas discussed in the text. (e.g., “Carol Dweck’s [2000] Mindsets has a great chapter to use in you classroom describing these functions of the brain.” [10/10]). Depth will also be accorded for a careful critique of the ideas in the Woolfolk and colleagues book itself either by considering what is said within a chapter or across chapters, or in light of your own classroom experience—if that experience is relevant. (Many of the examples here of Breadth and Integration would also have received a very good mark for depth 8/10]).

  • Integration. Integration refers to efforts to unite across ideas presented separately in the text either within chapters (e.g., Perceived self-efficacy in students with an identified learning disability may be a product of learned helplessness) or across chapters (e.g., “Classroom management techniques that suggest rewarding students for good behavior use Skinnerian principles of operant conditioning, but they depart from his ideas in recommending that those who disobey be punished.” [10/10]) as opposed to comments that stand alone, but integrate practical experience with one idea in the text (e.g., “In my practicum, I used a token economy and it was a disaster, because kids didn’t like using tokens.” [8/10]. A low mark for integration will be given to entries that involve stand alone comments that to not relate the text to experience or to other text. (“According to Bandura, children learn not just by reinforcement or praise, but also by observing others who they identify with.” [4/10, for integration, ]

  • Effort. Putting anything at all into the Wiki-book, or simply editing your own previous entries to improve spelling or grammar, or moving them to integrate them better into the existing text. [10/10 for and 300 words or the equivalent]

Each of these aspects will be assessed independently for 10% of the total of 40%.

For Individual Contributions, these criteria will be applied to all contributions before and after the practicum, marks will be calculated across all entries as a set, excluding 1 week in each set (your weakest week). In other words, you need not demonstrate breadth, depth, and integration in each and every entry, but at some point in each set you need to show them. Marks will be based on your strongest examples of each category for that set.

For the Group Mark, all 4 criteria will be applied to the project as a whole. An Interim mark will be given right before the practicum to show my assessment of the state of the project. The final mark will be given one week after the last day of class.

NOTE: Contributions that enhance the overall breadth, depth or coherence of the Wiki-book will also receive high marks: For example, editorial contributions that help integrate or coordinate the weekly contributions of others [integration] or that combine or sequence far flung entries on the same theme (perhaps by adding a summary of main ideas that apply to several stories, or to a thread of discussion in a chapter section to allow greater depth of coverage [depth], will also be considered critical both to your individual scores, and to the book as a whole.

NOTE: Summaries of the key points of the chapter are still worthwhile and can also be an important contribution, especially if they help introduce or interpret or link stories or experiences from that section that are presented and discussed; such summaries can also show depth, breadth and integration.

  • Part 2 of the Wiki-Book (based on Class Presentations).

The purpose of Part 2 is to integrate information from all relevant chapters in the Wookfolk book that we address in the course (and summarized and discussed in Part 1 of the book, above) and show their relevance to a specific teacher resource you have selected as interesting and important for teachers interested in your theme.

(If you have difficulty finding something, or questions about whether a particular resource is suitable, please contact me.)


1. Personal Development: Classroom Community + Character Development - Feb. 7

  • Kate R
  • Ayanda
  • Jeff M.
  • Natalie
  • Laura B.
  • Jamie T.

2. Assess Creativity - Feb. 7

  • Gavin
  • James
  • Artur
  • Ashley
  • Mauro

3. Creativity + Mindfulness – (Feb 7th? i.e., originally scheduled for Feb. 14th, logic suggests Feb. 7th is a better fit.)

  • James C.
  • Lisa
  • Eli
  • Jonathan
  • Christopher

4. Arts + Special needs students - Feb. 14

  • Susan M.
  • Stef C.
  • Michelle

5. Arts for at Risk Students - Feb. 14

  • Megan
  • Liz
  • Alex
  • Suzane

6. Arts + Science/Technology -April 10

  • Hassan
  • Irene
  • Tearney
  • Mark

7. Teaching for Compassion & Wisdom - April 10

  • Jamie
  • Laura H.
  • Andrea
  • Grace
  • Phillip
  • A.J.

So: working in groups you have established, select a representative program that addresses your area that you think would be a good resource for teachers. Prepare a Wiki-book (Part 2) contribution (3000-6000 words; figures and references can be extra). The most successful contribution will describe the following:

  • 1. WHAT: Describe the selected resource and the developmental or learning assumptions that underlie it, based on the ideas in the Woolfolk book (500 words) (5%)
  • 2. WHY: Discuss the developmental or learning theories on which it is based. Specify why you picked those theories and whether the document mentions the theories or you inferred that it was based on them, based on the ideas in the Woolfolk chapters (500-1000 words) (5%)
  • 3. WHO. Indicate the type of child to which it would apply (300 words)
  • 4.IMPROVEMENTS: Describe how it could be improved based on one or more developmental theories. Provide at least two suggestions for improvement of the program; for each suggestion, specify the developmental or learning theory on which you are basing the suggestion, based on the ideas in the Woolfolk book (1000-2000 words) (5%)
  • 5. HOW: Develop a lesson plan based on this program. (1000-2000 words), showing how you think teachers could use it to accomplish (5%)

NOTE: This project should involve no more than:

(a) Finding a program or resource that you think is good from the OISE Library; (b) Reading your Wiki-Book and Woolfolk book and incorporating whatever ideas help you answer 1-5 above.