Warning that education reform is doomed if it does not take into account the psychological needs of the learner, the American Psychological Association has formed a task force on psychology in education.
“Children, their cognitive, motivational, and emotional life, and their individual differences, must be front stage center,” said Frank Farley, the association’s president-elect, who will serve as co-chairman of the effort.
Announced last month at the A.P.A.'S annual convention in San Francisco, the task force is aimed at highlighting psychology’s contributions to learning and ways it can improve education, officials said.
As part of that effort, the task force over the next year will sponsor conferences on, among other topics, assessing learning and improving the teaching and learning of mathematics and science.
In addition to Mr. Farley, the other co-chairmen of the task force will be Charles D. Spielberger, president of the A.P.A., and Nadine Lambert, a professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley.
In an effort to provide parents with a synthesis of the research on mathematics teaching and learning, the Council for Educational Development and Research and the 10 federal regional educational laboratories have prepared a booklet outlining effective classroom and home strategies.
The 69-page report, “What We Know About Mathematics Teaching and Learning,” includes chapters on student attitudes, cooperative learning, higher-order skills, gender equity, minority students, disabled students, teachers, textbooks, assessment, workbooks, calculators, and computers.
In the “Math in the Home” section, the report also provides information on parent attitudes, homework, home reinforcements, and television.
Copies of the report are available from the regional labs. For more information, contact CEDAR at 1201 16th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. .
The U.S. Education Department is creating a new Institute for Literacy Research and Practice.
Authorized by the Congress as part of the Adult Literacy Act of 1991, the $5-million institute is expected to sponsor research and development projects, evaluate existing programs, and assist states and local communities in establishing or improving programs.
In addition, the institute is expected to create a National Adult Literacy Clearinghouse to gather information about effective programs.--R.R.
A version of this article appeared in the September 04, 1991 edition of Education Week as Column One: Research