Denzine, M. Gypsy., Martin, E. William., Cramblet, D. Leslie. (2005, February 05). Do Teacher Education Programs Have Personality?. Current Issues in Education [On-line], 8(3). Available: http://cie.ed.asu.edu/volume8/number3/
Do Teacher Education Programs Have Personality?
Teacher education programs might consider the extent to which their own curriculum provides pre-service teachers with some foundational knowledge in personality psychology. It seems reasonable to consider that a course in educational psychology might be the course in which future teachers are presented an introduction to personality theory. In this study, we address this question by quantifying the overlap of terminology and concepts between top selling undergraduate personality psychology text books and top selling undergraduate educational psychology text books. Results indicate that among personality terms, 55% did not appear in the indexes of any of the educational psychology text books examined and conceptually, the average percentage of conceptual coverage in the educational psychology texts was 5.08%.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Do Teacher Education Programs Have Personality?
In representing a “psychological perspective”, educational psychology has historically drawn upon a number of interdisciplinary areas of study including cognitive psychology, psychometrics, personality theory, child development, and many others ( Fontana , 1996). However, the extent to which current educational psychology courses are grounded in this interdisciplinary approach raises questions. For example, we found from an initial scan of some of the most widely used undergraduate educational psychology texts that personality psychology may not be heavily emphasized. In fact, the word “personality” does not appear in the index in some current educational psychology texts. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study was to empirically examine our directional hypothesis that personality psychology is absent or afforded minimal coverage in educational psychology text books. We are sensitive to the fact that our hypothesis may be considered irrelevant or trivial unless we first address the broader issue of why do prospective teachers need an understanding of personality psychology?
Need for Personality Psychology
Fontana (1986) argues an understanding of the principles and theories of personality are vital for teachers. In particular, he claims psychological insights into personality is relevant and important to education for several reasons: (1) it helps with the understanding of teacher personality and the teacher's ability to deal with stress, (2) personality theory can be used to improve the professional skills and confidence of teachers, and (3) with an understanding of personality, teachers have the potential to assist students in developing satisfying personalities. In regards to assisting students develop satisfying personalities; Fontana contends teachers need to be concerned with how students relate to others, how they develop their goals in life, and how they develop psychosocial adjustment capabilities. Most importantly, teachers should be concerned with how a student's personality influences the learning process and the academic achievement of individual students ( Fontana , 1986). We expand Fontana 's arguments to include two additional reasons to justify the need for teachers having knowledge of personality:
(1) facilitating teacher induction, and (2) supporting two INTASC standards ( Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, 1992 ) which relate to a need for personality theory.
As previously noted, Fontana (1986) contends an understanding of the teacher's personality can be useful in identifying the teacher's ability to deal with stress. Teacher stress among beginning teachers is of great concern given the fact that 3 3% to 50% of teachers leave within the first five years of teaching (Hope, 1999; Ingersoll, 2001, 2002). This high attrition rate has led to the development and implementation of teacher induction progress across the United States ( Huling-Austin, 1986, 1992; Luft & Cox, 2001; Luft & Brockmeyer, 2000; Perez, Swain, & Hartsough, 1997; Yopp & Young, 1999; Zepeda, & Ponticell, 1997). Breaux and Wong (2003) define induction as “the systematic process of training and supporting new teachers, beginning before the first day of school and continuing throughout the first two or three years of teaching” (p. 14). Although not limited to, one of the primary purposes of a teacher induction program is to ease the transition into teaching. In regards to the adaptation and transition into teaching, the majority of research on induction focuses on the content knowledge and pedagogical skills of new teachers. Little attention has been paid to the characteristics or disposition of the novice teacher. Knowledge of personality may help us understand in part why two teachers can complete the exact same teacher preparation program and yet, there can be vast individual differences in terms of how they handle the stress of the first year and adapt to their new teaching role. Prospective teachers who have an accurate self-awareness of their own personality and adaptive capabilities may be able to use this self-knowledge in easing their transition into teaching. Thus, by including a personality perspective into a teacher education program we believe this information can be useful in the induction process. We believe this recommendation is consistent with Murname (1983) and Haberman's (1995) view that it is important to attend to teacher's personal characteristics rather than focusing solely on teacher's content and pedagogical knowledge. In addition to self-knowledge, having some foundational knowledge of individual differences and personality characteristics may help teachers relate better to their students, which is a goal grounded in the INTASC standards.
INTASC Standards and the Need for Personality Theory
The INTASC Standards are model standards for licensing and assessing new teachers. Developed by representatives of the teaching profession, along with personnel from 17 state education agencies, the standards represent a common core of teaching knowledge and skills. The standards are considered to be performance-based in that they describe what teachers should know and be able to do rather than listing courses that teachers should take in order to obtain a teaching license. For each of the ten principles, standards are explicitly stated for teachers' knowledge, disposition, and performance . The INTASC standards clearly state the need to pay attention to the dispositions of teachers. In addition to the disposition of teachers, w e believe two INTASC standards justify the need for prospective teachers to have an understanding of personality theory.
PRINCIPLE 2: STUDENT DEVELOPMENT
The teacher understands how children learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support a child's intellectual, social, and personal development.
- evaluates student performance to design instruction appropriate for social, cognitive, and emotional development.
PRINCIPLE 5: MOTIVATION AND MANAGEMENT
The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
- engages students by relating lessons to students' personal interests, allowing students to have choices in their learning, and leading students to ask questions and solve problems that are meaningful to them.
- organizes, prepares students for, and monitors independent and group work that allows for full and varied participation of all individuals.
- analyzes classroom environment and interactions and makes adjustments to enhance social relationships, student motivation/engagement and productive work.
Teachers with an understanding of personality theory can use this information in understanding the social, emotional, and cognitive development of their students. Moreover, a personality perspective has been found to be a very useful construct in understanding human motivation ( Pervin, & John, 1999).
The Inclusion of Personality Psychology into a Teacher Preparation Program
Based on the premise that teachers can benefit from having some foundational knowledge about personality, it follows that teacher education programs would contain an introduction to personality principles and theories. The question remains where in a students' teacher preparation program will he or she be exposed to personality psychology? There are essentially three places where students might obtain this knowledge. First, students who declare their secondary education major as psychology would take a number of courses containing personality curriculum. Similarly, elementary education students who declare their content or emphasis area as psychology would also be exposed to personality psychology. A second way for pre-service teachers to obtain personality psychology curriculum is potentially through their liberal studies or general education requirements. However, not all students choose psychology as their major/content emphasis or select psychology courses to fulfill their liberal studies requirements. There are presumably some students who will not be exposed to personality psychology outside of their teacher education program. Thus, teacher education programs might consider the extent to which their own curriculum provides pre-service teachers with some foundational knowledge in personality psychology. It seems reasonable to consider that a course in educational psychology might be the course in which future teachers are presented an introduction to personality theory, which is the third way for future teachers to be exposed to personality curriculum.
To suggest an educational psychology course might contain personality curriculum relates to the broader issue concerning the content and pedagogy of educational psychology courses in teacher education. Beginning in the early 1990's the role of educational psychology within teacher education came under criticism by educational psychologists (Berliner, 1992; Shulman, 1990) and others involved in teacher education (Doyle, 1990). Two of the major criticisms were that educational psychology courses frequently fail to embed contemporary psychology into educational contexts and do not rely upon information that teachers and policy makers can use for improving education (Berliner, 1992). Doyle (1990) further criticized educational psychology for overly emphasizing individual behavior and not giving adequate attention to contexts and situations. In response to such criticisms, the Educational Psychology Division (Division 15) of the American Psychological Association created an Ad hoc Committee on the Teaching of Educational Psychology. The Ad hoc Committee shared their recommendations in an article published in Educational Psychologist (Anderson, Blumenfeld, Pintrich, Clark, Marx, & Peterson, 1995) . In this article, the authors addressed the role of educational psychology in teacher preparation by stating “the primary goal of educational psychology courses should be the development of a useful psychological perspective by prospective teachers” (Anderson, et al., 1995, p. 144).
In summary, because we initially found that the word “personality” did not appear in the index in some current educational psychology texts, we thought a more sophisticated and rigorous approach was needed to address this issue. Hence, we examined current educational psychology textbooks for the following purposes:
- identify content overlap between personality and educational psychology textbooks;
- document patterns in the coverage of personality psychology within educational psychology textbooks;
- identify the proportional coverage of personality psychology theoretical categories in educational psychology textbooks;
- provide conceptual directions for integrating more personality psychology into teacher education curriculum.
This research analyzed the extent to which current undergraduate educational psychology texts emphasize personality-based issues and theories.
Identifying the Corpus of Personality Terms
The first step in this investigation was to identify the conceptual domain within personality psychology. Given the enormity of this task, we choose to limit our search parameters to key concepts contained in widely used personality textbooks. By constraining our search in this manner, we do not claim to have gathered an exhaustive inventory of all topics covered in personality psychology. Rather our aim was to identify fundamental terms, which represent the core concepts in the current personality literature.
Personality Text Book Selection
Given that the educational psychology textbooks to be analyzed were for an undergraduate course, we elected to also select undergraduate personality textbooks for this exploration. We contacted an editorial staff member from McGraw-Hill publishing company to request the titles of the most widely adopted personality textbooks. After consultation with the marketing department of the publishing company, C. Lembo (personal communication, January 26, 2001) shared with us the names of the three top selling personality textbooks: Perspective on Personality (Carver & Scheier, 2000 ); Personality: Strategies and Issues (Liebert & Liebert, 1998); Personality Theories : An Introduction (Engler, 1999).
Establishing the Criteria for Inclusion of Key Personality Terms
After a preliminary review of the personality textbooks, we agreed to establish the personality terms by analyzing the headings and key terms within each chapter for the three personality textbooks. More specifically, we developed an inventory of terms by listing all personality-related terms within three levels of headings (or bolded text) for all chapters.
For the purpose of this analysis, text boxes containing biographical information on theorists and research summaries were not included. The task was completed independently by the first two authors, followed by an analysis of inter-rater agreement. There was 98% agreement between the researchers regarding the list of personality terms. The few instances of disagreement were due to minor coding issues, which did not influence the substantive manner of the list. For example, one researcher listed “Q-sort”, while the other listed “Q-sort method.” All discrepancies were discussed and resolved in order to maintain the most meaningful and useful list of terms.
Our next step was to identify a list of personality terms, which would represent the foundational knowledge in the field. We employed the rule of eliminating any personality term that did not appear in two-out-of three of the personality texts. We were fairly liberal in our interpretation of this rule, as we were most interested in obtaining an inclusive list. For example, authoritarianism / authoritative and ego strength/ego resiliency were considered to be acceptable matches. At this stage, the list contained 290 personality terms. Eliminating names of specific theorists and methodological terms further narrowed this list. For example, terms such as cross-sectional research and factor analysis were eliminated. The final list contained 280 key terms considered to represent the core foundational knowledge in current personality psychology.
We employed the methodology of content analysis, which has been defined as a systematic technique for reducing an extensive amount of text into fewer content categories based on explicit rules of coding (Holsti, 1969; Krippendorf, 1980; Manning, & Cullum-Swan, 1994; Stemler, 2001; Weber, 1990). According to Holsti (1969), content analysis refers to "any technique for making inferences by objectively and systematically identifying specified characteristics of messages" (p. 14). In order to allow for replication, we provide sufficient detail regarding our explicit rules for coding the content contained in both the educational psychology and personality texts. In the present study, we relied upon a content analysis methodological approach to analyze 280 personality-related terms in educational psychology texts based on established criteria for content overlap.
Educational Psychology Text Book Selection
C. Lembo (personal communication, January 22, 2001 ) from McGraw-Hill publishing provided us with a list of the five top selling undergraduate educational psychology textbooks. The textbooks used for this exploration were: Educational Psychology (8 th ed.) (Woolfolk, 2001); Educational Psychology: Developing Learners (3 rd ed.) (Ormrod, 2000); Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice (6 th ed.) (Slavin, 2000); Psychology Applied to Teaching (9 th ed.) (Snowman & Biehler, 2000); Educational Psychology (6 th ed.) (Gage & Berliner, 1998).
Establishing the Criteria for Inclusion of Personality Terms
After extensive discussions and due considerations, we formulated criteria that would guide us in identifying the overlap of content among the personality and educational psychology textbooks. We agreed upon a three-step process involving four criteria for decision-making about inclusion. First, we identified content overlap between the list of 280 personality terms and the index for each educational psychology textbook. Our second step was to conduct a more in-depth exploration for each educational psychology text. Thus, for each educational psychology textbook, we had a list of terms, which appeared in the index of that particular book and the three personality textbooks. At this stage, the number of personality terms per educational psychology text were: Woolfolk = 72 (26%); Ormrod = 63 (23%); Slavin = 51 (18%); Snowman and Biehler = 57 (20%); Gage and Berliner = 75 (27%).
Although useful and informative, we were cautious about relying too heavily on the index inclusion rule because authors and publishers may have varying expectations regarding indexing. Therefore, we employed two additional explorations. For each key term, we went to the respective page in the educational psychology textbook and coded whether or not the word “personality” (or closely related term) appeared within a three-page range of the key term. We also used the key term to analyze subject headings. For this analysis, we coded whether or not the term “personality” (or closely related term) appeared in the two preceding levels of headings within the chapter hierarchy. As mentioned, we accepted “closely related terms” to substitute for the actual word “personality.” After careful review of the five educational psychology textbooks, we agreed the following terms could be substituted for the word “personality” in this step of the analysis: behavioral problems, character, emotional functioning, individual differences, and social functioning.
Finally, we conducted the primary task of exploring whether or not the key terms (overlapping in the educational and personality textbooks) contained in the educational psychology textbooks were conceptually related to personality psychology. This task was accomplished by reading the paragraph containing each key word. In addition, we read the paragraph preceding and following the key term. Prior to beginning the coding process, the first two authors individually conducted an analysis of 20 randomly selected terms and used the paragraph criteria for coding purposes. The two researchers had a 100% agreement; thus, the first author independently completed the analysis.
Classifying Personality Terms Into Personality Theoretical Categories
A review of the table of contents of the three personality textbooks used in this study resulted in the identification of five personality theoretical categories: (1) social and cognitive learning, (2) dispositional, (3) humanistic and existential, (4) psychoanalytic, and (5) learning. All of the personality terms were then assigned to one of the personality theoretical categories to analyze the proportional coverage of personality psychology theoretical categories in educational psychology textbooks.
Establishing Recommended Content for More Personality Psychology Inclusion Into Teacher Education Programs
As previously stated, one of our goals in this exploration was to provide conceptual directions for integrating personality psychology into teacher education curriculum. We began this procedure by using the list of 145 terms, which represented terms that appeared in all of personality textbooks but none of the educational psychology textbooks. In an attempt to narrow this list to a more manageable and realistic set of core concepts, we choose to use the Handbook of Personality Psychology (Hogan, Johnson, & Briggs, 1997) as a guide for further direction. In this step, we searched for the amount of overlap between the list of 145 terms and words listed in the index of the Handbook of Personality Psychology.
In the initial analysis of the data we noticed some of the terms from the original list of 280 terms could be combined without any loss of information. For example, the terms biological approach and biological bases of behavior were combined. In the final analysis, 264 personality terms were used for the interpretation of the content analysis of the five educational psychology textbooks.
Among the list of 26 4 terms, 145 (55%) did not appear in the indexes of any of the five educational psychology textbooks. The specific amount of index overlap for the 26 4 key terms by texbook was : Woolfolk = 72 (27%); Ormrod = 66 (25%); Slavin = 51 (19%); Snowman and Biehler = 56 (21%); Gage and Berliner = 71 (27%). The average percentage of index overlap across the five educational psychology textbooks was 23.80% (SD = 3.63). Of primary interest is the number of overlapping key terms, which were conceptually linked to personality psychology. For the five textbooks the frequency of conceptual coverage was: Woolfolk = 5 (1.9%); Ormrod = 26 (9.8%); Slavin = 4 (1.5%); Snowman and Biehler = 11 (4.2%); Gage and Berliner = 21 (8%). The average percentage of conceptual coverage was 5.08% (SD = 3.69).
Table 1 reveals a sample of items reflecting the list of conceptually overlapping terms, which are terms that appeared in at least two of the educational psychology textbooks. Also contained in Table 1 is a sample of items from the list of non-overlapping terms, which represents terms contained in each of the three personality textbooks (and the Handbook of Personality Psychology ) but were not included in any of the five educational psychology textbooks.
Table 2 illustrates the overlap among the educational psychology textbooks. In terms of index inclusion, it can be seen that there is congruence among the five educational psychology textbooks (range of Phi coefficients . 428 - .61 2 ). However, there is less consistency among educational psychology textbooks when considering conceptual overlap (range of Phi coefficients - .0 26 - .42 2 ).
Next, the 264 personality terms that represented the core foundational knowledge in current personality psychology were classified as belonging to one of the following personality theoretical categories: (1) social and cognitive learning, (2) dispositional, (3) humanistic and existential, (4) psychoanalytic, and (5) learning. The highest number of personality terms related to the theoretical area of psychoanalytic, while the lowest number of terms comprised the category of social and cognitive learning theory (see Table 3). Interestingly, the two personality theoretical categories with the highest numbers of terms (psychoanalytic and dispositional) had the two lowest percentages of inclusion in the indexes of the selected educational psychology textbooks. Whereas, the two personality theoretical categories with the lowest numbers of terms (learning and social & cognitive learning theory) had the two highest inclusion percentages in the educational psychology textbooks.
In this study, we sought to address the extent to which contemporary educational psychology text books commonly used in a teacher education program expose future teachers to foundational knowledge in personality psychology. In summary, there appears to be consistently a reasonably small amount of conceptual coverage of personality psychology in current educational psychology textbooks. Moreover, the information that is covered in educational psychology textbooks is proportionally reversed from what is emphasized in personality textbooks. We do acknowledge, however, that some educational psychology professors may include personality curriculum by supplementing their course content with material not contained in the text book. Thus, a limitation of the present study is that we relied upon only text information and did not include the full scope of an educational psychology course content. Next, we offer suggestions for expanding personality psychology content in teacher education programs.
Our directional hypothesis that educational psychology textbooks do not emphasis personality theory was supported by the data. However, it appears this was not always the case. A review of the literature reveals early educational psychologists in fact gave a significant amount of attention to personality psychology. For instance, a review of articles published in the Journal of Educational Psychology during the 1920's reveals the emphasis placed on personality constructs among early educational psychologists. Rugg (1922, Rugg et al., 1929) published articles on the “predictability of human characteristic ratings” and the “predominate traits of kindergarten children.” Further evidence of the emphasis afforded to personality psychology in earlier textbooks can be seen in Cronbach's (1954) book, which contains a chapter titled "Assessing Readiness: Personality and Motivation." In contrast, results from the present study reveal personality-based perspectives do not appear to be receiving similar attention in current educational psychology texts compared to earlier times. One might argue the decrease in coverage might be due to the fact that over the years educational psychologists have found personality theory to no longer be useful or relevant. Again, we contend that given the teacher shortage and challenges of induction, now is an ideal time to reconsider the role of personality theory in a teacher education program.
Stating the benefits of including personality psychology into a teacher education program still leaves two important questions. First, what are some of the relevant theories and principles of personality psychology for a pre-service teacher audience? Second, how might personality psychology is integrated into a teacher education program?
Relevant Theories and Principles of Personality Psychology for Pre-Service Teachers
One of the ways to insure this content is covered is to require pre-service teachers to take an undergraduate psychology course, which typically contains an introduction to personality psychology. Another option is to embed some foundational knowledge of personality psychology into an existing educational psychology course.
In making the recommendation that educational psychology courses could provide more foundational knowledge in the area of personality psychology, we believe it is necessary to first address a few limitations of the present study. Our finding that selected educational psychology textbooks provide limited coverage of the core foundational knowledge in current personality psychology textbooks may be influenced by our research methodology. It could be argued that restricting our research to a small number of popular educational psychology and personality psychology textbooks may have resulted in a less than fully representative content of either discipline. Moreover, our reliance on indexes, headings, and targeted paragraphs with the targeted books may not have resulted in a complete identification of the core of foundational knowledge in current personality psychology. However, we do believe that our methodology successfully captured a reasonably representative sample of the content associated with a core foundational knowledge in current personality psychology and, is representative of the information that is being presented to undergraduate students via the text books that are being used…..since as per publisher are the “top sellers”. Notwithstanding the possible limitations, the findings clearly show the lack of coverage of personality psychology concepts in educational psychology textbooks. On average, only 24% of foundational personality psychology knowledge was covered across the educational psychology textbooks. Furthermore, an average of 5% of the personality terms that appeared in the educational psychology textbooks were evaluated as being conceptually connected to personality psychology. Next, we discuss recommendations as to topical content for integrating personality psychology into educational psychology or perhaps a related education course.
As a beginning to integrating more personality psychology content into an educational psychology (or closely related education) course, we suggest five content areas of personality psychology that we believe merit inclusion. These recommendations are based upon robust personality psychology themes identified by authors across the major textbooks in personality psychology as well as from the Handbook of Personality Psychology (Hogan, Johnson, & Briggs, 1997) and the Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research (Pervin & John, 1999).
First, the “Big Five” dimensions of personality appear to reflect a “working consensus” among several investigators over 70 years of empirical studies (John & Robbings, 1993; Wiggins & Trapnell, 1997). McCrae and Costa (1999) portray the five factor model (FFM) as a Grand Theory that provides an overview of the functioning of the whole person across the entire lifespan. Researchers have found that thousands of personality traits can be organized into the following broad factors: (1) hostile vs. agreeableness, (2) introversion vs. extroversion, (3) impulsive vs. conscientious, (4) neuroticism vs. emotional stability, and (5) intellectual narrowness vs. intellectual openness. The FFM can provide organizing dimensions for teachers to better understand their students' individual differences in human behavior and experience.
The purposive orientations of human beings (Ryckman, 2000) represents another recommended personality content area to include in educational psychology textbooks. This relates to the perspective that people seek to find meaning in their lives by creating goals, values, and philosophy of life. More specific content in this area includes: (a) implicit and explicit cognitive strategies that enable individuals to cope effectively with various situational demands, (b) cognitive self-regulation and feedback control theory and techniques (Carver & Scheier, 2000), (c) life tasks or the problems people are currently working on, (d) goal approaches to personality (Emmons, 1997), and (e) values and human behavior (Dawis, 2001). This content area provides information important to understand the personal, social, and cultural development of students.
McAdams (1997) asserts that the reemergence of the self as a viable construct in personality psychology is surely a positive development in revitalizing the conceptualization of the whole person as a major focus of study in the field. Emerging content areas include: (a) the interface between cognitive-developmental psychology and personality, (b) self-psychology, (c) ego development, (d) the development of a dynamic and internalized life story and personal myth, and the (e) the multiplicity in self and identity (i.e., “possible selves”). This content area provides teachers with important information about the psychosocial adjustment of students as they mature.
While controversial even within personality psychology, the biological and evolutionary bases of personality have received significant research focus in the last few years (Funder, 2000; Matthews & Deary, 1998; Plomin, DeFries, McClearn, & Rutter, 1997). According to Liebert and Liebert (1998), there is growing evidence showing the genetic influences in the development of a variety of psychological conditions (bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia), and individual differences in behavior in the normal range (dispositions). Carver and Scheier (2000) stated, “Evolutionary psychology is increasingly an area of vigorous research activity” (p. 153). This content area is important for teachers to be able to link human nature and individual differences with learning, motivation, and developmental stages among their students (Buss, 1999).
Consideration of the correlates and assessment of student antisocial behavior is a major concern to educators and is the final recommended personality psychology content area. Psychological test validity is strong and is comparable to medical test validity (Meyer, et al., 2001). It is important for teachers to be aware of the personality assessment and treatment planning process that some students participate in who are exhibiting antisocial behavior. Moreover, knowledge of the personality correlates to antisocial behavior can be used for both preventive and prosocial interventions within schools .
In summary, in the previous section we offered several areas of foundational content for possible inclusion in an educational psychology course. Although we suggest more personality psychology content should be covered, we realize we have not suggested how much is needed or what amount of foundational knowledge would be acceptable. We believe the question regarding “how much is enough” is a question for future research.
How Personality Psychology Might be Integrated into a Teacher Education Program?
Given that we have made some curricular recommendations, we believe it is also important to discuss some of the pedagogical issues relative to teaching personality psychology within an educational psychology course (Shuell, 1996). In particular, we support two of the pedagogical strategies set forth by Anderson et al. (1995). First, the principles and theories of personality psychology should not be simply added to the foundational body of knowledge in an educational psychology course. The “foundational approach” has been heavily criticized for teaching psycholgical constructs in a decontextualized manner (Berliner, 1992). Thus, we support Anderson et al.'s (1995) recommendation of providing students with:
a way to “get hold of” a complex situation and think about its problems andpossibilities in light of views of human learning. This advantage is not afforded by mere knowledge about concepts, principles and theories: it is only manifested when those ideas are tied together as coherent frames that suggest when and how the ideas can be used. (p. 145).
Second, the decisions regarding the inclusion of personality psychology within educational psychology should be discussed with other teacher educators. Teaching personality concepts in one course is not likely to promote significant and lasting learning. Instead prospective teachers will need to acquire a contemporary psychological perspective which is carried across their entire teacher education program. This will require faculty with different expertise in teacher education to be willing to emphasize ideas and issues relative to personality psychology. Another reason for involving other teacher educators in this dialog is that in order to include additional content in personality psychology, the reality is that the educational psychologist may need to eliminate some content currently being covered. For example, we recently revisited our educational psychology content with our teacher educator colleagues and discovered several topics covered in our educational psychology course (e.g., language development, multiculturalism, exceptionality) were covered in-depth in other courses. Such a discussion allows educational psychologists to return to the goal of covering content from an interdisciplinary approach that leads to the development of a “useful psychological perspective”, as suggested by Anderson (1995).
We continue the dialog started more than 80 years ago by Worester (1927) who encouraged educational psychology textbook authors to allocate space to personality psychology. However, we are reminded of Haggard's (1954) warning that educational psychologists should not be reliant upon the “hand-me-downs” of other subfields within psychology. To simply borrow content from personality psychology may be insufficient for actually expanding the content and boundaries of educational psychology. Rather foundational knowledge in personality psychology can best be used to fulfill Bruner's (1966) call, which places the development of a theory of instruction and the creation of environments designed to optimize learning as the core mission of educational psychology.
One of our primary purposes in this article is to encourage those individuals involved in teacher education programs to explore the extent to which their own curriculum provides pre-service teachers with some foundational knowledge in personality psychology. This issue is closely related to the larger discussion of what prospective teachers should know and be able to do as a result of successfully completing their teacher education program. We suggest having an understanding of one's own personality, and the personality of others, is relevant for teacher induction and has implications for meeting the diverse needs of learners.
Overlapping and Non-Overlapping Terms in PersonalityTextbooks and Educational Psychology Textbooks
Overlapping (conceptual coverage in at least two educational psychology textbooks)
Autonomy versus shame and doubt
Generativity versus stagnation
Identity versus role confusion
Locus of control
Non-Overlapping (sample items)
Approach behaviorsBehavioral inhibition system
Gypsy M. Denzine, Ph.D. is Associate Dean in the College of Education and an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at Northern Arizona University . Her research interests are adolescent psychology, college student development, and achievement motivation. Gypsy.Denzine@nau.edu. Ph. 928-523-9211, Fax. 928-523-9284
William E. Martin, Jr., Ed.D. is Professor of Educational Psychology at Northern Arizona University . His research interests are ethnocultural assessment, psychosocial adaptation, person- environment based prevention and intervention methods, and ecological psychology. He is the Senior Scholar in the Faculty Research Center in the College of Education at Northern Arizona University .
Leslie D. Cramblet, M.Ed. is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology at Northern Arizona University . Her research interests are achievement motivation among college students and academic goal orientation.
Anderson , L., M., Blumenfeld, P., Pintrich, P.R., Clark, C. M., Marx, R. W., & Peterson, P. (1995). Educational psychology for teachers: Reforming our courses, rethinking our roles . Educational Psychologist, 30, 143-157.
Berliner, D. (1992). Telling the stories of educational psychology. Educational Psychologist, 27, 143-161.
Bruner, J. S. (1966). Education as social intervention. Saturday Review, 49(8), 70-72, 102-103.
Breaux, A. L., & Wong, H. K. (2003). New Teacher induction: How to train support, and retain new teachers. Harry K. Wong Publications, Inc.
Buss, D. M. (1999). Human nature and individual differences: The evolution of human personality. In L. A. Pervin and O. P. John (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp.31-56). New York : The Guilford Press.
Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2000). Perspectives on personality. Boston , MA : Allynand Bacon.
Cronbach, L. J. (1954). Educational psychology . New York : Harcourt, Brace, & World.
Dawis, R. (2001). Toward a psychology of values . The Counseling Psychologist, 29, 458-465.
Doyle, W. (1990). Classroom knowledge as a foundation for teaching. Teachers College Record , 91, 347-360.
Emmons, R. A. (1997). Motives and life goals. In R. Hogan, J. Johnson, & S. Briggs (Eds.), Handbook of personality psychology (pp. 485-512). San Diego , CA : Academic Press.
Engler, B. (1999). Personality: An introduction. New York : Houghton-Mifflin.
Funder, D. C. (2001). Personality. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 197-221.
Hogan, R., Johnson, J., & Briggs, S. (Eds.). (1997). Handbook of personality psychology. San Diego , CA : Academic Press.
Hope, W. (1999). Principals' orientation and induction activities as factors in teacherretention. Clearinghouse, 73 (1), 54-57.
Huling-Austin, L. (1986). What can and cannot reasonably be expected from teacherinduction programs. Journal of Teacher Education, 37 , 2-5.
Huling-Austin, L. (1992). Research on learning to teach: Implications for teacher
induction and mentoring programs. Journal of Teacher Education, 43, 173-180.
Fontana , D. (1986). Teaching and personality. New York : Basil Blackwell.
Fontana , D. (1996). Educational (school) psychology. In A. M. Colman, (Ed.), Companion encyclopedia of psychology (Vol 2) (pp 1200-1214). New York , NY : Routledge.
Gage, N. L., & Berliner, D. C (1998). Educational psychology (6 th ed.). Boston , MA : Houghton Mifflin.
Haberman, M. (1995, June). Selecting “star” teachers for children and youth in urban poverty. Phi Delta Kappan, 777-781.
Holsti, O.R. (1969). Content analysis for the social sciences and humanities . Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Ingersoll, R. (2001, Fall). Teacher turnover and teacher shortages: An organizational analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 499-534.
Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium. (1992). Model Standards for Beginning Teacher Licensing, Assessment, and Development: A Resource for State Dialogue. Washington DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.
Ingersoll, R. (2002, June). The teacher shortage: A case of wrong diagnosis and wrong prescription. NASSP Bulletin, 16-31.
John, O. P. & Robins, R. W. (1993). Gordon Allport: Father and critic of the five-factor model. In K. H. Craik, R. Hogan, & R. N. Wolfe (Eds.), Fifty years of personality psychology (pp.215-236). New York , NY : Plenum Press.
Krippendorf, K. (1980). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Liebert, R. M., & Liebert, L. L. (1998). Personality: Strategies and issues. Pacific Grove ,CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.
Luft, J. A., & Brockmeyer, M. A. (2000). Sketches of beginning secondary science teachers and the support they receive during a professional development program. (Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, New Orleans, LA).
Luft, J.A., & Cox, W.E. (2001). Investing in our future: A survey of support offered tobeginning secondary mathematics and science teachers. Science Educator, 10, 1-9.
Manning, P. K., & Cullum-Swan, B. (1994). Narrative, content, and semiotic analysis. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 463-477). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Mathis, C. B., Menges, R. J., & McMillan, J. H. (1977). Content and boundaries of educational psychology. In D. J. Treffinger, J. K. Davis, & R. E. Ripple (Eds.), Handbook on teaching educational psychology (pp. 25-43). NewYork: Academic Press.
Matthews, G. & Deary, I. J. (1998). Personality traits . Cambridge , UK : Cambridge Press.
McAdams, D. P. (1997). A conceptual history of personality psychology. In R. Hogan, J. Johnson, & S. Briggs (Eds.), Handbook of personality psychology (pp. 3-39). San Diego , CA : Academic Press.
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1999). A five-factor theory of personality. In L. A. Pervin and O. P. John (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp. 139-153). New York : The Guilford Press.
Meyer, G. J., Finn, S. E., Eyde, L. D., Kay, G. G., Moreland, K. L., Dies, R. R., Eisman, E. J., Kubiszyn, T. W., & Reed, G. M. (2001). Psychological testing and psychological assessment: A review of evidence and issues. American Psychologist, 56, 128-165.
Murname, R. J. (1983). Understanding the sources of teaching competencies: Choices, skills and the limits of training. Teachers College Record, 84, 564-569.
Ormrod, J. E. (2000). Educational psychology: developing learners (3 rd ed.). Upper Saddle River , NJ : Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Perez, K., Swain, C., & Hartsough, C. S. (1997). An analysis of practices used to support new teachers. Teacher Education Quarterly, 24 , 41-52.
Pervin, L. A., & John, O. P. (1999). Handbook of personality: Theory and research . New York : The Guilford Press.
Plomin, R., DeFries, J. C., McClearn, G. E., & Rutter, M. (1997). Behavioral genetics . NewYork: Freeman
Rugg, H. (1922). Is the rating of human character practicable? Journal of Educational Psychology, 13, 30-42.
Rugg, H., Krueger, L., & Sondergaard (1929). Studies in child personality: A study of the language of children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 20, 1-18.
Ryckman, R. M. (2000). Theories of personality. Belmont , CA : Wadsworth .
Shuell, T. J. (1996). The role of educational psychology in the preparation of teachers . Educational Psychologist, 31, 5-14.
Shulman, L. (1990). Reconnecting foundations to the substance of teacher education. Teachers College Record, 91, 300-310.
Slavin, R. E. (2000). Educational psychology: theory and practice (6 th ed.). Needham Heights , MA : Allyn and Bacon.
Snowman, J. & Biehler, R. (2000). Psychology applied to teaching (9 th ed.). Boston , MA : Houghton Mifflin.
Stemler, S. (2001). An overview of content analysis. Practical Assessment,
Research & Evaluation, 7(17). Available; www.ericae.net/pare/getvn.asp?v=7n=17
Weber, R. P. (1990). Basic content analysis . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Widiger, T. A., Verheul, R., & van den Brink, W. (1999). Personality and psychopathology. In L. A. Pervin & O. P. John (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp. 347-366). New York : The Guilford Press.
Wiggins, J. S., & Trapnell, P. D. (1997). Personality structure: The return of the big five. In R. Hogan, J. Johnson, & S. Briggs (Eds.), Handbook of personality psychology (pp 737-765). San Diego , CA : Academic Press.
Woolfolk, A. (2001). Educational psychology (8 th ed.). Needham Heights , MA : Allyn and Bacon.
Yopp, R. H., & Young, B. L. (1999). A model for beginning teacher support and assessment. Action in Teacher Education, 21, 24-36.
Zepeda, S. J., & Ponticell, J. A. (1997). First-year teachers at risk: a study of induction at three high schools. The High School Journal, 8-21.