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Dr. Helenrose Fives' Presidential Theme

"A New Look at Some Old Ideas: Educational Psychology from Yesterday for Tomorrow"

From Newsletter for Educational Psychologists, Summer 2019:

“Across my experiences serving Division 15, talking to members, attending research presentations, and reading publications, three realizations emerged:

1. As a scholarly community, Division 15 members have forged an impressive core of knowledge that can be applied to improve the quality of teaching and learning that occurs in and out of schools, and which can and should influence policy at local, state, and national levels.

2. In the concerted efforts to move the field forward, members of Division 15 have sometimes overlooked or forgotten to promote important and still viable findings from past generations to the current generation of educational researchers and practitioners who could benefit from this foundational knowledge.

3. Some of our tried and true findings have not been replicated for the sociohistorical context of the 21st century nor extended to less traditional populations who actually inhabit today’s classrooms. Thus, during my presidential year I would like to encourage members to take a look back at the foundational knowledge of educational psychology and reconsider it in light of today’s context. For instance, are the insights garnered about effective techniques for collaborative learning still applicable in today’s classrooms? If so, why do too few teachers know about them? Conversely, if Division 15 as a community has recognized the lack of evidence around learning styles and teaching to the right or left brain, why do these ideas still thrive among practitioners and school leaders? And more importantly what do we have to offer that would be of better use?

Thus, my presidential theme is ‘A New Look at Some Old Ideas: Educational Psychology from Yesterday for Tomorrow.’

Throughout the year I hope to explore this theme through a variety of perspectives. I hope to build on the work started and continued by past presidents and Sharon Nichols who is chair of the Policy and Practice Ad Hoc committee, to consider the ways that we can use educational psychology to both study and inform policy. Jessica DeCuir-Gunby and Paul Schutz’s article in Educational Psychologist, “Researching Race Within Educational Psychology Contexts,” provides another example for how we can take a look back to inform our work for tomorrow.

I believe that it is important for us to communicate our ideas not only to each other in the scholarly community but also to the larger audience who can benefit from our evolving work and established knowledge as a field. Thus, I look forward to a well curated 2020 conference spearheaded by Program Chairs Nicole Barnes and Jamaal Matthews, with special sessions focused on this theme. In addition, webinars to help clarify what we know and can do as scholars, podcasts highlighting current research in the field, and using our Psychology Today blog series as a means to communicate the work into the public in ways that are accessible, understandable, and applicable.”

Dr. Helenrose Fives

Dr. Helenrose Fives is a Professor in the Department of Educational Foundation in the College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

She earned her Ph.D. in Human Development with a Specialization in Educational Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park after teaching in inner city Washington, D.C. for six years.

Prior to Montclair State University she was an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University. Dr. Fives teaches and mentors students in the Ph.D. program in Teacher Education and Teacher Development; in the preservice teacher preparation programs. 

The Posts

Reading Recovery

By Tammy Mills

Think Critically Before Thinking Critically

By Jeffrey A. Greene and Brian M. Cartiff 

Crash Course: How to Be a Teacher

By Helenrose Fives and Erin Riley-Lepo

Reducing Anxiety Among Those with Autism Spectrum Disorder

By Corinne G. Catalano and Eileen McKeating