Raising educational achievement: What can instructional psychology contribute?

A. Gulliford, A. Miller

Research output: Book/ReportBook


In this chapter you will learn about various ways that educational psychologists have attempted to employ ‘instructional psychology’ to help raise educational attainments in schools, especially with pupils whom teachers have traditionally found to be the hardest to teach. We will begin by looking at the different ways that educationalists in general have used the term ‘underachievement’ and at a range of interventions through which educational psychologists have attempted to help raise the attainments of low-, and under-achieving children and young people. The term ‘Instructional Psychology’ is used in various ways. In this chapter it refers to factors in a young person’s learning environment, and particularly to actual teaching style and methods, such as the use of behavioural objectives, task analysis, direct instruction and precision teaching as they relate to the learning of core skills. Each of these approaches will be examined and the basic tenets illustrated by case examples, which suggest that instructional psychology has a role to play in raising attainment in children. Finally, the results from larger scale applications of Instructional Psychology aimed at lower achieving children across a number of classrooms and schools will be explored, which highlight the potential for this type of instructional psychology to reduce ‘underachievement’ by supporting the attainments of all learners. Learning Outcomes When you have studied this chapter you should be able to 1. Explain instructional psychology and the evidence for its efficacy as an approach to teaching, for individuals, and groups. 2. Explain issues of low educational achievement and the rationale and value of instructional psychology methods for supporting achievement. 3. Analyse data recording methods within instructional approaches to literacy skill learning, in order to draw conclusions about teaching effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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