Educational Psychology

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Psychological foundations of education

Debunking misinformation

Psych foundations research team collects surveys at Minnesota State Fair

Educational psychology researchers strive to find the best ways to cut through misconceptions about the causes and treatments of autism spectrum disorder. Read more.

Understand the way people think, learn, and teach

As a student in the program, you’ll study the psychological processes critical to education. Research in our program focuses on cognitive and social-emotional development, including high-level cognition and factors shaping and enhancing learning throughout the lifespan. You'll use this knowledge to develop better educational processes and procedures for schools and other educational agencies, businesses, human and social service organizations, health care providers, government agencies, and more.

Careers

  • Faculty (Ph.D only)
  • Research scientists at universities and companies
  • Government agencies
  • Other educational settings (e.g., K-12 school research offices)
  • Human and social service organizations
  • Health care organization evaluator/researcher
  • Research and development centers

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Programs & degrees

Graduate

Masters and Ph.D. students choose between two areas of emphasis:

Learning and cognition / educational technology (M.A., Ph.D.)

  • Study how people think and learn
  • Research how people learn with technology and design research-based technologies to improve learning

Social psychological and developmental processes (M.A., Ph.D)
Study how social processes contribute to the success of schools and other educational organizations

Professional

Talent Development and Gifted Education Certificate
Develop, implement, and supervise programs to teach gifted and talented students in K-12 and postsecondary schools and other settings

EPSY 5135: Human relations workshop

  • Four credit course approved to meet the Minnesota Department of Education requirement for licensure
  • Includes simulation activities, curriculum writing, and supervised practice in basic human relations skills emphasizing social psychological principles involved in stereotyping and prejudice and their implications for educational practice

How to apply

“I help build a meaningful foundation of support for educators' instructional strategies and the development of students' learning skills using neuroscience.”

Soo Hyun Im headshot

Soo-Hyun ImPh.D. student | imxxx045@umn.edu

Interests: Applying neuroscience findings to educational practice

Research: Examining young children's cognitive process of solving arithmetic problems; studying the influence of arithmetical flexibility on future mathematics achievement and brain development

Work: His current focus: Improving educators' neuroscience literacy; developing mathematical flexibility items

Faculty & staff

Learning and cognition / educational technology

William M. Bart headshot

William M. Bartbartx001@umn.edu | Lab

  • Relationships among cognition, instruction, and testing
  • Gifted and talented education
  • Chess expertise
Panayiota Andrea Kendeou headshot

Panayiota Andrea Kendeoukend0040@umn.edu | Lab

  • Cognitive processes in reading comprehension
  • Change of pre-existing beliefs and misconceptions
  • Technology-based comprehension interventions and assessments
Robert D. Tennyson headshot

Robert D. Tennysonrtenny@umn.edu | Lab

  • Cognitive processes in reading comprehension
  • Change of pre-existing beliefs and misconceptions
  • Technology-based comprehension interventions and assessments
Keisha Varma

Keisha Varmakeisha@umn.edu | Lab

  • Cognitive processes in science learning
  • Scientific visualizations and student learning outcomes
  • Teacher knowledge development and effective teaching practice
Sashank Varma headshot

Sashank Varma Program coordinator
sashank@umn.edu | Lab

  • Understanding of abstract mathematical concepts
  • Long-term memory and language understanding
  • Computational models of mathematical reasoning, language understanding, and spatial problem solving
Steve Yussen headshot

Steve Yussensyussen@umn.edu | Lab

  • Memory and comprehension of stories
  • Narrative exchanges between children and parents (e.g., storybook reading, reminiscence)
  • The role of culture on narrative storytelling and memory

Social psychological & developmental processes

Geoffrey Maruyama headshot

Geoffrey MaruyamaDepartment chair
geoff@umn.edu | Lab

  • Achievement processes in schools and other organizations
  • Connections between social processes and educational success
  • Research and community partnerships in challenged communities and urban settings