20The top 20 teaching and learning principles The APA-supported Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education has condensed the most important psychological science on PreK– 12 teaching and learning into 20 principles:
Students’ beliefs or perceptions about
intelligence and ability affect their cognitive
functioning and learning.
What students already know affects their
Students’ cognitive development and
learning are not limited by general stages of
Learning is based on context, so generalizing
learning to new contexts is not spontaneous
but instead needs to be facilitated.
Acquiring long-term knowledge and skill is
largely dependent on practice.
Clear, explanatory and timely feedback to
students is important for learning.
Students’ self-regulation assists learning, and
self-regulatory skills can be taught.
Student creativity can be fostered.
Students tend to enjoy learning and perform
better when they are more intrinsically than
extrinsically motivated to achieve.
Students persist in the face of challenging
tasks and process information more deeply
when they adopt mastery goals rather than
Teachers’ expectations about their students
affect students’ opportunities to learn, their
motivation and their learning outcomes.
Setting goals that are short-term (proximal),
specific and moderately challenging
enhances motivation more than establishing
goals that are long-term (distal), general and
Learning is situated within multiple social
Interpersonal relationships and
communication are critical to both the
teaching-learning process and the social-emotional development of students.
Emotional well-being influences educational
performance, learning and development.
Expectations for classroom conduct and
social interaction are learned and can be
taught using proven principles of behavior
and effective classroom instruction.
Effective classroom management is based
on (a) setting and communicating high
expectations, (b) consistently nurturing
positive relationships and (c) providing a
high level of student support.
Formative and summative assessments
are both important and useful but require
different approaches and interpretations.
Students’ skills, knowledge and abilities are
best measured with assessment processes
grounded in psychological science with well-defined standards for quality and fairness.
Making sense of assessment data depends
on clear, appropriate and fair interpretation.
To download the report, visit www.apa.org/ed/schools/cpse/top-twenty-principles.aspx.
To order a hard copy, email Maie Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.