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Social Psychological Theories of Teaching

Social psychologists view the classroom as a dynamic environment in which teaching and learning are embedded in a social context representative of the larger culture. Teachers and students not only engage in social interactions, but also share collective representations of knowledge. In many classrooms, teachers and students work together in the construction of new knowledge and the reciprocal development of their identities. A collection of overlapping theories from the fields of education, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and social psychology serve as the foundation for these socially situated teaching practices. A discussion of these theories can be divided into three themes: the classroom as a social community, the teacher as a social-psychological influence, and teaching and learning as a social-psychological process.

The Classroom: A Social Community

Classrooms are by ...

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