Psychology of Learning ELECTIVE
POL-400 Psychology of Learning
This course in a nutshell:
Discussion topics: The Psychology of Learning course is intended to introduce the counsellor to the resources and protocol for determining a client’s preferred processing modality, as well as how factors like cognitive developmental stages, executive skill development, temperament, birth order, and IQ all impact the learning process. The course also provides the information, theories and counselling techniques to assess and support children, youth and parents struggling with deficits in basic learning skills.
Skills: The aim is to provide students with knowledge related to the interpretation, and assessment of developmental deficits and strengths in the context of learning. Students will learn how to recognize learning and temperament mismatches in both an educational context and family system; and how to apply appropriate counselling interventions for children, teens, and parents..
The application of psychology to education is not a new concept; testing and assessment has evolved into a separate field of its own. The Psychology of Learning course is intended to introduce the counsellor to the resources and protocol for determining a client’s preferred processing modality, as well as how factors like cognitive developmental stages, temperament, birth order, and IQ all impact the learning process. The course also provides the information, theories and counselling techniques to assess and support children, youth and parents struggling with deficits in basic learning skills.
This course is intended to introduce the concepts of cognitive development, learning styles, assessments, and most importantly, the application of the data derived from administering such assessments.
In classroom settings or alternative learning environments, understanding how students ingest, process, recall, and re-use data is vital to sound educational practices.
In the therapeutic setting, such knowledge is also important as change does not take place without learning. When established therapeutic techniques are used in combination with an understanding of learning style and executive skill functioning, the optimum environment for change is created.
Common, easily administered assessments can fulfill the role of corollary exercises for understanding maladaptive core beliefs and for cognitive restructuring. The additional therapeutic benefit in the counselling setting is that the client may to come reframe ingrained beliefs about him/her self which hinder potential and opportunity to move into the future with
Identifying learning styles and gaps in skill development can help clients develop ego strength as they identify neglected inner resources and become aware of the right opportunity for those resources to be applied. This may bring to the surface issues previously unresolved which of course, may then be processed, reframed, and integrated in a healthier self-perspective.
In order to be effective in working with children who are struggling in the academic environment, it is important for the counselor and parents to first understand the specific underlying impairments in order to create the specific accommodations. The textbook for this course, focuses on teaching parents about Executive Skill Functioning; giving them basic strategies to take home and work with Parents then are also much more effective in follow through because they know what is being focused on in therapy. This book doesn't cover learning disabilities that often accompany the scope of general learning problems, and it's not meant to.
The term executive skills, comes from the neurosciences literature and refers to brain-based skills required for humans to effectively execute, or perform, tasks and solve problems. Executive skills include decision making, planning, and management of information, control of behavioral and emotional impulses. Just like the skills used by a business executive, executive skills help kids get done what needs to get done. These skills are acquired and strengthened throughout the cognitive developmental stages.
When there are gaps or deficits in development, the child’s ability to learn is impacted.
Language therapists, and psychologists who do neurocognitive therapy can provide additional strategies for the more severe children where needed. Many school psychologists sometimes focus only on searching for "learning disabilities" in their evaluations. This course will provide the "other half" of the picture; understanding how executive skills relate to a wide range of learning difficulties.
Even with intervention of specialists, some children are still 'underserved' in terms of needed accommodations in the school setting, leaving parents frustrated by their child's lack of progress.
In settings such as psycho-educational workshops, counselling groups, and/or individual counselling sessions, students are given the opportunity to discuss and apply the concepts. The discussions and exercises are based on questions geared to exploring personal issues, learning styles, academic experiences, attitude toward learning, maladaptive life patterns other symptoms that impact the client’s mental health.
Students who intend to utilize the concepts introduced in the Psychology of Learning course must also integrate the techniques within a standard counselling process, ethical guidelines, foundational skills, and aspects inherent to the practice of counselling as a profession within community mental health agencies and private practice.
PORTFOLIO OF JOB SKILLS
What you will learn:
The objective of the Diploma in Applied Psychology program is to prepare entry-level counselors for employment in the dynamic and wide- ranging fields of mental health. The curriculum stresses the application of job related knowledge and skills in the areas listed below. Your level of proficiency and competence with the skills introduced in this course will deepen as you proceed through the program.
Upon graduation from the Diploma or Certificate program, you may include the following skills as part of your Professional Portfolio:
In the Psychology of Learning course students gain knowledge and develop a skill base necessary to utilize such assessments and techniques related to the course objectives listed above. The following clinical concerns are examples of the kinds of issues that can be addressed:
Developmental issues relating to specific age groups,
- Giftedness & Special Needs,
- Learning & processing issues related to poor academic history,
- Failure to Perform,
- The appropriate use of Executive Skill Functioning requires that counsellors remain within their scope of practice, by first conducting a thorough clinical assessment of each client to include an evaluation of the client’s cultural factors.
- Students will utilize basic therapeutic skills found in effective counsellors such as congruence, the ability to demonstrate empathy through reflective listening, and unconditional positive regard.
- Students will be required to review and adhere to the ethical guidelines and usual and customary standards of counselling practice as established by professional associations when facilitating group sessions, classes and/or individual counselling sessions.
- Students will pay attention to personal attitudes, beliefs and values that may be triggered the results of such assessments. Emphasis placed on self-awareness is an important element for all counselors and the need for self-care and prevention of burnout.
- Students will review boundary issues, which can affect the efficacy of the therapeutic process such as dual relationships, and maintaining boundaries in the role of individual counsellor, group facilitator and/or teacher.
- Students will learn to apply the major developmental theories related to cognitive development, and Executive Skill Functioning, to assessment of the client’s presenting problems, develop a treatment plan, and utilize appropriate counselling techniques throughout the counselling process.
- Students will develop outcome measures to test the efficacy of the application of Executive Skill Functioning.
In addition to the above areas of knowledge, student will learn to work with parents to understand the child’s Learning Styles, suggest accommodations and practical exercises applicable to the home and classroom.