Educational Psychology: Anita Woolfolk
Anita Woolfolk began her career by graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in psycho...
Educational Psychology: Anita Woolfolk Anita Woolfolk began her career by graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in psychology and a minor in chemistry. A few years later she completed her doctorate in educational psychology from the same institution, receiving both NDEA and intramural fellowships along the way. After moving up the professorial ranks at Rutgers in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to become chair for three years of the Department of Educational Psychology, Anita Woolfolk accepted a position in the topranked School of Educational Policy and Leadership at Ohio State University. During her time in Ohio, Anita Woolfolk taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in educational psychology, authored several books, book chapters, and research articles within the field, applied for and received research funding from various sources, and served on the editorial boards for several peerreviewed educational research journals. In addition to these considerable contributions to the field of educational psychology, Anita Woolfolk has served as program chair for the Division of Educational Psychology at the American Psychological Association and Vice President for the Division of Teaching and Teacher Education at the American Educational Research Association. After her arrival at Ohio State University in 1994, Anita Woolfolk was able to focus more of her energy on continuing her research into the psychology of teacher academic optimism and its impact on student performance in the classroom. Otherwise called a teacher’s perception of selfefficacy, her research has helped to show that teachers who maintain their optimism in the face of difficulties, set high goals for themselves and their students, and overcome ineffective teaching methods, tend to be better teachers. The factors that can influence a teacher’s selfefficacy include the quality of training the teacher has received, the subject matter, depth of knowledge, class size and student socioeconomic backgrounds. Peer, organizational and community support may also play a significant role. In addition, her research efforts contributed directly to the development of a number of instruments designed to measure teacher selfefficacy using both quantitative and qualitative measures. Her other research interests include student perceptions of teachers, student motivations and applied educational psychology. Rather than settle into a research career at Ohio State University to the exclusion of other interests in educational psychology Anita Woolfolk has instead matured into the role of a respected senior professor and wideranging contributor within the field. Her leadership role has led to the publication of a number of additional authored books, chapters and research articles, and being called frequently to give presentations at professional meetings. The 11th edition of her book “Educational Psychology” was published last year, serves as the most widely read introductory text on this subject. Does educational psychology interest you? Do you want to know more about psychology and how it relates to learning? Argosy University can help you find out more. Just click here for more information. Anita Woolfolk is not affiliated with Argosy University.