Professor of Psychology
Barbara Hofer is a Professor of Psychology at Middlebury College, and is an educational, developmental, and cultural psychologist. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan from the Combined Program in Education and Psychology, with a certificate in Culture and Cognition; an Ed.M. in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education; and a B.A. in American Studies from the University of South Florida.
Her research interests focus on learning and development, particularly in adolescence and the college years. Current work includes: 1) the development of personal epistemology (beliefs about knowledge and knowing) in adolescence, and how this interacts with learning strategies, motivation, cognition, and academic performance (funded by the National Science Foundation); and 2) the development of self-regulation and autonomy during the college years and how this is related to frequent contact with parents through cell phones and email. She has also worked on cross-national studies of achievement, and research on the interrelationship of mind and culture, and spent two recent sabbaticals as a faculty fellow at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and is currently a visiting faculty fellow at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen. Her research is done in collaboration with undergraduates, who have been highly involved in presenting results at conferences and co-authoring papers.
Professor Hofer is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and she is on the editorial board of Educational Psychologist, Learning and Instruction, and the Journal of Metacognition and Learning, and also reviews for over two dozen other journals.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
FYSE 1084 - Culture and Cognition
Culture and Cognition
The values and commitments of our cultural environment can shape our ways of knowing, habits of thought, sense of self, emotion, identity, and other psychological processes. Through readings from cultural psychology and other related literature, class discussion, films, and experiential activities, we will explore the relationship between mind and culture. We will also pay attention to how schooling shapes this process within various cultures, particularly with "western" and "eastern" examples. This seminar may be of special interest to those who have lived in other cultures or who are planning to study abroad, to anyone interested in issues of identity and education in our multicultural society, and to those who would like to develop a broader understanding of multiple ways of viewing human reasoning, sense of self, and the social interactions that result.
PSYC 0216 - Adolescence ▲
This course is designed to provide an overview of adolescent development, including the biological, cognitive, and social transitions of individuals during this period of life. Development also takes place in context, and we will pay particular attention to the role of family, peer group, school, work, and culture. Students will read research literature, as well as cases, in order to examine the central psychological issues of this developmental period, including identity, autonomy, intimacy, sexuality, and achievement. (PSYC 0105; open to seniors by waiver only) 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.
Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014
PSYC 0327 - Educational Psychology
The goal of this course is to introduce students to a psychological understanding of teaching and learning through an overview of principles, issues, and related research in educational psychology. The course will examine theories of learning, complex cognitive processes, cognitive and emotional development, motivation, and the application of these constructs to effective instruction, the design of optimum learning environments, assessment of student learning, and teaching in diverse classrooms. (PSYC 0105 and PSYC 0216 or PSYC 0225; not open to first-year students; open to psychology majors, and to education studies minors by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.
Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013
PSYC 0350 - Directed Research ▲ ▹
Directed Research in Psychology
Directed research provides opportunities for advanced students to become familiar with and participate in ongoing research projects under the direction of a faculty member. The student will first read background literature on the content area to be investigated and experimental methodologies to be used. Procedures involved in conducting psychological research will then be learned through firsthand experience. Potential activities include the design of research and the defining of conceptual variables and the gathering, analyzing, and interpretation of data. Finally, students will learn how to write technical articles in psychology by preparing a paper describing the project, using APA style. (Approval required; not open to first-year students) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
PSYC 0415 - Psychology&Emerging Technology ▲
Psychology and Emerging Technology
New media and technology, such as smart phones and social media, are changing how we think, relate, connect, learn, and work. In this course we will examine what recent psychological literature tells us about the pros and cons of our wired world. We will review research on the use of cell phones, social media, video games, and the internet, and look at topics such as attention, addiction, cyber-bullying, learning, brain and mind, and relationships with friends and family. In this course we will draw on multiple areas of psychology, including social, developmental, cognitive, educational, and neuroscience, and will undertake critical analysis and understanding of research in a new field. Students will also conduct empirical research on related topics of their choice. (Open to junior and senior psychology majors, others by approval) 3 hr. sem.
Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014
PSYC 0426 - Culture, Mind, and Education
Senior Seminar: Culture, Mind, and Education
In this senior seminar we will examine the connections between mind and culture and the role schooling plays in this process. Among other topics, we will explore how individuals are socialized to cultural values and habits of mind, how cultural beliefs relate to learning and motivation, the relation between language and thought, and the psychological correlates of academic achievement across cultures. The course will focus on high contrast examples of "eastern" and "western" cultures, but students will be encouraged to bring their own cultural and educational interests to bear on the topic. Our goal is to develop a broader understanding of the role of culture in psychological processes, as well as to address implications of such psychological understanding for a global, multicultural society. (Open to junior and senior psychology majors, and to others by permission of the instructor.) 3 hrs. sem.
PSYC 0500 - Advanced Research ▲ ▹
A program of research arranged to meet the needs of advanced students majoring in psychology. (Approval required)
Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
PSYC 0700 - Senior Research ▲ ▹
A program of research arranged to meet the needs of advanced senior majors in psychology. (PSYC 0201 and PSYC 0202; Approval required)
Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
PSYC 0701 - Senior Thesis Proposal ▲ ▹
Senior Thesis Proposal
Students hoping to be considered as candidates for departmental honors must enroll in PSYC 0701 under the sponsorship of a department faculty member and submit a formal, written research proposal to the department by 5 p.m. on the Wednesday during the final week of fall classes in their senior year. If the proposal is approved, the student will enroll in PSYC 0702 during the winter term and PSYC 0703 during the spring term of their senior year. (Feb graduates should consult with their advisors about the appropriate semester in which to begin a thesis.) (PSYC 0201 and PSYC 0202; Approval required)
Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
PSYC 0702 - Senior Thesis Second Semester ▲ ▹
Senior Thesis Second Semester
Students whose honors thesis proposal (PSYC 0701) has been approved will collect, analyze, and interpret their data. This is the second semester of the 3-semester senior thesis. (PSYC 0201, PSYC 0202, and PSYC 0701; Approval required)
Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
PSYC 0703 - Senior Thesis ▲ ▹
This is the third and final semester of the senior thesis. Students will finish analyzing, and interpreting their data. This process culminates in a written thesis to be submitted by 4 p.m. on the Monday BEFORE the final week of spring classes, a presentation, and an oral defense. The decision about awarding departmental honors will be made after the student submits the thesis. (PSYC 0201, PSYC 0202, and PSYC 0702; Approval required)
Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
Hofer, B. K & Moore, A. S. (2010). The iConnected Parent: Staying close to your kids in college (and beyond) while letting them grow up. New York: Free Press.
Hofer, B. & Pintrich, P. (2002). Personal epistemology: The psychology of beliefs about knowledge and knowing. Mahwah, NJ:Erlbaum.
Hofer, B. K., & Bendixen, L. D. (2012), Personal epistemology: Theory, research, and future directions. In K. Harris, (Ed.), Handbook of educational psychology, pp. 225-254. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Hofer, B. K. (2011). Student-parent communication in the college years: Can students grow up on an electronic tether? The Bulletin of the Association of College Unions International, 79(2), pp. 36-41.
Hofer, B. K., *Lam, C., & *DeLisi, A. (2011). Understanding evolutionary theory: The role of epistemological development and beliefs. In R. Taylor and M. Ferrari (Eds.), Epistemology and science education: Understanding the evolution vs. intelligent design controversy. New York: Routledge.
Hofer, B. K. (2010). Personal epistemology, learning, and cultural context: Japan and the U.S. In M. Baxter Magolda, E. G. Creamer, and P. S. Meszaros (Eds.) Refining understanding of the development and assessment of self-authorship. Stylus.
Hofer, B. K. (2010). Personal epistemology in Asia: Burgeoning research and future directions. Asia Pacific Education Researcher, 19(1), 175-184.
*Wildenger, L. K., Hofer, B. K., *Burr, J. E. (2010). Epistemological development in very young knowers. In L. Bendixen and F. Haerle (Eds.), Personal epistemology in the classroom: Theory, research, and implications for practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hofer, B. K., & Sinatra, G. M. (2010). Epistemology, metacognition, and self-regulation: Musings on an emerging field. Metacognition and Learning. 5(1), p. 113- 120.
Hofer, B. (2010). Motivation in the college classroom. In W J. McKeachie and M. Svinicki, (Eds.) McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Hofer, B. K., *Souder, C., *Kennedy, E., *Fullman, F. E., & *Hurd, K. (2009). The electronic tether: Communication and parental monitoring during the college years. In M. K. Nelson and A. I. Garey, (Eds.). Who’s watching? Practices of surveillance in contemporary families. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.
Hofer, B. K. (2008). Epistemological development. In E. Anderman (Ed.), Psychology of classroom learning: An encyclopedia. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.
Hofer, B. K. (2008). The electronic tether: Parental regulation, self-regulation, and the role of technology in college transitions. Journal of the First-year Experience & Students In Transition, 20(2), 9-24.
Hofer, B. (2008). Personal epistemology and culture. In M. S. Khine (Ed.), Knowing, knowledge and beliefs: Epistemological studies across diverse cultures. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
Media Coverage (sample)
CBS Early Show, August 10, 2010:http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6759758n&tag=cbsnewsVideoArea.0
USA Today, August 18, 2010
Chicago Tribune, August 5, 2010
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 10, 2010
NYTimes “Room for Debate”