Changing Perspectives

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CHANGING PERSPECTIVES?

Revisit your previous logs and blogs. 

Assess how your perspectives on learning and teaching have become reinforced or revised.  Cite how specific theories are relevant. 

Describe how the activities (discussions, blogs, etc) have facilitated (or hampered) the evolution of your perspectives on learning and teaching.

How have my perspectives changed (or been affirmed)? 

What views do I continue to weigh? 

What reasons push me to ponder about my views?

What good reasons may there be to justify the shifts in my perspectives?

Can I support my claim that I am evolving into a better learner? a better teacher?  

What THEORETICAL PRINCIPLES UNDERPIN in my perspectives, old and new?

How do my views reflect on my PERSONAL EPISTEMOLOGICAL THEORIES–i.e., my personal beliefs about the nature of knowledge and knowledge acquisition?

Although I wasn’t able to keep my journal and forum post updated, I was able to go through the modules and read through post from other participants from time to time. There are instances wherein I would have a discussion with myself with what I’ve read – I’m more into verbal discussion than in written form. How I wish have more time to go through the whole topics and have a more in-depth analysis of the concepts – Yes, I need to learn to self-regulate more. Going through my post, I’ve realized that I did learn a lot from this subject. I was able to answer the questions on my own despite the fact that I’ve read the module months/weeks ago. At the beginning of the semester, the questions provided was nerve racking since I’m not used to the terms used and I’m not familiar with the theories. As weeks gone by I eventually understood the concepts and was able to answer the questions with sense.

Going through the module and applying it in my current work was amazing. I came to understand the students more. Working with teachers who are the profession for years was also beneficial. After gaining knowledge from this subject, all of a sudden their action made sense to me. Why they would tackle certain things differently – especially since I grew up with the traditional method. It also gave me more understanding that there are other means of teaching the lesson – it doesn’t have to be a one size fit all system.

It was nice to affirm that what I’m doing inside the classroom falls into best practice. Prior to venturing into teaching my knowledge on the profession was limited and most of the time I would second guess myself. Going through the concepts gave me confidence and motivation to improve my craft.

The theories that mean more to me are multiple intelligence, cognitive learning theory and behavioral theory. I really enjoyed reading through it. It gave meaning to why educational psychology is important. Watching the Bandura’s Bobo doll experiment was remarkable! Thank you for including it in the module. I think part of the teacher’s job is to manage classroom behavior. To get the student’s attention, it’s not about how loud your voice is. It’s more of how you phrase it and the manner of how you execute it. Working in an international school, I’ve realized that no matter what ethnicity and economic status the student belongs to, they are still kids. I’ve noticed that majority of the teachers lack the skill of managing the class behavior. I’m grateful for being exposed to the traditional method of teaching during my school years because I was able to see what works and what doesn’t.  Going through the theories, it made me realize that there are other factors in learning. It’s not just about the subject content. The teacher should take in consideration of other things like teaching method, importance of getting the student’s attention, and more.

Taking the professional teaching certificate program is helping me to be a better learner as well as a becoming a better teacher. Being able to study and reflect with one’s teaching is very beneficial. My current work is also a venue for me to learn. I think all teachers have the same goal – to help students learn. An intervention to this goal is to recognize that not all students are the same. We teachers need to learn how to cater to different methods of teaching.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mentor, Ms. Marilou Juachon (T. Malou). Thank you for your guidance and patience with my queries (my numerous emails). I really appreciate the time and effort you gave us. I almost gave up the other day because I can’t finish my requirements – I was almost sold to the idea of taking the subject again just to submit my posts but after receiving your email – giving us another chance, it motivated me to stay all night just to finish my work. So thank you very much.

Module 1: Introduction

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/module-1-metacognition-2/

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/self-regulation/

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/discussion-forum-on-metacognition/

Module 2: Learning Styles

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/on-teaching/

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/my-learning-style/

Module 3: Motivation

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/85/

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/self-efficacy-self-worth-and-anxiety/

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/rsa-animate-drive-the-surprising-truth-about-what-motivates-us/

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/understanding-flow/

Module 4: Intelligence

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/intelligence/

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/autistic-girl-expresses-unimaginable-intelligence/

Module 5: Behavioral Theories

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/behaviorism/

Module 6: Social Learning

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/social-learning/

Module 7: Cognitive Theories

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/module-7-cognitive-theories/

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/mechanisms-of-cognitive-development/

Module 8: Constructivist Theories

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/assimilation-accommodation-and-equilibration/

Module 9: Complex Learning

https://zsepasi.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/constructivism/

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Constructivism

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  1. If you believe that we can teach complex learning (e.g., analytical, creative thinking), HOW can it be done?  Be specific; your ideas must be doable.  If not, what are the“insurmountable obstacles”?

First is by providing questions that will tap on the student’s thinking cap. The teacher presents a puzzling event, question, or problem. The students: formulate hypotheses to explain the event or solve the problem, collect data to test the hypotheses, draw conclusions, and reflect on the original problem and the thinking processes needed to solve it. This can be done by individuals or by group.

  1. Which theoretical approach/es best align/s with complex learning?  Conversely, which theoretical views tend to undermine high order thinking skills?  Elaborate.  What are the implications to curriculum development and classroom teaching?  In other words, what are the implication of specific theoretical perspectives on the way we design curriculum and plan/ implement teaching, or even in the way students learn?

After going through the different theories, I’ve observed how they are link to one another. To answer the question, the best theoretical approach that is align with complex learning would be the Cognitive Learning Theory.[i] Critical thinking is at the heart of effective reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. It enables us to link together mystery of content with such diverse goals. 

  1. How do you imagine might learning theory affect the progress and development of a community or a nation?  As an individual with such an awareness, what commitment/s, if any, can you make?

One of the reasons why I ventured into teaching is to mold students to be responsible adults in the future. Learning theories does make an impact in a community and of course the greater nation. Having citizens who make critical thinking part of their daily lives will be awesome! But I think molding individuals to be “tolerant – open minded, fair – principled, caring and reflective” matters more than molding individuals to attain educational standards.

 

“I have always had this view about the modern education system: we pay attention to brain development, but the development of warmheartedness we take for granted. –

Dalai Lama”

 


[i] Educational Psychology, 9th edition, Anita Woolfolk

Assimilation, accommodation and equilibration

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I.   Define assimilation, accommodation, and equilibration by example.

 

Assimilation – For example when my young niece saw an otter for the first time, he called it a cat. Using assimilation, he tried to match new experience with an existing scheme for identifying the animal.

 

Accommodation – Using the example mentioned above, accommodation took place when he added the scheme for identifying an otter to other systems for identifying animals.

 

Equilibration – My niece achieved equilibration when he was able to balance cognitive schemes and information from the environment.

 

  1. How is accommodation “better” than assimilation?

Accommodation is better than assimilation because with accommodation it’s just altering existing schemes or creating new ones in response to the new information. In other words it’s like upgrading the hardware of your computer

  1. When / How is equilibrium attained?

If we apply a particular scheme to an event or situation and the scheme works, then equilibrium exist.

  1. How does disequilibrium contribute to learning?

If the scheme does not produce satisfying  result then disequilibrium occurs.

 

II.  What current practices DO NOT conform to constructivist principles? How would proponents of a constructivist approach to teaching modify classroom experiences?  How will they justify such changes?

One would be expecting the students to be consistent in their ability to see the world from someone else’s point of view. We can avoid this by being sensitive to the possibility that students may have different understand/meaning for the same word.

 

III. How would you qualitatively differentiate “academic success” between traditional (direct instruction) and constructivist teaching? 

Being exposed to both world – traditional method when I was still studying in school and constructivist teaching in my current work, I’ve noticed that the students are more curious and they demonstrate remarkable willingness to learn compared to other students with traditional instruction. Just like many, both approaches have their own cons. What I do like about traditional instruction is its structure.

IV. Why might educators (and learners) who have grown used to traditional methods oppose shifting towards a constructivist approach to teaching-learning?

I think in general anyone who is presented with change will not accept it with open arms. There is always an element of being comfortable. I myself had a hard time shifting from traditional method to constructivist. Traditional is more structured and easy to execute while constructivist is more complex.

 

 

Mechanisms of Cognitive Development

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I found a really good resource and thought of sharing it. Here’s the link:

 http://www.psy.cmu.edu/~siegler/siegler89mech.pdf

Enjoy! 🙂

Module 7. COGNITIVE THEORIES

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[i]The cognitive view sees learning as transforming significant understanding we already have, rather than simple acquisitions written on blank slates. Instead of being passively influenced by environmental events, people actively choose, practice, pay attention, ignore, reflect, and make many more other decisions as they pursue goals. Older cognitive view s emphasized the acquisition of knowledge, but newer approaches stress its construction.

The role of attention is very important in learning. By paying attention to selected stimuli and ignoring others, we limit the possibilities of what will be processed. What we pay attention to is also guided by what we already know and what we need to know. In class, students cannot process information that they do not recognize or perceive.

[ii]Working memory is a limited capacity part of the human memory system that combines the temporary storage and manipulation of information in the service of cognition. Short-term memory refers to information-storage without manipulation and is therefore a component of working memory. Working memory differs from long-term memory, a separate part of the memory system with a vast storage capacity that holds information in a relatively more stable form. According to the multi-component model, working memory includes an executive controller that interacts with separate short-term stores for auditory-verbal and visuo-spatial information.

  1.  What do you see as possible weaknesses or inadequacies in information processing theory with respect to describing/ explaining how people learn?

One of its weaknesses is an in-depth analysis of the theory itself.


[i] Educational Psychology, 9th Edition, Anita Woolfolk

Social Learning

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  1. 1.      Bandura highlighted the value of self-efficacy in learning.  What experiences in distance learning can you cite as concrete examples to demonstrate how your efficacy beliefs about learning may have changed? (Refer to the four major sources of self-efficacy identified in the module.)

Mastery experiences – One would be navigating through Myportal. As a returning DE student of UPOU, I’ve noticed a lot of “upgrades” that I find myself feeling new and overwhelmed but soon after I got used to the change.

Social Modeling – Going through other people’s anecdote made me realize a lot of things. One of it would be that regardless of race and social status, students will always be students.

Social Persuasion – Getting a response from your classmate and subject teacher makes you realize that you are not alone and merely talking to thin air (in this case, cyber space).

Psychological Responses – Just when I was ready to give up and just submit the requirements next term, I’ve received an email regarding an extension on submitting your work– this was really helpful.

  1. 2.      Discuss and elaborate through anecdotes the section “Factors affecting observational learning and performance.”

[i]Not all observed behaviors are effectively learned. Factors involving both the model and the learner can play a role in whether social learning is successful. Certain requirements and steps must also be followed. The following steps are involved in the observational learning and modeling process:

[ii]Attention:

In order to learn, you need to be paying attention. Anything that detracts your attention is going to have a negative effect on observational learning. If the model interesting or there is a novel aspect to the situation, you are far more likely to dedicate your full attention to learning.

[iii]Retention:

The ability to store information is also an important part of the learning process. Retention can be affected by a number of factors, but the ability to pull up information later and act on it is vital to observational learning.

[iv]Reproduction:

Once you have paid attention to the model and retained the information, it is time to actually perform the behavior you observed. Further practice of the learned behavior leads to improvement and skill advancement.

[v]Motivation:

Finally, in order for observational learning to be successful, you have to be motivated to imitate the behavior that has been modeled. Reinforcement and punishment play an important role in motivation. While experiencing these motivators can be highly effective, so can observing other experience some type of reinforcement or punishment. For example, if you see another student rewarded with extra credit for being to class on time, you might start to show up a few minutes early each day.

BEHAVIORISM

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  1. Rewards are popularly believed to create positive consequences and punishments tend to lead to more negative consequences. Describe situations to (a) support and (b) contend / oppose these claims.

Everybody loves rewards. Who doesn’t? But when and how do we give it? I have something called classroom popcorn points. The idea is everyone should exemplify a good behavior and it has to be something that goes over and beyond what is expected from them. This set up works because I’m handling Grade 4. If it was in kindergarten, the kids would just stare at me and probably think that I’m losing my mind. I occasionally give out certificates to students but not to a point that everything is praised. I believe that there has to be a balance.  Giving out too many rewards loses its value.

I think negative reinforcement may also be used to enhance learning. It’s just a matter of how you phrase it. For example when my students are being rowdy just before recess, I would say “When all of the supplies are placed in blue container and everyone is sitting quietly on their chair, we will go outside. Until then, we will miss our recess” Sometimes I would not say anything and just stare at my watch.

(a)      Discuss aspects of behaviorism that you view to be productive and, hence, will advocate in practice.  

Giving out incentives can motivate the student to do well in class.

 (b) Conversely, discuss aspects that you consider counter-productive, and will therefore discourage in practice.

I’ve noticed that the more you raise your voice, the louder the class gets. Teachers need to learn that it’s not about how load your voice is. It’s about timing and content.

  1. Describe how the following behaviorist concepts apply in the classroom (positive uses for):
    • Extinction – [i]refers to the gradual weakening of a conditioned response that results in the behavior decreasing or disappearing.
    • Time out – I have something called “Think Sheet”. Basically when the student is being too rowdy, they are sent to time out and they need to fill up the” think sheet”. It gives them the opportunity to reflect on their behavior and find ways to solve the problem.
    • Positive and negative reinforcement (also demonstrate how they differ)

[ii]Reinforcement is used to help increase the probability that a specific behavior will occur with the delivery of a  stimulus/item immediately after a response/behavior is exhibited. The use of reinforcement procedures have been used with both typical and atypical developing children, teenagers, elderly persons, animals, and different psychological disorders.

[iii]There are two types of reinforcement: positive and negative. It can be difficult to tell the difference between the two. Also, negative reinforcement is often confused with punishment.

[iv]Positive reinforcement is a very powerful and effective tool to help shape and change behavior. Positive reinforcement works by presenting a motivating item to the person after the desired behavior is exhibited, making the behavior more likely to happen in the future.

[v]Negative reinforcement is when a certain stimulus/item is removed after a particular behavior is exhibited. The likelihood of the particular behavior occurring again in the future is increased because of removing/avoiding the negative stimuli. Negative reinforcement should not be thought of as a punishment procedure. With negative reinforcement, you are increasing a behavior, whereas with punishment, you are decreasing a behavior.

    • Generalization and discrimination (also demonstrate how they differ)

[vi]Generalization occurs when an organism makes the same response to similar stimuli. The size of the response typically depends on the degree of similarity. If a dog receives meat powder after hearing a 500 Hz tone, it will probably salivate when hearing a 450 Hz tone also, but not as much as it would to another 500 Hz tone. It would salivate less to a 400 Hz or 600 Hz tone…and even less to a 300 Hz or 700 Hz tone. Pavlov found that the greater the resemblance between stimuli used during training and stimuli used during testing the greater the generalization. In other words, more salivation would occur if a tone was close to the training tone, less salivation would occur if the tone was very different from the training tone.

However, no two situations are identical. If an organism notices differences between situations rather than similarities, generalization will not occur. For example, a horse that responds well to one rider may be stubborn for another. Would the students in Landauer’s class jump if one of their classmates stood up and shouted “Now!”? Maybe some would jump. If they did, they would be showing generalization. But others might not jump. They would be showing discrimination, the opposite of generalization. Discrimination is described in the next section.

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