Below is my 2nd Assignment for this paper; Implement, document and critique a digital and collaborative learning innovation applied to a specific area of my practice.
What is a theory?
Theories are analytical tools for understanding, explaining, and making predictions about a given subject matter.
What is the difference between a theory and a style?
A theory is a thought or idea while a style is the manner in which you do it.
For example - research driven decisions delivered in a certain way.
What is a Learning Theory?
A theory about changes in observable behaviour addresses:
Learning theories are conceptual frameworks describing how information is absorbed, processed, and retained during learning. Cognitive, emotional, and environmental influences, as well as prior experience, all play a part in how understanding, or a world view, is acquired or changed and knowledge and skills retained.
Addresses how people learn
e.g. Bronfenbrenner, Piaget, Vygotsky, Erikson etc
Learning Theories From the Hat (there is a video)
We were given a theory drawn from a hat - the task, to make a video presenting our theory.
connectionism and the law of effect
iKITMovie (paid, but free trial)
iPad apps (e.g. MyCreate)
We got PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION
Progressive education is a pedagogical movement that began in the late nineteenth century; it has persisted in various forms to the present. The term progressive was engaged to distinguish this education from the traditional Euro-American curricula of the 19th century, which was rooted in classical preparation for the university and strongly differentiated by social class. By contrast, progressive education finds its roots in presentexperience. Most progressive education programs have these qualities in common:
Our stop animation
Check it out - Brick Network found our Lego Animation
I voted 'IS'
We had a big discussion around this tonight. Should Touch Typing be mandated in education?
Points of discussion:
Will typing be necessary in the near future?
When will technology make it possible for everything to be spoken?
Is it a requirement TODAY?
What are the benefits of being a touch typist?
Is it the right tool for everyone?
What do I think:
The right tool for the right purpose at the right time for the right person. Let me explain...
A dyslexic person may require spoken software that does the typing for me through voice recognition (this being said, I myself am dyslexic and so are both of my sons and many of many extended family - we are all touch typist - it is actually a skill we have mastered somewhat easily and helps us all 'get it right' - especially if copy typing - spelling is not too big a deal as we use spell check software). Other dyslexics however struggle terribly to get their ideas written in any form.
An interesting point was made in relation to historical tools. In the 'olden days' lol, children were taught how to clean the end of their 'stick' before re-inking in a well... we've moved from pens to typewriters and now voice is becoming common place - in the future, are kids going say "what? you used to write? with a thing in your fingers? there was a what attached to your device?"
I believe we should be teaching the tools of TODAY, cause they need it TODAY and when it is no longer needed, adapt and teach what is required then.
Week 1 - Reflect on how your understanding of the purpose of education is visible in your classroom.
The purpose of education is to evolve! To become all that we can be and to be able to contribute to society in ways that positively support evolution.
If I were to take my guide from The New Zealand Curriculum document, then I would say the purpose of education would be to have 'young people that were confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners'.
The learning involved covers four key areas; Values, Key Competencies, Learning Areas and Achievement Objectives.
It is no mistake in my opinion that Values and Key Competencies come before the Learning Areas and Achievement Objects.
If we look at values for moment; excellence, innovation, inquiry, curiosity, diversity, equity, community and participation, ecological sustainability, integrity and respect. These are the foundation of society and are essential to the future of man kind.
So how is this visible in my classroom? Just to be clear, I no longer have my own classroom as I am working within many schools, so my reflection is based on the environment I had when I had my class and on how I would expect things to be if I had my class now.
Excellence: 'Strive to do your personal best' - a mantra often used - I don't expect anything more than personal best and this is celebrated by all.
Inquiry and curiosity is encouraged and opportunities for 'self-study' are made available. I reflect on one occasion when I had a young lad so passionate about bugs that he was encouraged to involve entomology into the other areas of his learning. He built a snail house, became the 'cockroach man' of the school, saving teachers from the terror of this particular creepy crawly daring to enter their rooms. He even organised an expert in the field to visit the class and bring termites - everybody enjoyed his passion, celebrated his successes, learned from him and benefit from the experiences as he recruited helpers and made presentations. The real 'kicker :0)' - this same boy was/is severely dyslexic with low self esteem and was able to 'shine' and earn respect from his peers.
Diversity and Equity: everyone is celebrated and encouraged to share who they are. Learning styles are catered for and shared so everyone understands. At the beginning of any school year I conduct a series of self assessments that inform the children and myself the best ways they learn (these include the learning smarts, dyslexia and SPELD). These are graphed and put up on the wall so everyone can share their unique talents and abilities and connect with others with similar learning styles. A lot of this practice comes from the teachings of Mike Scadden and his research in this area. I remember one year when the outcomes of the learning smarts indicated that I had a class of 80% music learners (which I am not) - this prompted the development of my first website where I put as much musical supportive material online that I could find to support the topics and learning areas in our classroom programme. The results? A highly autistic boy in my class that I had much trouble assessing learning outcomes and was not sure what he was 'taking in', had listened to the songs repeatedly and one day during a school assembly where a visiting band was playing, he sat on my lap and started telling me all about the water cycle in detail, how to add numbers together and what the others were doing in their independent inquiries. I just wish I had a recording device at the time to capture it all. A truly awesome experience.
Community and participation: Society relies on communication and application - how better to bring this about than working with others and developing these necessary skills. In group situations my students are expected to contribute fully, everybody has a job to do.
Ecological sustainability: through a classroom vege patch, bokashi composting, river clean-up and enforcing a clean, hygenic classroom and school, children become involved in their environment and take responsibility for caring for it. It's pretty cool when you see your students get upset when they find or see someone else being disrespectful or harmful to THEIR environment.
Integrity and respect: 'Fair not the truth' (what I lived under at my first primary school growing up and continue to live by). I use restorative practice in class and out in the playground. This gives students an opportunity to reflect on their actions and 'fix' any wrongs they may have done. It provides an opportunity for all parties to express their issues and collaboratively agree on what should happen moving forward. The students are shown respect and for the most part they show it back as a result.
It turns out that this is very big statement to unpack. I will be back to complete this later...
This blog will track my learning journey with MIND LAB and how I implement this new knowledge into practice.