Blog Post 3

There is a lot that goes into someone learning and constructing knowledge. There have been many theories as to how this is possible. One of these theories is Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development. Piaget believed that we all go through four stages; Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete Operational, Formal Operational- as he believed we go through all of these in the same order, but approximate ages. Then came along Lev Vygotsky, who elaborated on the Sociocultural Theory to which he believed lots of the learning we do is by children being taught from someone older and more knowledgeable. Zone of Proximal Development is the area of learning where it is just out of reach for the child to comprehend, but the can grasp it with instruction. Vygotsky believed that this is the area that is most successful for teaching and learning something. Erik Erikson had a psychosocial theory that describes how specific tasks are accomplished at different stages of life-which, according to Erickson, there are 8- and these topics result in being positive or negative.

All of these theories do have some limitations. With Piaget’s theory, it lacks consistency with the idea of conservation. It also underestimates children’s abilities- the problems that he gave to the younger children seemed a little tough and they probably could understand more than assumed. Vygotsky’s theory seems to exaggerate the role of culture with child’s learning- we are born with more cognitive space than Vygotsky predicted. He also seemed very vague on with his Zone of Proximal Development- there is no way to compare children’s ability’s with those of their age using this, and that is hard because no scale exists to measure this.

These theories can be a guide to help us to teach in the future. One example is scaffolding,which is derived from Vygotsky’s theory; We can be a foundation of learning for the children and help them through a problem while they are giving the actual answers and doing the thought process. Going hand in hand with that strategy is Vygotsky’s other theory of  “Zone of Proximal Development” which is the are of learning where the material is just out of grasp for the children to get, but close enough to where they will be able to understand it. This is an ideal teaching/learning target zone. If we could find the ZPD of the children and then use scaffolding to teach them the material, that would be a great combo. But even before all of that stuff- we need to  be able to find the ZPD- we have to be able to observe and record(or take a mental note) of what learning stages these children we are educating stand within these theories. All of these theories can intertwine together and we can keep all of them in the back of our minds to help with knowing where the children stand. We can also pass on this information to future educators or parents so that the learning is prosperous instead of stagnant.

Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Biological Model of Human Development helps us understand the concept of our physical and social contexts and how we interact between the two. the different systems include the Microsystem – Most immediate system- home, school, afterschool programs. Mesosystem- the interaction between the different systems. Exosystem- Mass Media, child’s school, parent’s workplace. Then Macrosystem which is the broadest system- Cultural values, beliefs, customs, laws.

There are also different parenting styles that can have an effect on child development. Authoritative Parents-High warmth, high control. Authoritarian parents- Low warmth, high control. Permissive Parents-Low warmth, high control. And Rejecting/Neglecting parents- Low warmth, low control.

I will give an example of an authoritarian set of parents using a TV show example. A TV show I used to watch as a kid was Home Improvement-my dad couldn’t get enough of it! But Tim “the Toolman Taylor” and his wife Jill were authoritarian. They were loving but at the same time cared about their children enough to be involved in all phases-along with giving the children their space when they need it. They also showed the interaction of the family between Bronfenbrenner’s different systems. they showed how the family interacted(Mesosystem) at home, friends houses, and school(Microsystem), and many times at their dad Tim’s workplace(Exosystem)







Blog 2- Information Literacy

Information literacy is something that I think could be a very important aspect to being an educator. I think this is the case because for a lot of people in this world, when they pour their heart into something(especially something like teaching someone something) they want what they are doing to be done at a high level, and they want it to be done the right way. This is where things can get difficult because what is “the right way”? Well, that is constantly debated, I think with everything in life, but I believe that’s a good thing.

As stated in the “CEE Position Statement” provided as one of our class readings, they state, “The ultimate goal is to enable teachers, teacher educators, and institutions to make sound decisions about educational activities and experiences that will best serve students”. This sentence pretty much sums up what the goal should be in linking research and teaching. Will this be easy? Not always. It may take time and effort.

The reason this will take time and effort is because if you have a question about your something having to do with your teaching-lets say you question a philosophy in your own classroom, and want to try and figure out if you believe it is a valid philosophy, you will need to put in extra time and effort to finding a credible, trustworthy source, who’s experimental studies match the same question in which you are trying to decipher for classroom.  CEE adds, “It is important to note that the extent to which a study may be judged to be trust worthy depends not on the theoretical orientation of the study but the extent to which the methods are used are appropriate to the question asked and the extent to which the chosen methods are rigorously applied.”

If an educator takes it upon themselves to answer their own questions and put the time in to research valid information from other studies, they will have a greater confidence in their teaching method. If a teacher is able to have more confidence in their own teaching, then they can be more elaborate and colorful with that confidence, which in turn sparks interest with students, allowing them to learn better. In the end, that is our goal as educators, isn’t it?

The beauty of it all is that when educators take all of these concepts they have found to be reliable for their own philosophy, if their teaching methods were to be studied by someone else, they have now just become part of the same system that helped create their own.

I think that this video perfectly shows the importance of Information Literacy and shows it in a sense of looking at real scenarios. Since information literacy was not taken into account in these examples, the repercussions were serious and not good for the employee involved, and also their companies.

As for the post to parents from Mrs. Brandy Young, I personally like the idea, but I don’t think homework should be completely abolished. I would think that if she wanted to lessen the amount she could, but not to completely disregard it. I believe that, even though homework is not always fun, it can get students to be able to think and problem solve on their own. Also, it’s not always fun for the student, or easy to do, which can put stress on them, but it’s bettering them for the future.  In her article “Meanings for homework and Implication of Practice” Pamela Coutts mentions how students are more focused on the now and wanting to spend time doing things other than homework, where as their parents are focused on preparing them for their future, which homework does this by giving them tasks that are mentally challenging and require the students to be able to manage their time well.

I know one big problem without having homework assigned would lead to not as much reading. Unless Mrs. Brandy Young will set aside decent blocks of time for the students to read, I don’t see this happening as much as it should. Fischer & Frey’s article “Homework and the Gradual Release of Responsibility: Making “Responsibility” Possible“, they state, “Current neuroscience research suggests readers must develop fluency, or automaticity, with decoding, site words, word recognition, comprehension strategies, and the like so they can free up working memory for making meaning”(2008).   I know with myself, sometimes it is more difficult to concentrate on reading with a room full of students. I like to read in a quiet area by myself. This would definitely not be an easy task for someone with ADHD. Students need time by themselves to think in a different mindset, and homework allows this.

Sometimes I believe that its not the fact that homework is given out, it’s the instruction for the homework that lacks in direction or motivation. We need to try new ways to get students ready to accomplish their homework. IN Lewis Newby’s article, “can research provide a vehicle for learning science lessons?” students aged 13-18 did a new way of research homework  for multiple weeks and then  gradually incorporated the AFL(Assessment For Learning) technique, and it turned out to be very beneficial to student learning. Students evaluated their own work and were able to compare it to certain standards and were able to see how their work changed after the multiple weeks, in which in was very much improved

In Fischer and Frey’s article, “Homework and the Gradual Release of Responsibility”, they too talk a lot about how the problem with homework not being successful is because the teaching does not follow through with the homework in efficient way and/or the homework itself is not allowing the students to reflect in an appropriate fashion.

-I’m really sorry this was way passed the word amount!