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[Teacher-talklearning] #1 How People Learn: Introduction to Learning Theory

From: Randi K <zenway01_at_gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 18:44:24 -0500

 One teacher in this segment begins by showing the students a picture of an
adult and a child on a sled and asks students to hypothesize which of the
people will get down the hill faster. Students theories range from thinking
that the child will get there faster, because they have more energy, to the
adult will get to the bottom of the hill faster because they weigh more and
the extra weight will make the sled will go faster.
This was a great illustration of asking students to develop theories and to
think them, based upon acquired knowledge and based upon anecdotal
information. It is clear from this question that the teacher is far more
interested in how students arrive at their answers than the technical
"correctness" of their response. In our own identified 21st Century learner
skills, identified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and
made a priority by all public schools, problem-solving, scientific inquiry,
and the ability to apply abstract concepts to real life examples...these
are essential goals of learning in our schools. As an administrator who
works within classrooms daily, collaborating with teachers and providing
feedback about instructional practice, this is a common conversation: How
to take student learning to another level of thinking--metacognitive,
higher order.
One teacher said it succinctly when she said, “If I kept teaching them
strategies but did not give them the skills to identify when to employ
those skills, and where, and how, I was not serving them.”
In the previous example, the teacher then recreates the example of the two
people on the sled. She understands that the young students are not,
developmentally, at a place where they can analyze data. She says they need
visual representations of the concepts (i.e. gravity, weight, friction,
etc). She also encourages them to use various intelligences to convey
understanding. Students who are more visual learners were able to use
pictures and visual representations.
Another excellent approach I saw in this video was the teacher who used
mind maps to help students get the ideas onto the paper and then decide
whether they conveyed what they had intended. What was important to me? Did
it come through? Did I cover what I intended to…and how?

-- 
Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants
happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do
other creatures.
                                                                *---The
Dalai Lama*
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Received on Tue Mar 13 2012 - 08:56:29 EDT

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