Teacher: Kiristin Bijur
Francisco Community School
5, Feelings Count. Segment begins approximately 11 minutes
45 seconds into the program.
Primary Learning Objectives
When the students complete their discussion
with the teacher on the playground they should be able to:
- recognize they can resolve conflicts by discussing them
and brainstorming solutions
- use the discussion skills modeled by the teacher to address
- recognize that the school is a safe place, where teachers
are understanding and helpful
- manage their emotions better in potentially confrontational
Two groups of students who wanted to play different
sports in the same playground space had to resolve the issue
peacefully. One group participated in a problem-solving and
debriefing discussion of the situation with their teacher.
Learning theories to consider
- Emotions and Learning
- Development and Learning
- Cognitive Apprenticeship
- Creating Classrooms and Schools That Support Learning
In this scenario Kristin Bijur listens as a
group of boys discuss their concern about girls who infringed
upon the limited playground space they are using to play soccer.
The boys share that they have moved their space already --
showing their empathy for the girls' needs -- but now realize
that the problem has not been solved. By listening to the
boys, Kristin Bijur provides them with a structure to manage
their feelings by asking them to "talk out loud"
about how they feel and what some possible solutions might
be. Along the way, she commends them for trying to solve the
space issue in a "peaceful and harmonious" way.
Her intent is to provide a safe environment
where students can express their likes and dislikes without
fearing verbal and/or physical confrontation. An emotionally
safe environment motivates students to trust that the teacher
will listen without bias and will help them work through their
conflicts. The trust that is established between the teacher
and students ultimately begins to transfer among students.
The theory of Emotions and Learning is demonstrated when Kristin Bijur helps students express
how they feel while solving the playground space issue in
an acceptable way. She understands that students' emotions
have an impact on their learning and uses the turf issue as
a teachable moment to assist students in resolving conflict
before it moves from the playground into the classroom. The
theory of Development and Learning
suggests that students at this age are not always developmentally
ready to handle their own problems. Bijur supplies students
with a structure for solving their problem by asking questions
to get them to move beyond blame to resolution. As she acknowledges
the students' thoughts and actions she is also making the
conflict resolution process more visible. This application
of Cognitive Apprenticeship theory helps remove the emotional charge of the situation.
It further motivates students to be in charge of their emotions
as they solve problems instead of withdrawing or striking
out in unproductive ways. This also helps them to feel good
about themselves. Kristin Bijur demonstrates how to create
Schools That Support Learning by taking advantage of a teachable moment whenever
or wherever it occurs. Her instruction resolves a need that
students had that could have been detrimental to classroom
subject matter learning.
Sequenced Writing Assignments:
- Make a list of up to five key ideas from
each of the four learning theories presented: emotions
and learning, development and learning, cognitive apprenticeship
and creating schools that support learning.
Next, try to identify a way the teacher applied each of
those key ideas as she reacted and worked through this scenario.
For example, under "cognitive apprenticeship,"
you might list, "articulation and reflection - the
teacher asked students to think about the situation they
face and what they had done to resolve it, describe how
they came to that resolution, and tell her in their own
words how they felt about the process."
You may find it useful to put your list in the form of a
table. We have provided templates in either Word
format if you choose to do this.
You may find that some key ideas from the learning theories
are not represented in the scenario. For now, leave a blank
space after them. You will also find that you are repeating
some of the things the teacher did because they are applications
of key ideas from more than one learning theory.
- Review your list of key ideas and fill in
the blanks from Assignment A by suggesting things the teacher
could do to apply the key ideas you listed but did NOT see
represented already. Suggest other practical things the
teacher could do to incorporate key learning theory ideas
into her classroom activities.
Reflect on the completed
table and record your reflections about how the theories
intersect or interact. How might your own teaching practices
take advantage of what you see happening in this scenario?
- As an alternative to these tasks, follow
the directions of your group leader or the teacher of your
class to write about this scenario and how one or more learning
theories might apply to it. Or decide as a group how you
might use it as a case for further study and discussion.
Samples and tools to help you with the scenario
- Sample rubrics in html
format to assess your writings
sample for Scenario Four, Assignments A and B, (in PDF
format) to use as a model.
- Templates in Word
format for the assignments