Archive for category Learning

Teacher learning

  • In the last two decades, research has defined a new paradigm for professional
    development—one that rejects the ineffective “drive-by” workshop model of the past in
    favor of more powerful opportunities (Stein, Smith, & Silver, 1999).

 

  • We are coming to understand that learning rather than being solely individual (as we have taken it to be) is actually also social. It happens through experience and practice. In plain terms—people learn from and with others in particular ways. They learn through practice (learning as doing), through meaning (learning as intentional), through community (learning as participating and being with others), and through identity (learning as changing who we are).

 

  • Professional development that focuses on student learning and helps teachers develop the
    pedagogical skills to teach specific kinds of content has strong positive effects on practice
    (Blank, de las Alas, & Smith, 2007; Wenglinsky, 2000).
  • Boroko,  Whitcomb and Liston(2009) described the use of technology in teacher learning as “wicked problem” suggesting that it is a really difficult problem that cannot be resolved by one size fits all solutions.
  • Brown and Adler(2008) argued that we must pay attention to social learning as a new model learning rather than traditional knowledge transfer from teacher to students. They believe that we should move to learning 2.0( just as we moved to Web 2.0) which is a demand-pull learning that removes the fine line between formal and informal learning.
  • Today’s teachers are asked to teach 21st century skills to students and thus need to take on new skills and concepts.
  • Teachers must be life long learners who are adaptive and continuously growing and developing new skills throughout their career( Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005).
  • Abundance of computers and digital media in schools and emphasis place on technology integration highlight the importance of teacher learning and professional development that support new modes of learning( Whitehouse, 2011).
  • Constructionism- theory combining earlier theories such as Piaget’s constructivism and Vygotsky’s situated learning.
  • How people learn ( Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2002).
  • Situated learning( Glazer, Hannafin, Polly, & Rich, 2009).
  • Whitehouse(2011) suggested teacher learning for technology integration can be done by using “Learning by Design” similar to the more familiar project-based or inquiry-based learning.
  • In constructionism, given design project drives the technology use, and technology skills are learned in an integrated way, along with the domain of the creative activity. This way technology serves as a means to lead to a deeper more transferable acquisition of knowledge.
  • Constructionism incorporates elements of the social cognitive theory of Vygotsky, thus social and cultural interaction is vital in knowledge construction and learning.
  • Some researchers argue that teacher learning is best supported using Lave and Wenger’s(1991) situated learning theory and by formation of communities of practice( Wenger, 1998).
  • Whitehouse(2011) and Kafai & Resnick(1996) argued that both the process and the product are important for developing technology professional development research agenda and for developing effective teacher learning contexts.
  • “Blurred” learning environments created by networked learning contexts where learners are often working sychronosly across distance and at the same time working face-to-face with a group. Thus the meaning of being “present” blurs as one works across time and distance.
  • Teachers may use computers as “partners”( p. 4) in cognition because computers can perform certain functions more quickly and accurately than humans( Salomon, Perkins and Globerson, 1991).
  • According to Bransford, Brown and Cocking(2002) new findings on students learning also apply to how adults learning. Eg: metacognitive reflection( Hammerness et. al, 2005).
  • Whitehouse(2011) recommended  four dimension of teacher learning by combining  the Dimensions of Effective Learning (DEL) developed by Bransford, Brown and Cocking(2002) and teacher professional development research literature. The four dimensions named as ” Teacher Dimensions of Effective Learning- TDEL” intersect with learners, pedagogy and technology drawn from the work of Borko(2004).
  • The three variables crossed with TDEL create an analytical for framing teacher professional development.

Peer observations of practice. Teachers in professional communities often make regular
visits to one another’s classrooms and provide feedback and assistance (Hord, 1997).
Critical friends groups trained to use protocols designed by the National Reform Faculty
have successfully engaged in this type of professional learning (Dunne, Nave, & Lewis,
2000). Teachers can also videotape their teaching to make aspects of their practice open
to peer review, to learn new practices and pedagogical strategies, and to analyze aspects
of teaching practice that may be difficult to capture otherwise (Sherin, 2004). Research
has found that this kind of work can change teachers’ practices, knowledge, and
effectiveness (Lustick & Sykes, 2006; Sato, Wei, & Darling-Hammond, 2008).

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Online Schools is at the “peak of inflated expectations” – Larry Cuban

I read a blog post by Larry Cuban talking about the hype of online learning especially at high school level and what drives the hype. He referred to the news coming from Stanford University where the Stanford Online High School graduated 30 seniors this year.

What struck me was the explanation of the hype cycle and the causes. Many have commented on his post and as expected there are many who are not fully convinced on the promises of such technological innovation and radical changes to the teaching and learning.

As a classroom teacher, I feel like taking the side of the teachers but as a technology enthusiast and learning sciences researchers I am somewhat convinced that technology can make a difference and teachers need to learn to live with it. That being said, I agree that teachers will and should play a vital role in the learning experiences of high school children regardless of the medium( virtual or in a physical classroom). Effective teachers should and would be able to teach with or without technology.

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Now You See It

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The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences

I just bought the Cambridge Handbook of Learning Sciences [Kindle Edition]. What a good resource for me to prepare for my comps! I will be writing on the different topics covered in the handbook soon.

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Rogers, Graham, & Mayes(2007) – Cultural competence and instructional design

Research questions explored the study are:
(1) Are they aware of the differences between themselves and the cultural group for whom they are designing instruction?
(2) If so:
(a) How did they become aware of these differences?
(b) What importance do these differences assume in their thinking?
(c) How does understanding cultural differences affect instructional design practice?

Cultural characteristics are often vaguely defined and measured based on national level rather than more measurable features. The authors agreed with Maitland and Bauer’s conclusion, ‘‘national level characteristics must not be interpreted at the individual level’’ (p. 90). Although some attempts have been made at creating and using measures to reveal individual placement on some of these scales (see Clem, 2005; Neuliep, 2003), automatically imposing generalized frameworks, especially those derived from other fields, should be approached with caution.

The authors argue that we need:

“a more dynamic approach” …..that would  “account for both the complexities of the learners’ cultural predispositions as well as their individual uniqueness and ability to change.”(p. 4)

 

As Schwen, Evans, and Kalman (2005) elaborated, ‘‘The fault, if there is any, is not with the practitioners who are of necessity practicing at the edge of the professions knowledge. Rather the scholars in the community should
be attempting to make sense of especially sophisticated practice’’ (p. 13). For this reason, there is a gap, and more exploration is needed by researchers into the complex reality of practitioners.

Grounded theory was chosen to inform the methodology of this study because it is ideal for this type of exploratory research, allowing the complex multi-faceted issues to emerge without pre-imposing rigid definitions, and for future theory and research to be more grounded in real-world, lived experiences of actual practitioners (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Goulding, 2002).

 

culture can influence your expectations of yourself as a learner, and then your expectations of the teacher; those are the most basic ways that culture influences learning.

What is the process by which learners change and adapt to instructional techniques and approaches that are foreign to them—and how can we help to bridge the gaps more effectively?
• How can we find more ways to prove that being culturally responsive is worth it in the long run (for both financial and ethical reasons)?

 

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Impact of culture on teacher and technology use

A number of initiatives in the west ( e.g: OER, EFA etc.) is trying to create cross-cultural education materials for the learners all around the globe using technology.  Many researchers( e.g: Massy, 2005; Burnham, 2005) argue that culture plays a vital role in internationalizing educational materials. Thus the issues surrounding culture and educational technology is  gaining ground in research and development.

 

According to the the chapter titled “culture and online education.” in the Handbook of Distance Education (Moore & Anderson, 2003), there is little published research on the cultural aspects related to educational technology’’ (Gunawardena, Wilson, & Nolla, 2003, p. 770; Rogers, 2006).

It is clear that culture has a strong impact on human–computer interaction.

 

 

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Interaction analysis: foundations and practice

Interaction Analysis
An interdisciplinary method for the empirical investigation of the interaction of human beings with each other and with objects in their environment. It investigates human activities, such as talk, non-verbal interaction, and the use of artefacts and technologies, identifying routine practice and problems and the resources for their solution.

 

At the core of Interaction Analysis is this, “Knowledge and and action are fundamentally social in origin, organization, and use and are situation in particular social and material ecologies. Thus, expert knowledge and practice are seen not so much as located in the heads of individuals but as situated in the interactions among members of a community engaged with the material world.” Additionally, the authors situate learning as evidenced by the social interactions of the actors within a network. “Interaction Analytic studies see learning as distributed, ongoing social processes, in which evidence that learning is occurring or has occurred must be found in the ways in which people collaboratively do learning and do recognize learning as having occurred(p. 41).”

 

Reference:

Jordan, B., & Henderson, A. (1995). Interaction analysis: Foundations and practice. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 4(1), 39–103.

Interaction analysis: foundations and practice

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