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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chapter 10 in Learning and Cognition - Content-Area Learning

I enjoyed how the book divided up learning styles and techniques by different subject matters. By specifically looking at how students comprehend and understand different content areas, educators can determine the best instructional methods for teaching their students. However, I was disappointed that the chapter didn’t focus much time on the importance of cross curricular teaching. I agree that it is important to teach your subject matter but research has shown how it is more important to use combined learning techniques from all subjects. Therefore I don’t believe that mostly one subject has more reasoning than others or one fosters more problem solving skills. What is your opinion?   

Chpater 9 in Learning and Cognition - Neuroscience of Learning

Neuroscience can seem like a daunting subject to examine but it is actually important for educators to understand the inner workings of the student nervous system and brain. I have often heard people saying they are more right brained or more left brained but I never really paid attention to what that actually meant. The left hemisphere of the brain controls analytical thinking and reading while the right processes spatial, auditory, emotional and artistic abilities. The most important I read was that the brain ultimately uses both left and right sides of the brain simultaneously to regulate learning and other activities. This makes me wonder if there is truly such a thing as being predominantly right or left brained and what I would be considered. What about you?  

Chapter 11 in Learning and Cognition - Motivation Theory

In the field of education, it is of vital importance to understand motivation theory and how human motivated behavior can help students and teachers in the classroom. The most interesting concept to me is that of achievement behavior – the fear of failure, the hope for achievement and even the fear of success. I have watched countless students struggle with the fear of failure to where they unwittingly perpetuate their fear. The self-worth theory from Covington also discusses how the feelings of the students can actually impede their own learning efforts. As educators, I wonder how we can help motivate students to increase their own self-worth. Decrease their fear of failure and realize exactly how talented they truly are?

Chapter 8 in Learning and Cognition - Developmental Theories

The chapter also discusses how to create developmentally appropriate instruction. However, I was struck with the multitude of factors educators should examine for this instruction and how it varies greatly from student to student. For example, we are to look at their transitioning behaviors, bodily changes, financial background, the developmental stages students are in, how they process information and much more. I have used several techniques in the Table 8.6 (pg 348 - “developmentally appropriate instructional practices”) and I have always taken the time to get to know my students but I wonder how other teachers get to know their students and learn about their students in order to help them develop?  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chapter 7 in Learning and Cognition: Cognition and Instruction

I loved that this chapter focused partly on Technology and Instruction (p.311 – 322). As a technology teacher, I have always been a strong advocate for the integration of technology into teaching styles as a means of stimulation, important 21st century skills, and engagement. My favorite sentence from the book is “Technology is not a cause of learning; rather it is a means for applying principles of effective instruction and learning.”

I am an advocate of the use of technology integration, not of technology taking over all of the teaching duties. Technology cannot be looked at as a solution to teaching problems but as a vehicle to help engage students in the learning process. For example, I do not think creating a power point presentation and reading it word for word to students is utilizing technology effectively for instruction. When have you seen technology misused in teaching practices?