M2 Two Theorist Paper

Assignment

Choose two theorists from your reading assignments that you feel most influence your teaching and learning styles.  Prepare a 4-5 page paper describing how you will use these theories in a professional setting.

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            There are many different approaches in teaching, educators are given numerous opportunities to apply these mechanisms in a way to both enhance each ones capability to facilitate and provide to students.  Given this, it is every educator’s responsibility to actively enhance and captivate students’ minds. This can only be done by creating an environment for growth and development.

            This paper showcases an application for two particular frameworks in learning that I believe to be appropriate for my style as an educator. Seeing such application, I wish to exemplify these different concepts and promote it in the original classroom setup and show how I can facilitate enhancing education and learning among students.

Cognitive Development

            The first theory that I wish to elaborate on revolves around the cognitive orientation to learning. Cognivist theory revolves around the concept that every individual’s mental processes are also a catalyst for learning (Smith 1999). It is through these different theorists such as Piaget, Kohler, Lewin, Bruner, etc. have promulgated various segments of the theory and created a new way of understanding in the acquisition of knowledge and information.

            In the mentioned theory, I wish to focus on Jerome Bruner’s contribution in the cognivist thought and educational development. Bruner’s work revolved around studying the cognitive development happening within school children and developed several methods of improving the facilitation of education. “This concern with cognitive psychology led to a particular interest in the cognitive development of children and just what appropriate forms of education might be” (Smith, 1999). Looking closely, there are different facets in education that he advocates; these include (1) the importance of role and structure in learning, (2) readiness for learning, (3) intuition and analytical thinking, (4) motives for learning (Smith, 1999).

Professional Application

Applying such theory in the classroom environment, educators must understand that every student has their own unique way of acquiring information and each one has their own relative cognitive development. That is why teachers must create different programs and practices aimed at providing and facilitating information while at the same time ensuring students maintain a particular level of understanding and comprehension.

One important process consists of elaborative processing. This process can help develop the needs of students on retention of important lessons and information given. “Elaborative processing has long been known to aid in comprehension and retention of conceptual material” (Romero et. al., 2000, p.246). One example that elaborative processing can be achieved is by randomly letting students explain what he/she understood with the materials and information given. By doing this, educators are assured by far how much level of information the student has gathered for a particular session. These in turn “encourage students to process content deeply and integrate the new concepts with their existing knowledge of statistics and research” (Romero et. al., 2000, p.247).

Another important objective that can be gained in the application of the theory is by providing students with new material from familiar concepts. As an educator he/she must facilitate an easier time for students to learn the topic while at the same time maintaining the level of information needed. Such can create new avenues for development, since students are familiar with the concept and educators on the other hand can be dynamic, as they create new strategies for learning. “For this reason, it is beneficial to make efforts to associate new material with familiar material when learning” (Romero et. al., 2000, p.247)

Social/Situational orientation in Learning

            Another important theory that greatly affects my style of teaching revolves around the social/situational style of learning advocated by Lave and Wanger. The main facet of the idea is that learning does happen when individuals observe other peoples actions which in turn create different notions of behavior (Smith 1999). According to them, “learning involves participation in a community of practice” (Smith 1999)

            Seeing this, there are important characteristics that need to be looked into for they may serve as an important application in the educational sector. These compose of (1) relationship between people, (2) participant in communities of practice, and (3) an intimate connection between knowledge and activity (Smith, 1999). These facets in turn can help educators facilitate better opportunities to learn and acquire information.

Application

            One important application of a theory in the professional setting is by establishing group work among students. Group work can be an important facilitator of social learning since different members share varied perceptions about issues. By actively creating an objective that will enhance their cooperation, each member can benefit and learn in the process. “By pooling their resources and dealing with difference of opinion that arise, groups of students usually develop a more sophisticated product than they could as individuals” (Trace Tips, 2006) In addition to such, the process can also help students exhaust information and knowledge in a different manner than the conventional teaching style.

            Another important application also revolves around the process of group dynamics but here the main focus for such is creating problem solving on several areas of information that should be taught at a specific session. With the relative diversification of opinions and perceptions among students, the challenge is creating the adequate solution given a time frame and varied ideas. By doing this, it can promote understanding which can in turn lead to efficient avenues for further development.

            Communities of practice can also applicable especially to fellow educators who teach the same curriculum. The capability to examine different experiences can help shape different educators view concerning issues related or not related to education. The creation of communities of practice can help solve dilemmas easily as each one tries to relate experiences that each one had experienced and in one way help in proposing solutions.

            By creating and enhancing different activities in communities of practice, educators have a different outlook and dimension for dialogue. Contrary to the traditional notions of training and classroom setup, teachers are given such alternative. “Schools, classrooms, and training sessions still have a role to play in this vision, but they have to be in the service of the learning that happens in the world” (Wenger, 2006). That is why communities of practice can also actively enhance social learning and development.

Conclusion

It is the responsibility of every educator to actively create mechanisms that will enhance learning among its students. With the current developments in the teaching practice, educators must be keenly aware of and constantly may be beneficial in the overall aim of education. As diversity begins to seep in every classroom, the challenge is up for teachers and student to actively collaborate to create better avenues for learning and facilitation of needed information.

References

Romero, V.L., Berger, D.E., Healy, M.R. and Aberson, C.L. (2000) Using cognitive learning

theory to design effective on-line statistics tutorials in Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers. 32 no.2 Retrieved June 26, 2008 from http://wise.cgu.edu/downloads/wise_brrmic_2000.pdf pp. 246-249

Smith, M.K. (1999) the cognitive orientation to learning. Retrieved June 26, 2008 from

http://www.infed.org/biblio/learning-cognitive.htm

Smith, M.K., (1999). Learning theory. Retrieved June 26, 2008 from

            http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-learn.htm.

Smith, M.K. (1999) the social/situational orientation to learning. Retrieved June 26, 2008 from

http://www.infed.org/biblio/learning-social.htm

Trace Tips (2008) Implementing Group Work in the Classroom. Retrieved June 26, 2008 from

http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infotrac/tips/implementinggroupworkintheclassroom.pdf

Wenger, E. (2006) Communities of Practice. Retrieved June 26, 2008 from

http://www.ewenger.com/theory/

 

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