Retrospect. Fitting the Pieces Together

It is not so much of what changed in me, but rather what I changed in the delivery of my instruction that I see the effects of reflecting on learning theories. When broken down into segments, each fractional piece necessary to build the ideal classroom.

Reflections. The Theories.

Embrace diversity in the classroom by acknowledging the presence of multiple intelligences and different learning styles. I must say that length of teaching experience does not commensurate the understanding of how students learn; acquisition of knowledge, I believe, depends on the environment, since each of us comes from different cultures and our exposure to the outside world. We react to the new learning, and processing this further information is rooted in environmental stimuli.

Burris Frederic Skinner (1953) believed that we do have such a thing as a mind but that it is simply more productive to study observable behavior rather than internal mental events (Skinner learning theory – SlideShare. https://www.slideshare.net/Razaq786/skinner-learning-theory). He thought that the best way to understand behavior is to look at the causes of an action and its consequences.

When you look at a class filled with twenty-three students, you see twenty-three different learning styles. Because we may categorize them under one learning theory and intelligence, there is but more than one distinct quality that makes each one stand out. Jahlil and Peter may belong to my above grade level group, may attend the glee club together, but Peter changes his mood now and then and gets into a verbal battle when ideas are not going his way. Jahlil, on the other hand, given the same situation, will amuse himself by ignoring the words and walk away.

As an educator, one must never neglect that one of our objectives is to cultivate and strengthen the mind. Suppose we are to base our analysis of how students learn on just their responses to the environment. In that case, we may never really evaluate entirely how much information the mind can retain. And this is why when we create standard forms of measurement to assess student success, we include cognitive thinking. We look at the internal and external factors that affect learning. It is challenging for me when I have to evaluate the progress of my students. Just looking and observing Peter’s skills and his perception of ideas and situations in the classroom makes me think of the rest of the children who see pictures differently, too. It makes me think of the benchmark test and summative tests we give. How do we measure one’s intelligence? Is it enough that we see intelligence cognitively?

Almost all the girls in my classroom enjoy the music I play while we do independent practice. My room almost always is filled with instrumental music of the millennia. I learn best when there is music connected to what I am learning. I see myself in the children who tilt their heads, snap their fingers while doing their projects, and write their drafts in the notebooks.

Gardner’s theory argues that intelligence, as traditionally defined, does not adequately encompass the wide variety of abilities humans display. The theory suggests that, rather than relying on a uniform curriculum, schools should offer “individual-centered education”, with curricula tailored to the needs of each child ( Theory of Multiple Intelligences – PSIA-W. http://psia-w.org/new/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/MultipleIntellegencesHandout.pdf).

2020 brought teaching in the normal classroom to a halt. Even though we already have ample equipment to support instruction, transitioning to remote learning where media and technology control everything gave me anxiety and frustration. I know the basics of technology, from the simple Microsoft office to google meets and zoom links. However, these were not enough for a whole day of teaching and learning online. A few glitches here and there, and I am lost. When the district offered training and workshops here and there while we were already doing digital learning, I tried to get as much practice as I could. And to keep on going further deep down the path towards digital literacy, I took a master course in Instructional Design and Technology.

In Maryland and across the globe, digital literacy is vital to the success of adult learners ( Seven Elements of Digital Literacy for Adult Learners …. https://edtech.worlded.org/seven-elements-of-digital-literacy-for-adult-learners/). That is why the Digital Literacy Framework for Adult Learners was created to provide structure and definition for the famed term of digital literacy. The seven elements in the Digital Literacy Framework – technical, civic, communicative, collaborative, computational thinking, investigative, and productive cannot work without the other. Because digital literacy affects adult learners’ life, education, and employment, these are all needed to facilitate success in each area.

In Maryland and across the globe, digital literacy is vital to the success of adult learners ( Seven Elements of Digital Literacy for Adult Learners https://edtech.worlded.org/seven-elements-of-digital-literacy-for-adult-learners/). That is why the Digital Literacy Framework for Adult Learners was created to provide structure and definition for the famed term of digital literacy. The seven elements in the Digital Literacy Framework – technical, civic, communicative, collaborative, computational thinking, investigative, and productive cannot work without the other. Because digital literacy affects adult learners’ life, education, and employment, these are all needed to facilitate success in each area.reREf

Published by Anj delaPena

Mother.Teacher.Musician. In that order.

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