EDCI 500 Blog Reflection 5: Teaching for Reflection

March 30, 2013

I have always felt that when I was able to put my hands on something and just work through the problem or see how something fits together I was able to walk away with more information and a better understanding of the concept of how and why something works. The teacher was able to hold my attention, because I knew that if I was good and paid attention that I would be able to explore and apply what I was learning.

 

I have loved all of the science classes that I have ever taken and I think that it was because I knew that eventually we would actually get to do something, there was always some experiment or exercise that we got to complete.

 

I feel that Ms. Baveja is building on students’ prior knowledge and using the tactile methods for her students. Inductive learning builds upon inference and evidence finding skills. Ms. Baveja is giving the students’ more and more difficult plants to identify and they have to build upon the information they have and categorizes plants into new categories and element the other ones previously identified. By doing this she is teaching the students’ about concepts. Woolfolk defines concepts as “defining attributes, or distinctive features” (Woolfolk, 2013, 299). The students’ gain the knowledge of the identifying the plants based upon prediction by examining one part of the plant you can predict what the other part of the plant is going to be like. For example, if you look at the leaves of a plant, can you tell if the plant has a deep root base or a shallow root base?

 

The students from Ms. Baveja’s group also were able to identify plants because they had actual memories of seeing and identifying plants; this is referred to as exemplars. Exemplars are something that people do naturally according to Woolfolk (2013).

 

For myself I think that I would prefer teaching in a more tactile method for the inductive learners. More special education students are visual or tactile learners. Teaching the inductive process is more beneficial I feel for more students.

Hoy, A. W. (2013). Educational psychology. Boston: Pearson.

Miller, K. (Producer). (2010). Inductive Learning [Motion picture on Internet].

Categories: Educational Psychology.

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EDCI 500-02 Blog Reflection 4: Prior Knowledge

March 16, 2013

Initial Hypothesis: Like the Calvaria major tree, its seeds have a long life. The trees are over 300 hundred years old. The seeds take an extended period (possibly decades) of time to wear down and begin the germination process. We will find that the seeds are being disturbed and are being prevented from beginning germination and we need to secure the area around the trees to help encourage growth and regeneration of the tree.

 

As a scientist investigation is the first step to any problem or project. As a part of the team each one of us would do our respective investigation into information to the Calvaria major tree. As a nature lover it breaks my heart when anything or species is on the road to extinction. We must first discover certain information about the tree in order to make sure that we have all of the information necessary to help solve the problem that is preventing the seeds from sprouting and forming new trees.

 

Some questions would be:

  • What is the environment like?
  • Is pollution a concern?
  • What do we know factually about Calvaria major?
  • What do we know about other extinct species from this environment?
  • Why are these species extinct?
  • What is the relationship between the tree and these species?
  • What is the life cycle of the tree? Is it in our lifetime?
  • What is the germination period of the tree?
  • Did the acidity of the soil change?

 

By delving into extinction of the Calvaria major tree we are practicing “enactive learning or learning by doing” (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 272). Enactive learning is a useful tool, a lot of times scientists are tactile in nature, and learn valuable lessons through investigation or enactive learning. Scientist execute numerous experiments before they reach the desired outcome, conducting experiments is a necessary step in proving a hypothesis.

 

Initial investigation: Some background information that I discovered in the initial phase of my investigation suggests that the germination is indeed being interrupted, “exotic weeks whose dense undergrowth prevents the regeneration of the timber trees” (Hill, 1941). Further evidence presents as “monkeys, also exotic, who destroy the fruits” (Hill, 1941). This information offers some supportive information to our initial hypothesis, but much more investigation must be completed in order to validate or disprove the hypothesis.

 

While my hypothesis is laughable at best it is a hypothesis and still needs to be investigated and experiments should be conducted to determine the validity. I had some prior knowledge of this tree, but my knowledge was limited and I had already determined that one extinct bird could not possibly hold the fate of a tree. I am probably 95% wrong in my assumption, but with my limited knowledge I had formed this opinion and decided that I knew what I was talking about. Like me kids come into the classroom with some prior knowledge “some of these preconceptions are right, some are part right, and some are wrong” (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 356). What we do with this prior knowledge is what sets us apart from others, will kids come into the classroom and build on their knowledge and store more information to carry them forward or do they fail to make connections?

Building on prior knowledge is important and for certain students teachers need to build a clear relationship between the students’ prior knowledge and new information that is being introduced. Building this bridge to the information is essential, it is also essential to build metacognition skills. Metacognition skills for students are helpful in getting students to “’learn how to learn’” (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 321). Forgetting takes place in people through interference or decay. The new information that students take in interferes with the old information or prior knowledge that they brought into the classroom. Some forgetting is necessary for students, their working memory would be overwhelmed if forgetting did not take place (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 294).

Hill, A. W. (1941). The genus Calvaria, with an account of the stony endocarp and germination of the seed and description of a new species. Annals of BotanyV(20), 587-606.

How Does Students’ Prior Knowledge Affect Their Learning. (2011, January 15).YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKVFoljm3As

Hoy, A. W. (2013). Educational psychology. Boston: Pearson.

 

Categories: Educational Psychology.

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