EDCI 500: Blog Reflection 6 Ambiguity and Constructivism

April 14, 2013

I must start off by saying that I was so happy to graduate high school and be done with school that I never wanted to step foot into another classroom again. I only took a few classes at the local community college at a co-workers urging, and I discovered an adventure that was one of the most rewarding things that I have done in my life. Yes, it did prevent me from going back to school, but it gave me a sense of purpose and satisfied my needs for the next ten years. I constantly took classes and trained, but it was something that encouraged me to help others and extrinsically motivated me.

 

I have found that over time my needs and motivation have changed, having children does that. As some of you know I have a child who is in a Special Education program and was treated horribly on a daily basis. Through all of the parent conferences and meetings to iron out an IEP, I struggled to understand how we got to this point. I came to the realization that many of these teachers had no clue what they were doing not only to my child, but also to many of the students in their classes. I found myself thinking that I could be a better teacher and do a better job. So I made the decision to go back to school to be a Special Education teacher. I knew that I could make school a better place for students. I did not like school; I just didn’t fit the mold until I went back to college.

 

So here is a break down of my motivation and how my needs are meet:

My Goal

Needs Being Meet

Motivation

Earn my M.Ed. in Special Education Self-actualization, intellectual achievement, esteem, belonging Intrinsic and extrinsic
Make my classroom a safe place for students Esteem, being, self-actualization, safety, belonging Intrinsic and extrinsic
Fulfill my dream of being a teacher Self-actualization, being, esteem Intrinsic and extrinsic
Find a teaching job Esteem, self-actualization, being, physiological Extrinsic and intrinsic
Show my children that education is essential and following your dreams is mandatory Esteem, self-actualization, being, belonging, intellectual achievement Intrinsic and extrinsic
Help students succeed and find their path in life Being, self-actualization, belonging, esteem, intellectual achievement Intrinsic
To make good grades and earn achievements Esteem, intellectual achievement, self-actualization, belonging Intrinsic and extrinsic

I think that by recognizing what motivates us as teachers and thinking about how I got to this point in my life it helps me understand how my students might be feeling and help motivate them. Through Maslow’s theory Woolfolk suggests that it gives “us a way of looking at the whole student whose physical, emotional, and intellectual needs are all interrelated” (Woolfolk, 2013, p.435).

 

By having a constructivist classroom including ambiguous projects and tasks you allow your students who are poor risk takers and have fear of failure to work on overcoming their reservations of these projects. Teaching them to embrace freedom to develop their own project and have artist license for a lack of better word will help them develop their abilities over the length of their education. You build their self-confidence, intellectual achievement, self-actualization, belonging and sense of safety with in themselves. According to Woolfolk students are able to make plans, set goals and are motivated to succeed (2013). In life there is not always someone to tell you how to solve your problems and which way to go, students have to learn how to take information and build upon it. You are not only teaching students how to complete a project on their own you are building life lessons into your class.

Hoy, A. W. (2013). Educational psychology (12th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

 

Categories: Educational Psychology.

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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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