1. One of the most cited theories of human development is that of Swiss biologist Jean Piaget. After reading about Piaget's basic assumptions (p. 27-32) look with particular attention at the stage of child development you would like to teach.
The other most cited theory of human development belongs to Russian developmentalist Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development leads us to expect greater diversity among our same-ages students than Piaget. Given these two influential theorists' ideas on cognitive development, how might you accommodate students who are not yet working at the level of their peers?
With middle school students cognitive development will be somewhere on the same level but also all over the place at the same time as students are all individual thinkers and creating their own views and perceptions about the world around them. While most students should be at the Formal Operations Stage (p. 32) there are different levels at which students may be throughout this stage. At this stage students can think about concepts that have little or no basis in concrete reality (p. 32). Students recognize that what is logically different from what is true in the real world. They are not able to separate imagination from reality. I believe that Piaget and Vygotsky's theories are well applied to each other and they should not be looked at as one or the other, but rather together as a collaboration for better understanding students needs. Students appear to have greater diversity among their same-age peers, I agree with Vygotsky in that. Since students are at a higher stage of cognitive development they are all thinking differently about the same things. Taking the information that Piaget has said about the stages of development and then applying them to how Vykotsky views a relation between peers, will help teachers better teach students and know the cognitive levels they are on. This will allow us, teachers, to better group our students to learn from one another. So, while most students are doing A, B, and C. High achieving students will be able to do A, B, and C plus D. Low achieving students will be able to do only A and B, not only only A. Special needs student will be able to do some combination of A, B, and C or just one over the others. It is important that as the teacher, I am aware of these different levels. By grouping students together that are on different levels of learning within the Formal Operations Stage, they can work with each other to grow in their knowledge together and help each other see or understand something in a new way.
2. Theories in educational psychology promote the idea that language plays a critical role in cognitive development. Examine Table 2.2 (p. 51). Paying particular attention to the age range that you are interested in teaching. Consider how you might incorporate or adapt the strategies presented for use with your own students.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Which of the learning activities/skills can you think of that lend themselves to learning through modeling? How might self-efficacy and self-regulation contribute to the intervention plans you use in your case study?
As for the middle school case study. My attempts with Cherie and modeling would have to begin with her peers, my other students who seem to follow their leader. If I can model to those who engage less and less with learning and more with Cherie, then I have a shot at getting through to Cherie as well. If she sees her peers no longer interested in her misbehavior and disruptions and more focused on paying attention, doing what I ask/when I ask, and modeling good practices on their own Cherie might being to model this herself. As her teacher I should address her misbehaving during a private conversation with her instead of in front of the class, but I should be careful not to let the bad behavior or disruption go without warning. I should model being polite, courteous, and sensitive to others around me. If I treat Cherie and my class in this manner, hopefully they will see though modeling that it is a good way to act and something they should try to do too.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
How would you define successful mastery of your lesson objectives from a behavioral view of learning? Consider your CSEL intervention case study. Are there tools from a behaviorist view for either encouraging productive behaviors or discouraging undesirable behaviors that you could apply to the case? What are they?
First and foremost I believe in positivity, whether it be within the classroom or outside the classroom environment. Their are usually always negative connotations associated with misbehavior/dealing with behavioral issues, but their does not have to be. With every lesson I would expect my students to be listening to me, or any of their peers, while talking. Lesson objectives also include staying seated, looking at the teacher, and completing their work during the class. I am not against students talking while working, getting up to sharpen pencils, going to the bathroom, etc. However, if I allow those things I must monitor my students and how they are handling the privileges. I recently heard the saying, "Don't smile till Christmas." Meaning that if I can get my students on the right track, constantly tell them the rules, enforce them, stay structured and organized, then after the break, I can allow them to have more fun and be more lax in my classroom. Once they have learned what I want them to, then why not allow them to enjoy the rest of the year without so many rules to follow.
extrinsic reinforcement (allowing her to have opportunities to receive attention from me and her classmates in an appropriate and productive setting) could really help Cherie (p. 295). Removal punishment would be taking an extreme route to dealing with her behavior, however, I have seen this work within a middle school classroom setting (p. 297). Students often like to misbehave and disrupt the class but once you ask them to step outside or move to a desk where they will be sitting alone, the student no longer wants to create mischief. No one will be there anymore for them to get attention from of they are int he hall or sitting alone. Usually the student will choose to act accordingly with classroom rules instead of moving or leaving the classroom.
developmental trends listed in the textbook, specifically focusing on middle school grade levels, appear to be very informative with suggested strategies for effective reinforcers (p. 298). The table suggests that students are allowed about five minutes to mingle with each other contingent upon them getting work done, spend one-on-one time with students throughout the class period, and provide explicit feedback to students about what things they have done well in the class that day. Taking the time to assess and help students assess their own behaviors in the classroom, telling them what they have done well, and getting to know them on a more personal level will all help the students know what you want and how you expect them to act and behave within your classroom.