Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Week 2 Model-Sarah Isaacson

For this week’s model, I stayed kept a few of the ideas I posted about on Sunday, but I modified and added that would correspond more to the ideas discussed in the book Theories and of Learning and Teaching-What Do They Mean for Educators?  This article discussed a few different theories, and it was not entirely clear to me, which theory was being discussed, but I am aware that they discussed the social theories of learning, which include social constructionism, sociocultural theory, and activity theory.  I seem to understand that they are all, essentially, the same theory, just under different names.   For my model, I chose to focus on this reading, not Module 6, which is about the brain and development. 

            My first image is a picture of a teacher working with students.  This is when the teacher would be teaching the students the lesson and using the students’ past experiences and “cultural differences…enabling [the teacher] to make more explicit and meaningful connections to students’ communities” (7).  This will help students feel more comfortable learning something new and finding comfort that what they are learning is actually pertinent to their lives.  I believe this is especially important in elementary school, because then it will help students feel more intrinsically motivated as opposed to feeling extrinsically motivated.  Because the teacher is discussing with students, the students are learning through participation, which means “roles are flexible…and the purpose of the activity is clear and meaningful to all participants” (5).  Students should then feel more of a pull to learn by working on a closer level with their teacher.  Then, the teacher allows the students to work in groups, reading together, which creates a community within the classroom.  Vygotsky says that sociocultural theory is where “learning is fundamentally a social phenomenon that takes place within the communities” (5).  The students will be participating more and will realize that reading is something that they will be doing in the real world.  They will make the connection that “knowledge is inseparable from practice” (4).  The teacher will be walking around the room, making sure that no one is really struggling, but the teacher is there as a guide and a facilitator, instead of having a “fixed role” (5).  My last image is of a student reading aloud.  This would be an assessment that ties in well with sociocultural theory.  Because sociocultural theory is based on collaborating and participation, it would seem prevalent that an assessment should also be social and the “norms for testing the quality of a performance [should be] determined by groups, not individuals, and one’s performance is assessed through genuine participation” (5).  In my model, this would be a student reading aloud during the designated time where the teacher would have a read-aloud time.  The student would get to pick a book that is at their reading level and read aloud, showing their knowledge of phonics and reading with accurate inflection.  This way, students could support each other in their community and also help assess their reading ability.  The teacher would have to make sure, though, that the students are supportive of each other, so that the students who are not as advanced will not feel behind or stupid.  That is why the sense of community is so important in the classroom.  

1 comment:

  1. Sarah,
    Learning by participation is definitely a central component of sociocultural theory. While constructionism, activity theory and sociocultural theory share the same main ideas, there are different points of focus and Johanna will provide an overview of these ideas this Saturday.

    As for your model, it bears resemblance to cognitive apprenticeship as well as Vygotsky's learning theory. Based on what you have read and experienced, what do you think is the key process of learning? Is modeling the big idea of how students learn? Or is it through participation? Or is it a combination of both?

    You've also tweaked your design to include discussion rather than lecturing by the teacher - that's an interesting tweak, why did you decide to change that? All in all, great post - these are just some things to think about as we proceed through the semester.


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