Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Week 13

1.      Vygotsky’s theory of learning best represents how I believe children learn best and how I learn best.  I believe that students learn a lot from authority and learn what is right but then also do need help to understand bigger ideas.

2.      According to this theory learning happens when children are assisted with tasks that are challenging.  Peers and adults function as a scaffold to assist students in harder tasks. 

3.      The best way that I would support learning according to this theory would be to assist my students in a challenging activity that would help students learn something new.   I like doing activities that would bring harder concepts to a level they understand.  For example, I could do an easy science activity.  I would have my students use a scale and put a marker on one side and then pennies on the other side.  Then they would see how many pennies it would take to balance the marker.  We would discuss why it took four pennies to balance one marker.  I would lead the discussion to explain that because the marker is bigger and weighs more then we need to use more pennies.  This would help to explain to the students why this is so.  This would bring in higher order thinking.  Discussing why questions are much harder for students but with the assistance (scaffolding) they can understand more.

4.      Make sure that you relate the assessment to your activity. Also include your scoring criteria.  I would use informal formative assessments like discussion to make sure that the students understand the reasons for the outcome of the activity. 

1 comment:

  1. Toni,
    I would also agree that Vygotsky's theory of learning is one of the best ways in which children can learn. Children, especially elementary-aged children need to be guided in a specific direction in almost everything that they do. This will allow them to reach their full potential as they grow into adolescence and become young adults. This theory is one of the best ways to help me learn as well. In what ways do you think this is a good learning theory for all ages, and not just children? As you mentioned, scaffolding is a large part of Vygotsky's learning theory. It is the basis to his learning theory. Without, Vygotsky's theory would not be the same. I thought your activity was a very clear way that showed Vygotsky's learning theory. You demonstrated how students were drawn into a deeper way of thinking by the assistance of someone at a higher knowledgeable level. This activity reminded me a lot of the things my field experience teacher did. She constantly asked her students more and more detailed questions that allowed the students to enter a realm of thinking they didn't even know possible. I also like your idea of using an informal formative assessment, like a discussion. However, I also believe summative assessments are very important because it gives they students a chance to show what they truly learn, without being guided by others.


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