EDS 103 – Theories of Learning

No easy road nor shortcuts in true learning

long road

I could not say I have epistemological belief prior to this study. The term itself is very new to me. What I remember to do when studying, was I need to get to a certain level of understanding wherein I could teach what I have read and understood and the approach transfer of knowledge is simplest form if possible. Whenever I it assures me that I was able study well what was given to me.

I would say I’m guilty of doing quick reading especially when there is limited time, when it’s cramming time there are still too many things to do and so little time left, I’m just too conscious of time I’m spending on to understand certain topic. I can attest to the truthfulness of the effect that, understanding is very shallow when there is a need to demonstrate understanding difficulty arises. Yes it’s also true that quickness to give a list of things that has been understood but there are just bits and piece of the whole information or knowledge offered in the topic.

As a result I aim to give more time and pleasure in reading and pausing to mull over the material on the on the coming semester. Now that I exactly know the load of reading and various activities I have to accomplish. I’m more prepared for the coming semester to do my part and gain more knowledge that what I was able to gain here.

 

EDS 103 – Theories of Learning

Challenge Faced

index

I have always had a hard time expressing my thoughts and feeling in words. To demonstrate my knowledge of this course through words was such an ordeal for me just like any other activities that involved writing in this course. I hope through the completion of these tasks I was able to improve my writing skills and at some point overcome difficulty of expressing my thoughts and emotions in words.

As much as it was a challenge it was also a fun experience to be able to recount my understanding how understood them in my own words using some experiences. My target is really to apply constructing my own knowledge, this is truly something new to me since I was exposed to traditional teaching method in school.

Due to the short period of time I would have wanted the course not to be so jam-packed. Since it’s not possible to have the traditional classmate engagement I wanted to read my classmates thoughts and have more conversations with them, with so many individual tasks that I have to do (ejournal, reading, researching, answering TID questions) I had to put it aside. I hope next time that you’ll take this in consideration. I understand that all topics were considered due to high relevance and importance because I don’t have any formal background in teaching I was hoping to have time to mull over on principles of each topic but could not do so. It felt like there’s just too much to finish and I have to continue moving forward no time to stop and pause to digest.

Thank you so much for all your efforts, guidance on our learning, for your patience and accommodations to all our good and crazy questions. I genuinely enjoyed completing your course though I had mountains of challenge answering your TIDs I still want you to be my teacher/instructor on the next courses.

EDS 103 – Theories of Learning

Unguided Thought on Critical Thinking

I’ve seen several photos of my parents, even photos of their parents while they were engaged in different community activities (nothing serious though) and then there were movies shown decades ago both here in the Philippines and in United States that I have watched several times; these images were full of simplicity, directness, there is also a sense to those images and films of being open – people seems to be approachable and trusting.

close mindedAs I spent time with my friends and talked with some acquaintances and even being around my colleagues’ I noticed that sarcasm has always been a part of our response regardless of what or who is the topic.  People would often tell me that I sounded defensive and close-minded at times that I should learn to compromise my thoughts and beliefs, learn to see situations through the eyes of other people. The prevalence of argumentative responses and arrogance in our statements whether we are aware or of it or not, whether we believe this or not can be ignored but cannot be denied.

How did we jump from being simple, approachable, trusting and spontaneous people to being skeptic, standoffish and cynical people?  What had triggered us to be so different from those people who lived generations before us? Could this be brought by our attempt to be prudent on the things that are happening around us? I’m really at loss here so please be patient to me while a try to make sense of my own thought bubble.

thoughts and wordsAt the moment I could only surmise one thing… we wanted to be better thinkers, we don’t want to be easily swayed by some opinions, we wanted to check and compare their thoughts with our own thoughts that were shaped by different factors before we could believe them. This innate reaction may not be noticeable to many and may be it is the imperfection in us that instead of demonstrating positive effects of being critical minded people we are showing the unguided effects of it.

“Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated. (The Critical Thinking Community. Defining Critical Thinking .” Retrieved from: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766)

Above quote corrects my assumption that it’s not natural of human being to be practicing critical thinking, every person has their own preconceived inaccurate ideas of what is happening around us. Thinking about this more, it is safe to say that it’s common for anyone to have unguarded opinions and thoughts that are not shaped by facts however, when we respond to conversations or reacts to any statement it’s as if we are very knowledge credible discerning person.

Reactions I mentioned early are not even about unguided effects of critical thinking. To exhibit critical thinking on any given topic or conversations is a laborious intentional deliberation conscious act of one person to direct his mind into having higher information by scrutinizing his own thoughts, carefully looking for mistake and constructing better knowledge. Asking or questioning something or someone are not enough to say a person is critically thinking. Just like how it was sent in the below quote,

“Critical thinking is that mode of thinking — about any subject, content, or problem — in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities, as well as a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.” . (The Critical Thinking Community. Defining Critical Thinking .” Retrieved from: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/411)

“Critical thinking varies according to the motivation underlying it. When grounded in selfish motives, it is often manifested in the skillful manipulation of ideas in service of one’s own, or one’s groups’, vested interest. As such it is typically intellectually flawed…” (The Critical Thinking Community. Defining Critical Thinking .” Retrieved from: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766)

buddiesThough critical thinking per se is not perfect and it has it’s own weakness depending on why it is being used, knowing how to practice it is very influential we should not use this as way to dominate a conversation or to act, speak or think, highly of ourselves and think to less of other people when we engage in a conversation or when just merely responding to a statement.

References:
Foundation for Critical Thinking. Retrieved from:

http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766

http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/411)

EDS 103 -Theories of Learning

Cognitive Theories of Learning & how it has helped me

This module is both complex and interesting for me. There were moments that I felt I just had enough of words, phrases and what they mean with my study. Each concept are highly informative and educational, it gives me mental visions of puzzle pieces falling in to right places whenever a concept gives explanation to how my mind works. overflowingThere were moments when I felt that pieces of information are almost the same with what I had previously read from another PDF. Then I’ll remember it’s because this Module is so much about how my mind works, portions of readings are mentioned in another readings too.

I’ve told you before about my tutoring experience with an ESL company. Every class has only 25 minute allotted time. I did not get the logic of it, I thought that classes are highly expensive but with very minimal chance of learning, like I have to rush finishing the whole material in one time slot or else I’ll cram the next day. I just could not get the logic behind a language class with only 25 minute time slot, there’s just so much explaining to do to person who could barely understand my words, who had to think in their own language and then translate each local word in English words before they could verbalize their thoughts and emotions.

There was an “aha moment” while reading the Primacy/Recency Effect by Sousa I was thinking maybe this is the reason behind the 25 minute class. I’m not sure if the people who structured the class based it on the Primacy /Recency Effect. Whether they did or did not is beside the point. Now I could focus my mind to how beneficial this could be to those kids and adults who spent 5 days in a week just to learn and be more familiar to the English language. Now that I know when their focus is more on the lesson or on something else I could pattern our tutoring class to that.

I already know I have STM and LTM prior to this module. As I was finishing my bachelor degree there were instances that I would feel it’s just too much, there’s no more space for other information. Admittedly I feel the same way right now, there’s just too much information to digest, too much principles and concept to understand then commit to memory. Fortunately, part of the reading is about how to increase the chance of understanding and retaining information.

You can just imagine how this week’s study has been a challenge and a good help to me, not just on how I understood my mind better, but also how I could maximize my time with students lastly, but not the least is how I could go on with more reading to complete my study of PTC without feeling the pressure that I’m no longer able to quickly and fully understand and retain what I read.

Clear practical application of this is to maximize my study by making sure that all distractions that will take up load will be eliminated, sounds or noise that would cause me to divide my attention from my study should be stopped. There should be a conscious and continuous intention from me to focus my mind to what I’m reading and to use both words and images to understanding and retain concepts.

Reference:

  1. Primacy/Receny Effect, David A. Sousa
    http://www.lancsngfl.ac.uk/secondary/math/download/file/How%20the%20Brain%20Learns%20by%20David%20Sousa.pdf
  2. Cognitive Load theory: implications of cognitive load theory on the design of learning, Paul A. Krischner, (2002) https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7883/a38d51593d21d06db2ec1375e0507220b576.pdf
  3. Dual Coding Theoretical Model of Reading, Mark Sadoski & Allan Paivio (2004), file:///C:/Users/HP/AppData/Local/Temp/Dual%20Coding%20Theory%20-%20Mark%20Sadoski-2.pdf
  4. https://archive.org/stream/ilhem_20150323_1458/[John_Santrock]_Educational_Psychology,_5th_Editio_djvu.txt

 

EDS 103 – Theories of Learning

Soaring high. Finish the race.

 

While living there are a lot of challenges, each facets of life and journey has its own roadblock. Ones view of his own capacity determines how the person will take each roadblocks and outcome is dependent on the action the person chose. never_give_up__tattoo_

Let me share with you some practical ways I did to overcome each roadblocks of my life that any distant learner can apply. The first one that I would like to share with you is that, I always set my mind to the point in time in the future wherein I will look back with a smile on my face ( because I know I would smile) how I overcome a roadblock. This somehow encourages me to push on – no room for quitting.

Just like anybody else, I doubt myself on being able to do things that other people can do well so naturally. Thinking that “that’s their strength not mine”, “my brain is wired differently” or that, “their parents might have given them more support that’s why they can such and such” but there were also moments that I said to myself that, if I put my heart and mind to this then I can do it just like them.  And I believe saying that to myself again and again has change my own self-knowledge of what I believe I can do and what I believe I can’t do.

“Self-beliefs of efficacy play a key role in the self-regulation of motivation. Most human motivation is cognitively generated. People motivate themselves and guide their actions anticipatorily by the exercise of forethought. They form beliefs about what they can do. They anticipate likely outcomes of prospective actions. They set goals for themselves and plan courses of action designed to realize valued futures”. ( Self-Efficacy, Albert Bandura Stanford University; http://sites.education.uky.edu/motivation/self-efficacy-overview/)

Past accomplishments can always be a good motivation, knowing that I was able to do some of the things I planned to do propel me to do more. When tasks get complicated and schedule gets too cramped up and all I see are lists of things to do I try to step away and look at my situation through the lens of my past accomplishments. Nothing like that gets me more charged up to finish what I have to finish.

One last thing, just like how it was mentioned in this module about model. I always try to motivate myself by looking at those people who I know have more challenging schedule and complicated things to do yet reach their goals. I focused my eyes on the

To summarize it all, the behavior I want to share with you is a behavior that does not allow any reasons to quit and expect less of him. Let us all soar high, finish the race we set for ourselves. Just like the last practical way I shared to with you, let’s focused on how others can do it. We should not also be scared or be conscious to put ourselves out there and be the model that others can follow. There’s nothing wrong with being good at something when it positively encourage others to be same.

Resources:
1. Bandura – Social Learning Theory (https://www.simplypsychology.org/bandura.html)
2. Self-Efficacy, Albert Bandura Stanford University; http://sites.education.uky.edu/motivation/self-efficacy-overview/
3.Self Efficacy: Why Believing in Yourself Matters (https://www.verywell.com/what-is-self-efficacy-2795954)

 

 

EDS 103 – Theories of Learning

Appreciate. Acknowledgement. Result.

reinforce

Raising a child in an environment wherein there is a permanent verbal acknowledgement of chores done and praises for doing them completely and correctly produces more positive outcome than negative outcome. Aside from developing good habits in a child, this also trains the parents not be whiners of their kids lack of natural inclination to help out at home but to react in a very appreciative manner regardless of how big or small the contribution was. Even this action can be considered an example of Law of Effect  – since you know that appreciations results to complete chores then what you’ll do is, consistently verbalized your appreciation so that more chores will be done.

As I was growing up, positive reinforcement was rarely practiced at home. What mostly happened was I had to mentally talk to myself, if don’t want to be scolded for the whole day or beaten for not doing my chores then I just have to finish all my chores before I get spotted, only now that I know that it’s an example of negative reinforcement. I don’t want to do it but it helped me avoided the painful consequences of not doing my chores.

Had I experience more positive reinforcements while growing up, would it be natural for me to give praises for good efforts? Would I not feel awkward verbalizing my appreciation whenever it’s necessary? I say thank you for those assistance I received, I know who has exceptionally done well and who has put in extra time to finish a task but to acknowledge them all verbally is something that is not innate in me.

EDS 103 – Theories of Learning

Did you ever ask yourself if you are intelligent? Would it mean the whole world to you if you have high IQ?

IQ

I don’t know about you but my answers to these questions are both big YES! I always felt that I have been surrounded by intelligent family members and I always wanted to be like them. At some point, I pretended I was. Sounds pathetic right? I know, good thing I have outgrown that already.

I feel good to know that I have mental strength to process information, make the most of that information, in the course of doing that, it enables me to adapt to my ever-changing environment and gather more information. It gives me the confidence that this intelligence helps me relate to others.

If I have a high IQ, who would I be? Will I be positively and deliberately contributing to my society? What is personal success for me?

It’s not anymore important if my IQ is high or low what matters most is what I do with it. For example, I own a small piece of land and that land has been producing very good crops compared to the other farms. Will I focus on selling the crops to earn money or will I devote time to make other farms yield good crops as well? Passing on to someone what we know may be the support and opportunity that they need to bring into surface more the ability that they have. And for me that is a personal success – positively and deliberately contributing to the society. How about you, how will you answer those questions?

Among the theories that I have studied in this module I would lean more on Multiple-Intelligence for the reason that it’s so specific and simplified. A parent or a personal tutor would not be at a loss as to what support and teaching style the child should get.

EDS 103 – Theories on Learning

Thoughts on Learning

diverse

As I go through all the readings for Module 1 it occurs to me that there are several explanations of learning that are connected.

I’ll start with Nurture and Non-Formal, both of these have the element of learning with the help of family or anyone who closely live with them.  As a person stays to live closely with these people, for example, the Nurture and Non-Formal learning will continue to cause a permanent change in his behavior which is an indication that he has learned. However, both Nurture and Non-Formal Learning can be also considered external factors, and at some point may also be called as life experiences. In connection with that, this person will have more learned behaviors than unlearned behaviors due to the fact there is much opportunity for him to observe and absorb his environment.

“Learning can be defined as the relatively permanent change in an individual’s behavior or behavior potential (or capability) as a result of experience or practice.” (Huitt, 2011)

“Learning is an enduring change in behavior, or in the capacity to behave in a given fashion, which results from practice or other forms of experience” (Schunk, 2012, p. 3).

Prior to this study, I was not aware that when a person has learned something a change of behavior takes place. I just thought that learning is just acquired facts that a person may or may not need in order to exist and live. All the study, tasks and other activities in school made me overlooked the complexity of learning.

As I write this journal I have come to a realization that learning is also undeviating. Whatever happens, whether the information came through formal education, life experience, maturation and etc. there’ll always be a permanent and life enduring change, therefore a person will always learn however and in whatever way.

Even now as I share my simple thoughts in this journal there is a consciousness in me that I have learned while studying what learning is all about.

Thinking back to the days when I was still a student I believe, that nurture has more effect on me than formal learning. Though there were more materials open for study in the school and teachers are very helpful and accommodating, the lessons would just make complete sense once my mother or my sisters explained it to me. Definitely, their teaching approach is not structured but very effective. I think the reason why parents, siblings and other people who have closely lived with us can be the agent of nurture is because of the bond, feeling of at ease and their natural knowledge of how we understand things.

I believe that is the reason why it’s difficult to be a Sunday School teacher because I’m trying to impart knowledge at the same time practice the concept of nurture to young people because that’s how I learned best (not to mention I don’t have a formal teaching training).  And though this is difficult I still want to continue, I want to be a teacher that they could remember even years after they have graduated from my class. What I teach is a practical application of their personal faith with Jesus Christ. I feel that if I don’t include nurturing in my informal teaching style then they will lose the importance of what I’m teaching.

Now to address the question, why do some people learn better than me and I better than others could be a tricky one. But just to be on the safe side, this is dependent on the combination of nurture, teaching style he or she received in school (is that matching his or her learning style), hereditary factors, life experiences and also one’s willingness and determination to realize his or her full potential.

  1. Reference:
    Huitt, W. (2011) http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/intro/whyedpsy.html