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)

 

 

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EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching

There’s More In Teaching Than Meets The Eye

meets the eye

I was a critical student, whoever was in front of the class facilitating the discussion will be scrutinized by my eyes. Every teacher that I had met for the first week of each school year was sized up by how she/he spoke, how she/he made eye contact with us and how she/he conducted herself/himself when in the classroom. Funny though, because I didn’t know much about the subject yet and definitely I knew nothing about checking a teacher’s mastery of the subject. Nevertheless I did this my whole college life.

I equated my teacher’s mastery of the topic with how he taught us in the class, for me if the teacher has mastery of the subject/discipline then he should be able to teach us what he knows well, I should be able to understand the subject clearly and deeply.

You can’t teach what you don’t know. That was the notion I stood on before this module. It was very rigid, inconsiderate and unfair. Not to mention, it sounded very ignorant. Ignorant of the truth and reality that yes a person can be so knowledgeable about a discipline but is not skilled to impart that knowledge especially to a group of people with different learning abilities. I remember one professor in one of my law subjects, she would discuss a couple of articles in our class per session, and she would cite other articles that may sound almost the same but once studied thoroughly one would know that the articles are not the same. Every question we had thrown at her was answered completely but, what we were looking for was a practical application for better understanding.  We were told that she has not lost any case from the time she started her law practiced however, imparting that knowledge to us was a different story.

Well at some point we could also say that it’s true, a teacher could not teach what she does not know. For example, one of my professors in college had an emergency at home and she had to go home to attend to it, she asked a good friend of hers to man our class because we can’t be loitering around in the university. Since this other teacher was teaching a different subject she was not able to continue the discussion from where we left off the last time.

Knowing how to teach ones mastery of knowledge is not enough, integration of technology is a necessity. The benefits of including technology in education stretch from teachers’ convenience in simplifying a complex study, real time monitor of students understanding, to students’ freedom and creativity in conveying their understanding of what was studied and their access to different information available from all over the world to substantiate their understanding. But including technology in the picture of teaching could also be another concern that teachers have to deal with. As we all know technology cannot be boxed or contained, so a non-techie person like me will not just learn the appropriate tools (e.g. specific apps or software) that I should use but, to also be confident in navigating the tools with all it’ complexities to feel comfortable using them to help my students reach their full potential.

I have very little interaction with technology compared to those people around me, I only use a laptop for my work and maintained needed apps in my mobile and laptop, those are only related to my work and this study which are very few compared to the numbers of apps commonly used now. I just have a couple of maintained social media as well and seldom open and checks posts of other people. As a soon to be full pledge teacher, this attitude has to be changed, I have to embrace the need to use technology not just for teaching purposes but to also use it to get the attention of the students or else it’ll be so hard for me to reach out to them and have a good vibrant engagement. This is one of those few things in this module that sticks to me so much. I have to let go of my thinking that technology is just an add-on, a class can live without it. Now I know that it’s a misguided notion, with technology come various activities for teaching, real time feedback, quicker access to information, collaboration of ideas with fellow classmates is unlimited, the list could just go on and on. So for me who stayed away from technology will have to embrace the joys it brings to learning.

Having technology alone is not enough to impart knowledge without a teacher with good content knowledge. A teacher with a good teaching skill would know what technology to use for a specific study/discipline.  We cannot over emphasize the importance of the 3 knowledge and how strongly they are interconnected in providing education to a diverse group of learners.

Reference:
1. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Arizona State University. (2017). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) [Video file]
2. : What is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge? (Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2006). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.)
3. Singapore’s 21st-Century Teaching Strategies (Education Everywhere Series) [Youtube]

 

 

 

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 111 – Principles of Teaching

Reflection is thinking back to past meaningful events.

person reflection

Subconsciously I know that it has a purpose and a goal… well, I never really paid much attention to reflection before. I guess the reason behind that is it’s just so natural to my mind to reflect on past events, words and actions of a person.

One of the main matters of my previous job with a BPO company was to train their agents on Personality Profiling and eventually, master it. Personality types are Feeler, Thinker, Entertainer and Controller, after the training, I found out that my personality is a Thinker. Thinker, as defined by that training material is a person who wants details, who needs to know the step by step procedure of something, who instinctively analyze what is being said in a conversation not only in that exact moment but also moments after the conversation happened.

Knowing this gave me a better understanding why my mind has this natural inclination to think deeply about what I watched, heard, seen and felt. For me, it is the need to always understand the whys of the what.

However considering what was said in the material for The Reflective Teacher, my reflection would just fall under the characteristics of common sense view of reflection. Yes, I deeply want information for understanding but I don’t do anything after that.  And all new understandings I have after the reflection may just be considered self-indulgent speculations because they were not practiced, tested, evaluated for any better future use with the expectation of personal development.

Just like what Jenny Moon suggests, “Reflection is a form of mental processing that we use to fill a purpose or to achieve some anticipated outcome. It is applied to gain a better understanding of relatively complicated or unstructured ideas and is largely based on the reprocessing of knowledge, understanding and possibly, emotions that we already possess”.

With that in mind, I would not be surprised if my act of so-called “reflection” would just be considered as a meaningless, unproductive instinctive activity with no direction at all.

As I was going through my years in elementary and high school, as far as I can remember my teachers had the same style in teaching, they provided everything by speaking all the time, and it will just stop when it’s quiz time or exams day, this happened year after year. To be honest I never considered that they practiced reflection; I know this may be a harsh thought and could be very judgmental. But there was no change in their teaching style even though many of the students were not paying attention either by talking, sleeping or stepping out of the classroom very often in a class. Or even when attendance in a class had gone down.

There was an instance in our Math class that right after my teacher stepped out of the classroom I asked my seatmate to explain what was discussed, and she said she did not understand it, so I asked my classmate seating behind me if he could explain to me the discussion and he said, he and the person seating beside him did not understand the explanation too. As I looked at my other classmates I saw the puzzled look on their faces, so I went home feeling unconcerned and satisfied, thinking that if there’ll be a quiz the next day at least I won’t be the only one who would fail. I know that it was very irresponsible of me, to say the least. But my point here is, I don’t think that is a learning environment of a reflective teaching.

It was truly a surprise to me to know reflective teaching, even when I look back in my college life which was full of lawyer professors, former radio disc jockey professor who used green jokes as a warm up, a professor who nags the class for almost half of the class time, an egotistic son of a stockholder professor who rarely got in on time for his class. My list could go on and on with regard to the teaching style and environment I experienced.

Or maybe this is just an assumption on my part that they did not practice reflective teaching just because my experience did not seem perfect to me and not even close to ideal. I guess I would never know since I did not interview them and I don’t know where they are right now.

One more thing, maybe what they missed to do was critical reflection; they might have overlooked the need to use some of the reflective lenses. Which would have given them different angles of information, different interpretation, and possible alternate actions to the situation. They could have pondered on their teaching style and its effects on their students but missed to be critical to their ideas/assumptions.

References: Teaching in Lifelong Learning Sector: “The reflective Teacher p8”; Jenny Moon (Moon 2005: 1); Becoming Critically Reflective p28.

 

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

EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching

study habits

Just A Start

 

I have nothing profound to note yet in this journal. What I mostly experienced in the past days were more on self-realization of how average my reading skill is and how I should clearly and quickly comprehend the materials I read.

When I was going through the introduction part of the study, it made me feel a little bit nervous. It has been a long time since I graduated from college and the last time a studied hard was during my training days with my employer. I remembered the study-style I had way back in college then I questioned myself, is that good enough for this study? After that, I remembered that I did well on my last training, considering that it was also designed like an online distant study, with that I felt calm and somehow encouraged.

I know that this type of study requires much from me like time management, study habits, determination and etc. but one thing that I should not forget is to have fun, enjoy what I’m doing. Be an open person to learn different ideas and not be afraid to unlearn unnecessary practice or knowledge,  try new ideas and practice them without hesitations.