Learnings In Psychology Of Learning And Teaching Education Essay

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There is a whole world in the psychology of learning and teaching. What this area has to offer can fill up an entire library. It is indeed infinite. In the 5 Saturdays that I attended the Ed 253 class on Psychology of Learning and Teaching, there is so much to say in so little space and time. In touching on as much theories that I can, I shall use my own experiences as both teacher and student at the same time, as a springboard to unleash my learnings on the rich content of the subject.

The course started with a discussion on learning and stages of learning. Learning was defined as a relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience. As early as the first lesson, experience already appeared as an important component of learning. In my own experiences, I have been aware of things that I do which I do not know yet what is technically called. For example, in all of my M.A. subjects, I learned the technical terms for certain strategies that I was already doing in the classroom. More often than not, I find myself operating under a principle which is technically labeled under a certain field of study. I think this is true not just in the classroom but for our own practical lives outside our workplace, be it in school or in an office setting.

I was also introduced to the concept of conditioning. This was very evident to me in listening to certain songs for example. I tend to attach memories to certain songs so that when these songs are played on the radio, the corresponding memory surfaces in my consciousness. This is also true for the classroom setting. It brought me to the realization that I have to be a positive figure to encourage learning amongst my students. In one of my classes for example where most of the students are natural Filipino speakers, I have to reach out to them and be able to "sell" my subjects to them so that they would not attach a negative bearing to me and consequently to the subject English itself which is their waterloo. This is where positive reinforcement comes in as an effective tool.

The course also served as a refresher in reminding me of certain learning strategies that I can both teach my students and use in my own M.A. classes - mnemonics, outlining, mapping, PQ4R which comes as SQR (Survey, Question, Read) in our Reading classes, and planning.

In learning and teaching, intelligence is inevitable to mention. I was opened to the idea that intelligence comes in different forms and the definition of which depends only on whom you ask and what discipline you are dealing with. Under a plethora of definitions, come almost as many kinds of intelligence - other than the popular I.Q. or intelligent quotient, there are multiple intelligences, emotional intelligences, practical intelligence. In a classroom of 40, it would be hard to include all multiple intelligences in your lesson plan for example. As I am aware of, our collaborative lesson plan does not always touch on each intelligence. But it serves as a challenge for us teachers to include as much intelligence in our lesson plans as possible. Also, I.Q. is not the only intelligence that should be considered as important. In the opposite end of the spectrum comes emotional intelligence which also proves to be a big factor in determining success, although difficult to measure. This is also one reason why some of the richest people, though faced with a lot of failures in their early lives, thrived and succeeded later on. I do believe that E.Q. should be given emphasis as early as pre-school and I am also glad that our Child Development Center measures not only I.Q. but E.Q. which is equally as important, if not, more important. Also, practical intelligence can be honed in school by giving students a certain level of independence and exposing them to various experiences and scenarios.

Each has his own personalities and our learning and thinking styles differ depending on our preference. A thinking style is not an ability but a preference. Knowing this helps us understand why some activities fit us while others don't. In the same way, it helps us realize why other thinking styles work for others while they don't for us.

Having read the handout entitled, "Cognitive Constraints on Multimedia Learning: When Presenting More Material Results in Less Understanding", the results came out as a surprise for me. The experiments proved that adding on-screen text to a narration in an animation produces poorer performance in retention memory. The redundancy effect occurs because of an overload in the visual information-processing channel. In my own experience, I find switching on subtitles on DVDs more helpful in understanding the movie better. In some cases, not all dialogues in movies are comprehensible and actors/actresses eat their words. This is where subtitles come in as a great aid for me. Then again, it is a preference and I may be an anomaly to a greater population for whom the generalizations of the experiments apply.

In another note, we may be introverts or extroverts and under each differ in more specific typologies. For example, I remember that my test results yielded that I was ISTJ in third year high school. After taking the same test in our Ed 253 class, the same results came out. Knowing your typology can greatly aid you in understanding yourself and how you can learn best.

Metacognition is a very effective tool in learning as it makes us more aware of ourselves. By knowing our preferences, we are given the freedom and our creativity is stimulated to help ourselves to learn. For example, note-taking and highlighting my notes in different colors work best for me. In the same way, my favorite T.V. series hero Michael Scofield likes diagramming on the wall and spreading everything so it appears as one whole. This is also the same reason why the Ateneo High School gives out a pamphlet on how to effectively study during schola brevis in first year. Using the M.S. Planner which just came out this year also helps grade school students plan for themselves.

Attribution Theory and Self-Worth Theory became more relevant to me, I must say, when I became a teacher. I became aware of parents who could not accept their son's weaknesses and often blamed other factors for their sons' failures. For example, I have a student transferee who was an honor student in La Salle but who has been failing Math in the Ateneo. The parents have been insinuating things about the style of teaching and his LEAP tutor when in fact, they were attributing their son's failure to an established system instead of realizing that the Ateneo has a different standard and certain lessons which served as a foundation for lessons in the Ateneo were not taught in La Salle.

It is also true for some students who attribute their failures to teachers or to some other factor. They must be properly guided so as not to live in an illusion that they are perfect and blame their inadequacies on others. In the same light, students must learn to appreciate their own selves and learn that they are unique. Students must learn how to value themselves for who they are for self-worth is a huge factor in determining success.

The last stretch of the course, I must say, dealt with the issue of globalization. Part of globalization is bilingualism. By being able to speak in the vernacular and in the international language, we hit two birds with one stone. We make known ourselves as Filipinos and put ourselves in the map, and, we learn more about other cultures in the world. It is true that the world is now being transformed to a global village and English, Spanish, and even Chinese are emerging to be the important languages in a globalized world just like Father Nebres said in one of his talks in the grade school. The danger of bilingualism though is being the proverbial jack of all trades but master of none. Most Filipinos do not know how to speak straight in Filipino and resort to Taglish. This is the same for certain Latinos who have coined the term Spanglish. These often end up in a confused culture. Though, we do not have to be victims of this. We have to start at the very root of the problem, in school and at home as early as the psychomotor stage of a child. As part of globalization, it is also important to be aware of gender differences in learning as the time of sexism is slowly being eclipsed by an era of gender equality. In the same token, East-West differences in thinking and learning help students in melting pots to respect each other and take into account individualities. The internet has also begun to embrace curriculums and I believe that we have to be very cautious in instruction using the internet. It is very true that internet discretion must be exercised and taught to students as early as they get to click a mouse, since the internet can either be a tool or bane. The era of media has dawned and kids must be guided for they are the future bearers of the powerful medium of the internet.