Understanding Learning and the Individuals that Teach

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My initial perception of teachers while watching the YouTube video was that of shock. Shocked, that there are some teachers who have become so negative and discontented, but yet continue in such an important role. After watching this video I realised that these attitudes, sentiments or ideas have no place in the role of an educator as the teachers shown on this video displayed an attitude that lacked professionalism. 

I would like to be a professional teacher, one who makes a difference in a child's academic life, to be able to deliver the information required methodically while leading by example and understanding that experience, commitment and hard work will ultimately produce happy and successful students. This is good but what about discussing the second video also?

Part B 

Teachers are mentors and professionals (Eggen, P & Kauchak, D, 2010 check APA for correct formatting) who deliver information in a structured pattern allowing students to reach their potential. Teachers must have an enthusiasm for learning and educating, their passion drives them to be successful in making a positive difference in their students' lives while continuously nurturing and inspiring them to achieve. 

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Teachers are continually evolving, thinking of different methods and ideas to deliver the information to allow the students to meet their objectives. They need to adapt to the forever changing trends of society. This could range from different behaviours or communication, changing family structures and environments to the advancement of current technology. Also need to discuss reflective practice.

 

You have a good standard of writing and have structured the layout of your work well.  You have used some referencing but your need to use the correct format.  You also need to reference a little more.  When you research your information from the reader you need to make note of where you got the information from.  This will show that you have researched the information from the readers and it will show your understanding of the information.  Next time cite your work and give a reference list.  Also try to provide more information in your summary - your word count here is a bit short - you have a 400 max allowance.

 

2.5/4

  

Weekly Journal EDP155

Week 2

 

Part A

 

According to Eggen and Kauchak (2010, 30 check APA for correct format), there are at least three general principles that exist and apply to all people and all forms of development. Firstly Development depends on both heredity and the environment. Development proceeds in relatively orderly and predictable patterns and finally people develop at different rates. Development is defined as "The changes that occur in human beings as we grow from infancy to adulthood" (Eggen and Kauchak, 2010, 30). Genetics coupled with my experiences have affected the direction in which my life has taken. I appreciate that I have no influence on heredity, albeit they play a vital role in development as stated in Eggen and Kauchak (2010, 30) "genetics are largely fixed". I started primary school at five years of age and progressed into high school and then tertiary education. I have vague recollections in high school of wanting to be an aeronautical engineer but upon researching this field found that the jobs in Australia were very scarce, so I made a conscious decision to study and work within the Information Technology field as it was more secure. Following high school and starting my tertiary education I realised that I did not want the responsibility of working or studying further. I felt that I wanted to experience life and wanted time to grow as a person this ultimately has led me to where I am up to now in my life. I realise that maturing as you get older, together with learning and experiences shaped me into what I am today. Good

 

Part B

 

The Preoperational Stage (2 to 7 Years) is one of Piaget's stages of development. In this stage "perception dominates children's thinking" (Eggen and Kauchak 2010, pg. 38). I conducted an experiment with my five year old daughter. This experiment referenced to conservation, which is the idea that children are influenced by the appearance of substances.(Eggen and Kauchak 2010, 38) This experiment comprised of two large dinner plates, each plate of food had twenty peas, twenty beans, twenty diced carrots and a chicken drumstick which my daughter counted and served onto each plate. I asked her if both plates of food were the same, which she replied "yes". While my daughter observed I transferred the contents of one of the large dinner plates onto a smaller plate. The food was now presented to my daughter on two different sized plates and asked her which plate she would like for dinner, as my daughter is not a big eater, she immediately chose the smaller plate. Upon questioning her why she wanted that plate, my daughter replied that she was not very hungry and the meal on the large dinner plate was too much for her to eat. From this experiment it is evident that within the preoperational stage, children lack the ability to conserve. (Eggen and Kauchak 2010, 38)  This is good but how do all these actions link with the preoperational stage?  Maybe define stage first

 

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Taking into consideration all the information on the Zone of Proximal Development - suggest defining first, I have become aware that I consistently utilise different types of instructional scaffolding such as thinking-aloud, prompts and cues. Scaffolding is simply assistance which ultimately enhances development (Eggen and Kauchak 2010, 38). My daughter is required to learn ten new words every week, she receives a list from school and at home we go through letter recognition and saying the sounds these letters create to form words. Through this activity I assist my daughter with sounds and word associations, by using these words in sentences she is able to understand their meaning, with repetition my daughter takes control and by the end of each week she is reading her list of words confidently. This demonstrates that working within my daughter's zone of proximal development and providing effective scaffolding my daughter receives enough support so that she is able to make progress successfully and independently.

 

This is really good but this time you have written too much - 400 word max.  Maybe use shorter scenarios and more detail in defining and linking with key terms.  

 

3/4

Weekly Journal EDP155

 

Week 3

 

Part A

 

One particular song whenever and wherever it is played always manages to send shivers down my spine, bringing up feelings deep down inside to the surface and certainly brings a tear to my eye. If I'm listening to this song in my car, guaranteed I will break out in my best and loudest voice singing to the lyrics while tears stream down my cheeks, I don't understand why I get this reaction but no matter how much I try and control my feelings, this song always brings out this reaction. I have realised that I am very competitive in nature, from early on in school up until now. If I am at work and a colleague or manager praised my efforts it would always give the instant feeling that what I am adding to the organisation is being noticed which in turn makes me want to do better and take on more tasks. After reading the chapter on behaviourism, I understand that these feelings can be explained by classical conditioning, 

 

Part B

 

Eggen and Kauchak (2010, p.163) state "Our experiences and observations of others strongly influence our behaviour and our thinking", this is best explained while at school, two of the subjects that were probably the most difficult were physics and chemistry. As a student who is very eager to learn, socialises with other students and produces good results at school, having two different teachers making use of two vastly different concepts will produce different outcomes in behaviourism which is defined by Eggen and Kauchak (2010, p.164) as "a theory that explains learning in terms of observable behaviours and how they're influenced by stimuli from the environment". In one class, the chemistry teacher engaged the students in active discussions, answered questions no matter how basic and used positive reinforcement to encourage students, which led to increased participation and success in that subject. This teacher used shaping which Eggen and Kauchak (2010, p.170) define as "the process of reinforcing successive approximations of a desired behaviour" to obtain successful results in the classroom. On the other hand, the negative reinforcement displayed from the physics teacher, the favouritism to students who were able to grasp the concepts faster and rarely receiving any form of encouragement, produced negative behaviour from students such as a lack of concentration and interest in that subject, which can be defined as extinction due to the original behaviour stopping as a result of nonreinforcement (Eggen and Kauchak, 2010). In retrospect, looking back on these incidents that occurred within these classes and connecting them with the theory behind behaviourism, demonstrates how the techniques applied by the chemistry teacher, if used by the physics teacher may have produced a more successful outcome.  Good

 

This is well done.  Good use of referencing and a clear understanding of the issues of behaviourism.    Just want to watch your word count again.  Well done.  

 

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Reference

 

Eggen, P. and D. Kauchak (2010). Educational Psychology, Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458

 

 

Weekly Journal EDP155

 

Week 4

 

Part A

 

Acquiring new Knowledge

 

Phone number

Address

Appointments

Planning assignments

 

Organising that knowledge

 

Add the number as a contact to my mobile

Add the address to my address book

Write appointments in my diary

Make notes in my diary of tasks to be completed

 

Accessing that knowledge

 

Use my mobile to access the contacts list and locate the number stored

Use my address book to find the address

Check my diary at the beginning of the week for appointments

Access my diary weekly to retrieve information of tasks to be completed

Try not to use dot points for these journal entries.  It is best to practice writing full sentences to explain yourself.

 

Part B

 

After reading the chapter on cognitive learning, it is evident that the above categories listed, Acquiring, Organising and Accessing (retrieving) of knowledge can be related to Sensory, Working and Long Term Memory, which are stores that hold information in the human memory (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). Using the first example of acquiring a new phone number, the first step would be to add the number as a contact to the mobile phone in order  to link it to a name and therefore attaching meaning, phone number - name. This can be compared to the function of sensory memory which is the store that briefly holds information until meaning is attached to it. Once this information has meaning it can then be transferred to working memory where it will be processed and made sense of (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). At this point by associating the phone number to a name a conscious decision is being made to make this information more meaningful and in turn knowledge is constructed. There are limitations in working memory which can be related through the concept of cognitive load "the amount of mental activity imposed on working memory" (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010, p.200) these are similar to the limitations of how many digits or characters can be entered in the contacts list of a mobile phone, but there are "three ways to accommodate these limitations in working memory by reducing cognitive load, these are Chunking, Automaticity and Distributed Processing" (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010, p.201). As mobile phone numbers have 10 digits, we can chunk these digits into 3 groups of 4-3-3 or 5 groups of 2, as the first example only has 3 groups, it reduces cognitive load further than the second example of 5 groups. Once the information is meaningful and knowledge is constructed, this knowledge can then be accessed or retrieved from Long-Term Memory which is the permanent information store (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010) which can be compared to the contacts list of your mobile phone.

Good explanation in part 2.  Well done.

Reference 

Eggen, P. and D. Kauchak (2010). Educational Psychology, Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458

3/4

 TOTAL MARK 12/16 - good work!

 

Weekly Journal EDP155

Week 5

 

Part A

 

While I was at work, I encountered a major problem that needed to be rectified. The strategies I used to gain more information on this product were firstly to speak to my colleagues and manager, as we all had limited knowledge on this product I had to ascertain what exactly the problem was and what symptoms it was showing, I then noted down exact details of the product and tried to source books and reference the internet. I then contacted the manufacturer, and asked them to send over information, so that I was able to rectify the problem while equipped with as much knowledge as possible.

Part B

The main difference between a constructivist setting and a traditional classroom as defined by Bransford, Brown & Cocking, (2000, as cited in Eggen & Kauchak, 2010, p.226) suggests "that learners create their own knowledge of the topics they study rather than receiving that knowledge as transmitted to them by some other source, such as another person or something they read" respectively. Regardless of the teaching method used, most teachers structure their classrooms by specifying their learning objectives, preparing learning activities and designing assessments, effectively, teachers decide what topics are important for students to learn, what is the most effective way for students to learn these topics and how to accurately determine if the students understand these topics. Specifying the learning objectives provides the teacher with clear and concise guidelines as to what the students must be able to achieve and demonstrate at the end of a learning activity. As stated in Eggen & Kauchak, "Without clear objectives, teachers don't know how to design their learning activities, and they can't create accurate assessments" (2010, p.391). Preparing learning activities consists of identifying the components of the topics that students are required to understand, arranging the components so that it is understandable to the students, and preparing examples allowing students to construct their own knowledge of the components by starting with the most concrete examples first. "A great deal of classroom research suggests that students need active instruction from their teachers, not solitary work with instructional materials, in order to make good achievement progress" (Brophy, 2004, p.155 as cited in Eggen and Kauchak, 2010, p.408). Assessments are used by teachers to determine if the students have reached their learning objectives and how assessments can facilitate their students learning (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010).

Table 1 provides examples of the differences between traditional classrooms and a constructivist setting.

Table 1

Specifying Learning Objectives

Preparing Learning Activities

Designing Assessments

Traditional Classroom

Stating to the students what they should understand from the topics, teaching the topics exactly as they appear in the textbooks and curriculum.

Providing the information verbally while the students listen to the explanations or answers. Primarily teacher-centred instructions.

Designing worksheets on the topics. Creating exams using questions and multiple choice answers.

Constructivist Setting

Teachers can identify based on their knowledge of content which topics are important enough to teach so to provide in depth learning and understanding (Eggen &Kauchak, 2010)

Creating Social interactions within the classroom, guiding this interaction via group activities and using real-world experiences to promote learning. In addition Eggen &Kauchak suggest to "supplement existing knowledge with high quality examples and other representations of the content being taught" (2010, p.240).

Providing ongoing assessment such as writing journals, reviews and weekly tests to "evaluate understanding and hold students accountable for their learning" (Eggen &Kauchak, 2010, p. 241).

 

Reference

Eggen, P. and D. Kauchak (2010). Educational Psychology, Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458

 

Weekly Journal EDP155

Week 6

 

Part A

 

I have always had a passion for teaching since I left year 12, but didn't have enough confidence in myself to teach children and become an effective teacher. After many years of working in IT and then eventually settling down and having children of my own, the feelings that I had many years ago flared up again. I realised that I do have the ability and the talent to become a great teacher because I enjoy and love what I am doing now. Every ounce of effort I put in, I know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel and I'm proud to say I'm studying to be a Primary School teacher.

 

Part B

 

If we work hard and apply effort at an activity, we are said to be motivated. Schunk, Pintrich & Meece, (2008, p.4 as cited in Eggen & Kauchak, 2010, p.284) define motivation as the "process whereby goal-directed activity is instigated and sustained." Motivation can be grouped in two categories, Extrinsic motivation which can be defined as being "engaged in an activity as a means to an end", whereas Intrinsic motivation is "to be involved in an activity for its own sake"  (Schunk et al., 2008 as cited in Eggen et al., 2010, p.285). Naturally all teachers would like their students to be intrinsically motivated as these students have the drive and enthusiasm to learn and understand challenging activities (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). 

Teachers use different strategies to motivate and engage their students to learn new ideas and concepts, in this particular unit, besides reading the reference material, tutors provide PowerPoint presentations, videos, articles and lectures to enhance the learning process. Due to this course being online, one strategy that could be adopted to motivate and engage students is interactive tutoring sessions, participating in a live session, where students are able to ask the tutor questions directly and get instant feedback providing the student with human contact. Abraham Maslow's work (1968, 1970, 1987) "reminds us we're all initially social and emotional beings and these factors influence our motivation" (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010, p. 291). Another strategy that can be implemented is to provide feedback to completed activities earlier in the study period, this can assist students to modify, improve and prevent mistakes being repeated as the expectations for the activities have been defined. "The influence of expectations on motivation is often described using expectancy x value theory, a theory that explains learner motivation using the extent to which learners expect to succeed on a learning task times the value they place on succeeding at the task as a framework" (Wigfield & Eccles, 1992, 2000 as cited in Eggen & Kauchak, 2010, p.297).

 

Eggen, P. and D. Kauchak (2010). Educational Psychology, Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458

 

 

Weekly Journal EDP155

 

 

Week 7

 

Part A

 

Thinking of my classroom when I was a child, I felt safe physically and emotionally. I remember in primary school I had a teacher whom I will never forget. He maintained an orderly classroom by treating everyone equally and at the same time made me feel important and that I could achieve anything. In the morning when the students entered the classroom, I remember he would greet us every day; this always began the day on such a positive note, which continued throughout the day as you hung onto his every word. This teacher had a profound impact on my life.

 

 

Part B

 

The 6 Principles for successful interventions are demonstrating withitness, preserving student dignity, being consistent, following through, keeping interventions brief and avoiding arguments (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010, p.372). Taking a closer look at three of these principles and using them when raising children, you begin to realise they are interdependent. Raising two children, a two year old and a six year old, being consistent, following through and avoiding arguments are essential intervention tools used among children while trying to maintain an orderly environment. Being consistent with children is of utmost importance, using this tool on a two year old who is consistently testing the boundaries especially at sleep time and by maintaining a consistent routine allows the two-year old child to slowly understand and make sense of the order in which bedtime occurs and therefore avoiding any behaviour problems. "The need for consistency is central to cognitive learning theory - people want their experiences to make sense" (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010, p.373). When approaching the six year old, another tool in a different situation can be applied as the understanding of the six year old is greater due to increased cognitive development. Managing to avoid arguments by reinforcing the rules when an inappropriate behaviour occurs (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010), allows the six year old child an opportunity to cease the behaviour, by advising the child of the acceptable behaviour and following through with either punishment if the inappropriate behaviour persists or praise if it ceases, provides the child with boundaries and maintains an orderly environment. "Without follow-through, a management system breaks down because students learn that teachers aren't fully committed to maintaining an orderly environment" (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010, p.373).

 

Reference

 

Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2010). Educational Psychology (8th Edition ed.): Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458.

 

 

Weekly Journal EDP155

 

 

Week 8

 

Part A

 

"The National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) provides an assessment of the literacy and numeracy skills of students right across Australia" (ACARA, 2010b). National testing, such as NAPLAN has come under fire since it was first introduced in 2008. After researching on this topic, the main advantages of national testing is to provide a measure of student and school performance, compare year to year results and allow teachers to review certain learning activities that may require improvement. On the other hand national testing does not necessarily show if a student has been progressing well throughout the year, but under exam conditions failed to perform, puts unnecessary pressure on teachers to concentrate on areas being tested while possibly neglecting other areas of the curriculum and finally leaves too much room for interpretation from parents, guardians and other organisations about the quality of the school/teachers. Just a thought,  "What is important is not how a student compares to another of the same age, but rather how a student performs with regards to what is required of them in learning tasks and how this information can be used by teachers, schools and administrators to target the needs of all learners" (Olm, 2009).

Part B

 

 "The heart of a good education is quality teaching. Every day, teachers use their training and professional judgement to assess how students are performing and what needs to be done to support them in achieving their full potential" (ACARA, 2010a). National testing, as with NAPLAN occurs every year at the same time in May, it is designed to test the progress of students from years 3, 5, 7 and 9. National testing can be valuable and contribute to student learning by serving  three primary functions; to assess and diagnose learning, such as enabling the comparison of an individual students' achievement with the achievements of other students nationally, allowing teachers to review and focus on areas needing improvement; Selection and placement, such as recognising and placing gifted children in an appropriate program or ascertaining what level of a subject the student is best suited for e.g. intermediate or advanced English; Program evaluation and accountability, such as measuring student and school performance, evaluating and possibly reviewing the curriculum for improvement and holding teachers responsible for their students performance (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). The results from National testing can firstly, benefit teachers and schools as they can determine how well the students are performing and also identify any key issues that need to be addressed, secondly, they can benefit the students and parents, as it allows them to view the students' strengths and weaknesses and finally they can benefit educational systems, such as ACARA and DET, who use this information as a tool to assess the current curriculum and provide further enhancements if needed (ACARA, 2010a). 

 

 

References

 

ACARA. (2010a). Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority Retrieved 21 July, 2010, from http://www.myschool.edu.au/Resources/pdf/AssessmentAndReporting.pdf

 

ACARA. (2010b). Reliability and Validity of NAPLAN Retrieved 21 July, 2010, from http://www.myschool.edu.au/Resources/pdf/My%20School%20FACT%20SHEET%20RELIABILITY%20AND%20VALIDITY%20OF%20NAPLAN%2020100120.pdf

 

Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2010). Educational Psychology (8th Edition ed.): Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458.

 

Olm, P. (2009). The Problem with National Testing in Schools Retrieved 24th July, 2010, from http://peterolm.globalteacher.org.au/2009/02/14/the-problem-with-national-testing-in-schools/

 

 

Weekly Journal EDP155

 

Week 9

 

Part A

 

While at school, there were several children including myself who had special needs. I remember having to attend ESL (English as a Second Language) classes whilst in years 1, 2 and 3. The ESL classes I attended were designed to assist with learning and grasping the English language used for educational and social purposes. As the class was separate, the teachers were able to concentrate and focus on the students and manage the classroom at a pace that was beneficial to support learning. As a young student, my needs were met, as the intervention began from such a young age and was completed at a young age, there was no negative impact felt. Without the support of the ESL teachers and my home room teacher who all worked in unison providing encouragement and being committed, I would not have been able to pick up the English language as quickly from such a young age, excel at school and interact with my peers successfully.

 

Part B

 

Inclusive practices is where children of all abilities are educated within the same classroom (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). Inclusion should be a well thought out and carefully planned process, the issues that general education classroom teachers face within inclusive classrooms may consist of a teachers lack of experience, since some teachers have never been exposed to a setting consisting of a range of general and special needs students, they may find it difficult to manage and provide students with the necessary support required. Classrooms consisting of different learning abilities can be a challenge on the teacher to focus on the individual needs and abilities of students (Ramos, 2009). Without sufficient support from special education teachers, general education teachers may not receive the appropriate resources needed to allow students with special needs to achieve their full potential as "collaboration is essential for effective inclusion" (Karten, 2005; T. Smith et al., 2004 as cited in Eggen et al., 2010, p.152). Another important issue teachers face is providing age and developmental appropriate instruction within the inclusive environment, "some education experts believe that some students are unlikely to receive appropriate education without placement into alternative instruction groups or alternative learning environments" (ERIC, 2003), although research has also suggested that instruction which is effective for special needs students is also effective with other students (Good & Brophy, 2008, p.223 as cited in Eggen at al., 2010). Inclusion is still a controversial practice among teachers, education departments and parents regarding its effectiveness, nevertheless realising that in order for inclusion to work, collaboration between special needs teachers and general education teachers is mandatory and despite these controversies, inclusion is accepted and used throughout the educational system (Eggen et al., 2010). 

 

References

 

Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2010). Educational Psychology (8th Edition ed.): Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458.

 

ERIC. (2003). what are some of the pros and cons of inclusive school programs?  Retrieved 28th July, 2010, from http://eric.hoagiesgifted.org/faq/i-procon.html

 

Ramos, T.-M. (2009). Top Challenges Teachers Face in Special Needs Inclusive Classrooms Retrieved 28th July, 2010, from http://hubpages.com/hub/Top-Challenges-Teacher-Face-in-Special-Needs-Inclusive-Classrooms

 

 

Weekly Journal EDP155

 

Week 10

 

Part A

 

Discipline in any form requires a balance for it to be effective. "The true goal of discipline is to teach children the rules of behaviour. They need to learn what society and other people expect of their behaviour. This will help them grow up to be socially productive and personally fulfilled individuals. Achieving that delicate balance is the art of disciplining children" (Dr. Spock, 2003). I grew up in a very strict household where my parents maintained a loving yet firm and disciplined environment. Morals, discipline and education where the main focus at home, they laid the foundation by creating rules and expectations, while simultaneously providing the love and support needed to allow me to develop into a happy, respectful,  confident and determined individual who strives for success.

 

Part B

 

Classroom management consists of "actions teachers take to create an environment that supports and facilitates academic and social-emotional learning" (Evertson & Weinstein, 2006, p.4 as cited in Eggen & Kauchak, 2010, p.354). As stated in Eggen et al., (2010) the five principals needed in planning and creating effective classroom management  which will lead to creating a productive learning environment include Developmental Differences, Management and Instruction, Organisation, Rules and Procedures and The first days of school. Through Piaget's  stages of development and cognitive theory, he identified that "Students think, act, and feel differently at different stages of development, and teachers need to respond to the differences as they plan" (Emmer et al., 2006; Evertson et al., 2006 as cited in Eggen et al., 2010, p.357). Management and instruction are interdependent, "as you plan for classroom management, you must simultaneously plan for effective instruction" (Good and Brophy, 2008 as cited in Eggen et al., 2010, p.357), put simply planning and delivery work together. Effective instruction is clear and concise; it communicates the intended information or request eliminating the possibility of interpretation. Organisation is essential for effective classroom management, organisation includes preparing materials in advance, starting classrooms and activities on time, making transitions quickly and smoothly and creating well-established routines. "Regardless of your students' developmental level, the cornerstone of an effective management system is a clearly understood and consistently monitored set of rules and procedures (Eggen et al., 2010, p.358). Rules can consist of a small set of points on cardboard paper visible to all students in the classroom explaining acceptable behaviour while procedures are the guidelines that allow students to understand processes such as using a bell to stop the current activity and transition to the next. Teachers require their students to follow the rules and procedures as "they are the means for organising the classroom as an environment that supports learning" (Brophy, 1999). Effective teachers establish guidelines within the first few days of school which sets the tone for the year. "Research consistently confirms that patterns of behaviour for the entire year are established in the first few days of school" (Gettinger & Kohler, 2006; V. F. Jones & Jones, 2004 as cited in Eggen et al., 2010, p.358).

 

References

 

Brophy, J. (1999). Perspectives of Classroom Management. In H. J. Freiberg (Ed.), Beyond Behaviourism: Changing the Classroom Management Paradigm (pp. 43-46). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

 

Dr. Spock, B. (2003, Updated 13th September 2009). About Discipline Retrieved 4th August, 2010, from http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/discipline_introduction.html

 

Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2010). Educational Psychology (8th Edition ed.): Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458.

Assessment 1B

Being involved with teachers, parents and students as a parent and volunteer, the main questions put forward are; what is it that teachers actually do in schools and what teaching method do they follow? It is apparent by the responses that a teacher's role is often misunderstood, as a number of individuals believe teaching a group of students, no matter what age is effortless or standing up in front of a classroom and delivering the syllabus or curriculum that is already set out for teachers by the education board is straightforward. Taking these opinions into consideration and progressing through the subject Understanding learning which provided an opportunity to speak with teachers, listen to various programs, read many books and reference materials, it became evident that teaching is not as straightforward as has been implied and arriving at the understanding that teachers are professionals working within a complex forum requires the consumer to observe and understand the factors that encompass the role of teachers today.

Teaching, learning and assessment can be identified as the foundation, providing teachers with essential tools needed to acquire knowledge, understand students and achieve the results required. Acquiring knowledge is essential, as stated in Eggen & Kauchak (2010, p.8) "we can't teach what we don't understand", whether it be knowledge of content - an understanding of any topic required to be taught; pedagogical content knowledge - the ability to represent topics in ways that are understandable; general pedagogical knowledge - the professional ability necessary to teach in any situation, and knowledge of learners and learning - an understanding of how students learn and how motivation influences learning (Eggen et al., 2010).

Once teachers have acquired this knowledge using any method such as books, articles, experience or current technology, they can now focus on delivering effective instruction that allows the students to understand the information that is being received. Effective instruction is the backbone of the teaching profession, it encompasses multiple strands that need to be factored in everyday when delivering information to students which will ultimately impact on the outcomes you will experience as a teacher. To provide effective instruction, teachers must consider how students learn while implementing methods to maximise learning by understanding their genetic makeup. Realising that cognitive development "changes in our thinking that occur as a result of learning, maturation and experience" (Eggen et al., 2010, p.30) plays an essential role in how students learn, while behaviourisms "a theory that explains learning in terms of observable behaviours and how they're influenced by stimuli from the environment" (Eggen et al., 2010, p.164) together with the way students construct knowledge, for example using physical objects or concrete experiences, aids in the delivery of that instruction, this environment is representative of a constructivist environment. Comparing the traditional setting where knowledge was received not constructed, the constructivist learning theory works on the suggestion that "Learners create their own knowledge of the topics they study rather than receiving that knowledge as transmitted to them by some other source" (Bransford, Brown and Cocking, 2000 as cited in Eggen et al., 2010, p.226). Understanding these concepts and making use of these tools incorporates the theories of both Piaget; who identified that construction of knowledge occurs primarily with a child's interaction with physical objects while cognitive development takes places when individuals are able to adapt their schemes through accommodation and assimilation (Eggen et al., 2010); and Vygotsky, who indicated that construction of knowledge occurs when it is first socially constructed and then internalised, while cognitive development occurs directly from social interactions, for example working within the students zone of proximal development allows students to benefit most from this social interaction and providing the appropriate form of scaffolding allows learners to progress independently (Eggen et al., 2010). One method utilising these concepts and currently being rolled out to schools is the Language Features of Text Type program. LFTT focuses on the understanding that children within a school environment come from different backgrounds and therefore have different experiences, it is built upon three main components of literacy; Listening, Speaking and Writing. As students build competency in one component the next component is slowly introduced after careful assessment. As researchers' understanding of learning and teaching has increased from the 20th century, another dimension to the cognitive learning theory has been revised; "Bloom's Taxonomy originally published in 1956" (Bloom, Englehart, Furst, Hill, and Krathwohl, 1956 as cited in Eggen et al., 2010, p.392) shows us the complexities of learning, teaching and assessing. Teachers refer to the revised edition of Bloom's Taxonomy as it offers a more appropriate and detailed understanding of the way students think, make decisions and solve problems in the 21st century by identifying other forms of knowledge and more advanced cognitive processes (Eggen et al., 2010). As clearly shown by Overbaugh & Schultz (2009), the new version of Blooms Taxonomy consists of "six levels of intellectual behaviour important in learning;

Remembering:can the student recall or remember the information?

Understanding:can the student explain ideas or concepts?

Applying: can the student use the information in a new way?

Analyzing: can the student distinguish between the different parts?

Evaluating: can the student justify a stand or decision?

Creating:can the student create a new product or point of view?"

Working through the teaching and learning process, we have established that teachers must first acquire and understand knowledge in order to be able to teach it and then focus on how to deliver that knowledge using effective instruction while making use of all the theories, concepts and tools available to assist them. An integral part of this trilogy is assessments, they are primarily designed to find out what students know, how they are progressing and what they have learnt (Angelo & Cross, 1993). Utilising the full potential of assessments has shown that it is no longer a process that determines how much a student has learnt throughout their course - Assessment of learning (Eggen et al., 2010), but in today's classroom, "assessments are designed to support and increase student learning" - assessment for learning (Beers, 2006; Stiggins, 2007; Stiggins & Chappuis, 2006 as cited in Eggen et al., 2010, p.434). The various assessment methods used to evaluate students' knowledge and understanding include formal assessment "the process of systematically gathering the same kind of information from every student" (Eggen et al., 2010, p.440), such as multiple choice tests or homework assignments and informal assessment "the process of gathering incidental information about learning progress or other aspects of students' behaviour, and making decisions based on that information" (Eggen et al., 2010, p.437), such as observations made during learning activities or intervening when you observe a lack of cohesion within a group. Formative and summative assessments are used to collect information; formative assessments are used to increase learning but not used for grading while summative assessments are used at the end of an activity and for grading purposes (Eggen et al., 2010), for example, referring back to LFTT, teachers use both formative and summative assessments to collect information regarding students understanding prior, during and after the activity, which allows teachers to identify and focus their instruction in areas where students need it most.

In retrospect, looking back on all the information gathered, this subject promotes a greater understanding of the nature of teaching, learning and assessment. As a future teacher we are only limited by our own imagination and this alone is an empowering consideration; it opens up a wealth of opportunity and adds a level of excitement knowing that each day is different with its challenges and its triumphs.