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Friday, February 14, 2014

Was it Learner-Centered? justify

This post is my practice exercise in preparation to my comprehensive exam

Cognitive & Metacognitive Factors.

LCP#1: Nature of The Learning Process.
The learning of a complex subject matter is most effective when it is an intentional process of constructing meaning from information and experience.

*The activities provided in the class, such as in-class worksheets, student presentations, critique of a curriculum, analysis of classroom observations and creating of a curriculum model, reflect LCP#1 because these are tasks that let students to intentionally construct meaning from information and their experiences. The students are required to extract their interpretations from the scenarios provided in the worksheet. In student presentations, students are expected to construct meaning from the assigned topics. The critique of the curriculum also intentionally allows students to construct meaning as they assess the content and design of the curriculum. In analysis of classrooms observations, students construct meaning by comparing and contrasting the observed instructional practice and curriculum with learner-centered education. In addition to these activities, the classroom discussions in class was facilitated in such a way that students reflect on their own experiences and interpret them with learner-centered practices and principles. A teacher centered class would primarily focus on memorizing the various curriculum models and focusing on memorizing the descriptions of each without giving allowance for students to create their deep understanding of the models.

LCP#2: Goal of the Learning Process.
The successful learner, overtime and with support and instructional guidance, can create meaningful, coherent representations of knowledge.

There was appropriate support given by the instructor in guiding the students towards understanding various curriculum practices and how they are aligned to learner centered education. The class discussions helped in facilitating the understanding and creation of meaning by the learners because the source of the knowledge did not come from the teacher alone, but through contributions and comments of everybody. The worksheets, student presentations, critique paper & curriculum model are tangible representations of their knowledge and understanding.

LCP#3: Construction of Knowledge.
The successful learner can link new information with existing knowledge in meaningful ways.

The class discussions explicitly showed evidence on how students link their prior knowledge to new knowledge through sharing and expressing their own ideas and thoughts with the whole class. The various class activities also facilitated the linking of prior knowledge to new knowledge because answering the activities would mean application of their current teaching practices, experiences, and knowledge in the field.

LCP#4: Strategic Thinking.
The successful learner can create and use a repertoire of thinking and reasoning strategies to achieve complex learning goals.

The class activities and class discussions became also a way of exercising complex thinking and reasoning strategies. Thus, giving the experience for learners to enhance and develop these skills.

LCP#5: Thinking about Thinking.
Higher order strategies for selecting and monitoring mental operations facilitate creative and critical thinking.


LCP#6 Context of Learning.
Learning is influenced by environmental factors including culture, technology and instructional practices.

The classroom discussions followed a circle arrangement of chairs where the teacher is also part of the circle which makes the environment more casual and gives the students a clear view of everybody. This kind of arrangement gives a welcoming feeling that would encourage anybody to speak out and also gives the speaker the feeling of respect to see the rest of the class listening and paying attention to what he is saying. This is in comparison to an environment where the teacher is at the front and it becomes a discussion between one student and the teacher. Technology was also conveniently available for class times where technology is needed. The context of leaner also gave student control over the class I.e. through student presentations. This kind of instructional practice, by giving students choice and control, influences the learner's motivation to learn (LCP#8).

Motivational & Affective Factors.

LCP#7 Motivational and Emotional Influences on Learning.
What and how much is learned is influenced by the motivation. Motivation to learn, in turn, is influenced by individual's emotional states, beliefs, interests and goals, and habits of thinking.

Again, the classroom discussions allowed room and gave respect to individual's beliefs. Interests, goals, way of thinking and emotional states. This kind of context influenced the learning experiences of the students (LCP#6), in a positive way which in turn motivated students to learn more during class discussions.

LCP#8 Intrinsic Motivation to Learn.
The learner's creativity, higher order thinking and natural curiosity all contribute to the motivation to learn. Intrinsic motivation is stimulated by tasks of optimal novelty and difficulty, relevant to personal interests and providing for personal choice and control.

Personal choice and control was very evident in the opportunity to choose which classrooms to observe and proposing a curriculum model. 

LCP#9 Effects of Motivation on Effort.
Acquisition of complex knowledge and skills requires extended learner effort and guided practice. Without the learners' motivation to learn, the willingness to exert this effort is unlikely without coercion. 

Because the activities provided students choice and control and freedom of expressing their own thoughts, this motivated students to participate and in return give effort in class activities and discussions.

Developmental and Social Factors.

LCP#10 Developmental Influences on Learning.
As individuals develop, there are different opportunities and constraints for learning. Learning is most effective when differential development within and across physical, intellectual, emotional and social domains is taken into account. 

The class discussions always took into account the various learning experiences and perspective of the students regardless where they are coming from. This implies that students coming from different developmental level is being respected and recognized and is welcome to contribute to the learning process so that others may also learn from the other students.

LCP#11 Social Influences on Learning.
Learning is influenced by social interactions, interpersonal relations and communications with others.

Social interactions were evident not only in the circular class discussion but also in pair or triad group work. Sometimes student sa would group themselves in 2 or 3's to work on the worksheet provided every now and then. The group presentation is also a pair work which would allow team work. Everytime there is a worksheet or a presentation, the class would discuss and share concerns and other feedback regarding the current worksheet or presentation topic. More learning is happening with the exchange of ideas within partners and across the class. 

More about social influences was the classroom observation requirements which gave opportunity to observe teachers and learn from the practices that they are already applying. Interviewing these teachers also contributed to student learner. 


Individual Differences

LCP#12 Individual Differences on Learning.
Learners have different strategies, approaches and capabilities for learning that are a function of prior experience and heredity

The activities, group presentations and requirements in class, provide enough room for learners to be able to approach the task according to their learning style. Group presentations and discussions had enough freedom and flexibility for the students to participate according to how they would learn best in the class.

LCP#13 Learning and Diversity.
Learning is most effective when differences in learners' linguistic, cultural and social backgrounds are taken into account. 

Class discussions in the class, allowed opportunities for the students to express their own experiences which reflected recognitions of students coming from various backgrounds.

LCP#14 Standards and Assessment.
Setting appropriately high and challenging standards and assessing the learner as well as the learning progress - including diagnostic, process and outcome assessment - are integral parts of the learning process.

Since the syllabus is intended for graduate students, the expected requirements for the students are appropriate in terms of developmental level. The structured exercises that are given every now and then serve as a process assessment to know how well are students progressing through out the course and which parts about curriculum do they still need to work on. The creation of a curriculum model serves as the outcome in reflection of the over-all learning of the student in relation to designing a learner-centered curriculum. There are no evidences that reflect diagnostic assessment. 

Note: compare with 
**9 principles of assessment *****
**wiemer's 5 key changes to practics, 
**Social constructivism learning theory
***bloom's taxonomy

Note: to create a blog post and include suggestions on how to improve the class.

Create a UbD. 

  1. Weimer. 
  2. Theories.
  3. BLOOMS TAXONOMY. 
  4. UBD. 
  5. 14principles. 
  6.  9principles. 
  7.  21st century. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

On being an Academic (Part 3) ... and stealing ideas.

This is my 3rd Post about the Academic Career path I've chosen to follow.

I do not know how come I've been recently coming across discussions about:
Cheating, Remix & Stealing.

They all say the same thing. That there is a good thing about all these things.

yeah yeah.. I believe it already okay? ...

I think this is one of the signs that life wants to teach me something.

I could think of 2 things. Two lessons I can pick up from these "coincidences".

#1 I have to move on with my denied undergraduate thesis proposal and embrace the thesis I ended up coming up with. I have to move on the fact that a future PhD student would have thought of the same idea I had 4 years before him. I also have to accept that yeah, he had done it better than how I would have done it anyway. He was a PhD student, and I was an undergrad. Thus, he had made a better "remix".

Now that acceptance is there, I now have to embrace the instrument I ended up developing as my undergraduate thesis. Our methods was well established and implemented. It was a different challenge and I accepted the challenge. And as people kept bringing up my undergraduate thesis (even up to now 6 years after), I am starting to believe that it was actually better that we were able to develop an instrument instead. Because now, I can decide to validate it further. Build on what I have created and make it even better.

#2 The second lesson that I think life is trying to teach me is that, on the moment I decided to be an "academic", I have to start preparing myself that my ideas are not alone. That there are also other great minds thinking about the same thoughts that I have. Patents and copyrights kill the creativity and the remix culture. Now that I have chosen an "academic" career path, I have to take it as a compliment or as a good thing if my ideas have been "stolen". It is a new form of flattery and we have to let it go.. move on... and think of how to make one idea get better.

Because everything happens for a reason.

We work towards exchanging ideas and coming up with things how to make it better.

That's how society should work right?

Making things better?

I read this comment from my Rhizo14 facebook group.


"Don't ask what you want to be. Ask what problem do you want to solve?"

"Solve the problem that annoys you the most."

I guess with those statements, we'll hear less complaints and more solutions.

Indeed, a better world.

I know what problem I want to solve, and it lies among filling in the gaps of education.




Post inspired by article "Why I want you to steal my ideas"  by Seth Godin


9 Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning (AAHE)

Taken from American Association for Higher Education 
(this blog post is for personal review for my upcoming comprehensive exam)

Principle 1: The assessment of student learning begins with educational values

  • Assessment is a vehicle for educational improvement.
  • Assessment enacts a vision of the kinds of learning we most value for students 
  • Educational values should not only drive what we choose to assess but also how to do so
  • Assessment is a process of improving what we really care about

Principle 2: Assessment is most effective when it reflects an understanding of learning as multidimensional, integrated, and revealed in performance over time.

  • Assessment not only show what students know but what they can do with what they know
  • Assessment not only involves knowledge and abilities but values, attitudes, and habits of mind that affect both academic success and performance beyond the classroom
  • Assessment should reflect these understandings by employing a diverse array of methods. including those that call for actual performance

Principle 3: Assessment works best when the programs it seeks to improve have clear, explicitly stated purposes.

  • Assessment is a goal-oriented process. 
  • Assessment entails comparing educational performance and educational purposes and expectations
  • Assessment as a process pushes to clarify program purposes and prompts attention to where and how program goals will be taught and learned
  • Clear, shared, implementable goals are the cornerstone for assessment that is focused and useful

Principle 4: Assessment requires attention to outcomes but also and equally to the experiences that lead to those outcomes

  • Information about outcomes is highly important but to improve outcomes we need to know about student experiences
  • Assessment can help understand which students learn and best under what conditions
Principle 5: Assessment works best when it is ongoing not episodic
  • Assessment is a process whose power is cumulative
  • Improvement is fostered when assessment entails a linked series of activities undertaken over time.
  • The point is to monitor progress toward intended goals in a spirit of continuous improvement
  • Assessment process itself should be evaluated and refined in light of emerging insights
Principle 6: Assessment fosters wider improvement when representatives from across the educational community are involved
  • Student learning is a campus-wide responsibility
  • Assessment is not a task for small groups of experts but a collaborative activity
  • It's aim is wider, better-informed attention to student learning
Principle 7: Assessment makes a difference when it begins with issues of use and illuminates questions that people really care about
  • Assessment recognizes the value of information in the process of improvement but information must be connected to issues or questions that people really care about.
  • It means thinking in advance how the information will be used and by whom
  • The point of assessment is not to gather data and return results; it is a process that starts with the questions of decision-makers, that involves them in the gathering and interpreting of data and that informs and helps guide continuous improvement
Principle 8: Assessment is most likely to lead to improvement when it is part of larger set of conditions that promote change
  • Assessment along changes little but it's greatest contribution comes on campuses where the quality of teaching and learning is visibly valued and worked at
  • Information about learning outcomes is seen as an integral part of decision making, and avidly sought
Principle 9: Through assessment, educators meet responsibilities to students and to the public
  • As educators, we have a responsibility to the public that support or depend on us to provide information about the ways in which our students meet goals and expectations. 
  • But that responsibility goes beyond reporting of such information; our deeper obligation is to improve


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Academic Procrastination: An Irony

I revisited the paper I was working on last November 2012, regarding my thesis back in 2008. 

Something happened while I was working on that paper... And I just stopped working on it completely.

used to want to specialize in Academic Procrastination. 

As an academic, that is... And not the procrastinator.

It's now 2014.

If I would go back to working on this paper...

The irony that it would reveal. 

Academic Procrastination at it's finest indeed. 

I could officially call myself an expert on academic procrastination, literally the expert on delaying things that are academically related... 

But as they always say, better late than never?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The 14 Learner-Centered Psychological Principles (APA, 1997)

In ALL my classes in my masteral program... We keep on going back to the 14 Learner-Centered Psychological Principles. At some point I began to tell myself, Learner-Centered Psychological Principles, again?!?

In everything! Assessment class, technology class, curriculum class, research class... EVERYTHING.

My masteral program is Master of Arts in Learning and Teaching.

I haven't taught in a classroom setting. Thus, I have never actually practiced anything that I learned in my masteral classes (only on paper, and when I'm tutoring and training tutors). My bachelor degree was Educational Psychology. I did not see myself teaching K-12 subjects, so I was merely an observer of all things happening in education. 

As a mere observer of things happening around me, I realized that it is no wonder my masteral program focused so much on the 14 Learner-Centered Psychological Principles. 

There is so much to change. So many practices violating the principles. So many misconceptions of what it really means to be "learner-centered". 

Thus, I realized THAT's the whole point why all my graduate school classes revolved around the 14 Learner-Centered Psychological Principles. 

The 14 Learner-Centered Psychological Principles becomes our own constitution. Same goes with lawyers (even if I hate memorizing), I have to memorize my constitution! Dang it... I hate memorizing. I always defended myself in class that memorizing was lower-order thinking skills.. Hehe... But this is the only way to go. Like in multiplication, no way out but to memorize the multiplication table.

Then from short-term memory we push it to long-term. *sigh* 

But I should eat, breath and live the Learner-Centered Psychological Principles with all my heart.

Cognitive & Metacognitive Factors
LCP#1: Nature of The Learning Process. 
The learning of a complex subject matter is most effective when it is an intentional process of constructing meaning from information and experience. 

LCP#2: Goal of the Learning Process.
The successful learner, overtime and with support and instructional guidance, can create meaningful, coherent representations of knowledge. 

LCP#3: Construction of Knowledge.
The successful learner can link new information with existing knowledge in meaningful ways.

LCP#4: Strategic Thinking.
The successful learner can create and use a repertoire of thinking and reasoning strategies to achieve complex learning goals. 

LCP#5: Thinking about Thinking.
Higher order strategies for selecting and monitoring mental operations facilitate creative and critical thinking.

LCP#6 Context of Learning.
Learning is influenced by environmental factors including culture, technology and instructional practices.

Motivational & Affective Factors.
LCP#7 Motivational and Emotional Influences on Learning.
What and how much is learned is influenced by the motivation. Motivation to learn, in turn, is influenced by individual's emotional states, beliefs, interests and goals, and habits of thinking. 

LCP#8 Intrinsic Motivation to Learn.
The learner's creativity, higher order thinking and natural curiosity all contribute to the motivation to learn. Intrinsic motivation is stimulated by tasks of optimal novelty and difficulty, relevant to personal interests and providing for personal choice and control.

LCP#9 Effects of Motivation on Effort.
Acquisition of complex knowledge and skills requires extended learner effort and guided practice. Without the learners' motivation to learn, the willingness to exert this effort is unlikely without coercion. 

Developmental and Social Factors
LCP#10 Developmental Influences on Learning.
As individuals develop, there are different opportunities and constraints for learning. Learning is most effective when differential development within and across physical, intellectual, emotional and social domains is taken into account.

LCP#11 Social Influences on Learning.
Learning is influenced by social interactions, interpersonal relations and communications with others.

Individual Differences
LCP#12 Individual Differences on Learning.
Learners have different strategies, approaches and capabilities for learning that are a function of prior experience and heredity

LCP#13 Learning and Diversity.
Learning is most effective when differences in learners' linguistic, cultural and social backgrounds are taken into account. 

LCP#14 Standards and Assessment.
Setting appropriately high and challenging standards and assessing the learner as well as the learning progress - including diagnostic, process and outcome assessment - are integral parts of the learning process.


This is why I love Educational Psychology. The LCP's has summed it all. Being a Learner-centered teacher can't be done overnight. That's why teachers should also be reflective teachers. Keep on reflecting and improving and learning and yada yada yada. Need to end this now. I don't want to make a speech!! :P Need to memorize the LCP's & their numbers.