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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. 

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