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Annotated Bibliography

Lincoln.webp

(Medium,2019)

History of My Mind

     I believe that both teaching and learning are a collaborative process. I have always thought that there is a limited capacity to learn without interaction from both the environment and society. You can pour yourself into anything but it is the interaction that causes the learning. Interaction with the material, the computer, the book, the slideshow, whatever the instrument may be, but that is just the start. They must build that knowledge using both their own knowledge and have experiences to build the knowledge in the process. As a student, I very famously would turn lecture material into some sort of activity or kinesthetic type of learning so I could transmit the information into my brain for understanding. 

     I also believe relationships must be formed to promote real learning between both student/student and teacher/student. I think students must care about what they are learning and the teacher must have a level of passion about their subject matter that the lay person does not have in order to be effective. I also believe combining students of different learning levels together promote learning when the student becomes the teacher to their peer. 

                                         Myself as a learner

    As an adult, I have always been drawn to this quote about success from Lincoln.  As I have tried to determine why I like it so much, it occurred to me that all my greatest accomplishments thus far have come with at least one friend attached to them that both helped and cheered. I have had the same best friend since the 8th grade. I moved to a small town and found myself being wooed by a smart young girl that wanted to work with me because we shared the same honors courses. I was desperate for a friend so was more than willing. Come to find out, she was ranked 3rd in our class and was worried that I may rank above her. I was not. However, thus began a storied friendship as we collaborated and problem-solved our way through the next 4 years of high school in a bid to overtake the 1st and 2nd slot. We never took over those top slots but we like to believe that the collaboration took us to places we would have never been.

 

         "As iron sharpens iron, so one person                               sharpens another"                                                             -Proverbs 27:17

 

     Our diligence in joining forces to achieve a higher goal has sustained. I owe most of my education and drive to that same person who refused to believe we couldn't figure out any problem that we had. She was a master mathematician and I just couldn't get algebra. I was a much better storyteller than her and language arts and science were really my sweet spot. We were able to recognize that we needed each other in order to thrive in all areas. I realized that I was also driven because I cared about my friend. If my goal was just to make the grade then we really had that covered without any friendship. However, because we were also committed to each other as people, we didn't want to let the other person down. In every area that she grew in knowledge, she shared, and vice-versa. I am now surrounded by a plethora of fellow educators that are also invested in my success, that collaborate through tough issues and problem solving. I have and will continue to be inspired to learn by others that are in the trenches with me. 

                                       The Great Uncovering

Behaviorism- 

     As I began my exploration into learning theories, I first thought that I was probably more behaviorism than anything. I build relationships with my students and I certainly reward good behavior.  John B. Watson founded behaviorism. Behaviorism is primarily concerned with observable behavior, as opposed to internal events like thinking and emotion(McLeod, 2023). After reviewing the information and realizing that behaviorism is more about drills and practice and rewards and punishment. I began to think again. Most probably relate behaviorism to Pavlov's dogs and classical conditioning. I realized that Pavlov and I were not on the same page. I do believe that repetition helps me and my students but I do not believe that this theory works well for the overall experience of the learner. 

Humanism-

     I decided that humanism might be more the right track. Humanism addresses the entire learner. Maslow created the hierarchy of need based on this humanistic approach. Certain needs of the learner must be met before they can learn. Humanists think we should pay attention to emotions and make sure our learners are feeling positive, relaxed and comfortable(Drew,2019). They must be mentally, physically, and emotionally safe in order to focus on learning. Humanistic approach focus on the "whole" learner. It is student-centered, fosters student engagement and typically does self-evaluation to keep the student excited about the process of learning. There is no punishment in this theory. I do believe that all other needs must be met before you can learn, but collaborative experiential learning is still the way I learn the most.

 

Cognitivism-

     Next up was cognitivism. I agree with most of what Jean Piaget proposed.  He believed that connections are made with prior learning and experience before responding. It is important to understand how you get the answer, not just to get the correct answer. Cognitivists therefore have focused on identifying mental processes – internal and conscious representations of the world – that they consider are essential for human learning(Bates,2014). The learning takes place as the mind works out the connection between what they previously knew. When I look at the recommended activities for the classroom: journaling, project-based learning, concept mapping, note-taking, I use all of these types of assignments. I incorporate many of these things into the classroom but for myself it is still missing one very important piece and that is the collaboration or the social piece of learning. 

Constructivism-

      I next landed on constructivism. Constructivists emphasize the importance of consciousness, free will and social influences on learning(Bates,2014). Constructivism explains that learners use prior knowledge to understand new knowledge. John Dewey was the first to argue that experiences should be included in learning. And that what you learn should offer some contribution to your society immediately. Every experience is based on a person's previous experience and their current experience will alter their next experience and so on and so forth. In constructivist classrooms, unlike the conventional lecturer, the teacher is a facilitator and a guide, who plans, organizes, guides, and provides directions to the learner, who is accountable for his own learning(Ozer, 2004). The teacher has to relinquish control to the students. I certainly believe that to be true. Still, mostly correct as far as how I learn, but still missing an important piece.

Social Constructivism-

All these theories have merit and pieces that I believe in but identifying what I align with came down to the collaborative piece that I use in my own learning. Social constructivism answered the call. Lev Vygotsky is the primary theorist. Vygotsky believed in the "zone of proximal development" (ZPD) in which students are matched with students of a different ability.

               "This is an important concept that relates to the difference

              between what a child can achieve independently and what a                                  child can achieve with guidance and encouragement from a

              skilled partner." (McCloud, 2023)

There are 3 pieces to this ZPD. What they can achieve for themselves, what they can achieve with a someone that knows more than they do and what a teacher can help guide them to discover. I have always relied on others to increase my understanding. I always insist that my students use each other to gain understanding. This is much closer to the way I learn. He also named the theory of scaffolding which is the support that this person with more abilities provides. Scaffolding can be removed once the knowledge is in place.

So my final answer is I am a social constructivist with a sprinkle of humanism. I value the collaboration and the work of a student building their own understanding and I care about the entire student.

 

In my innovation plan, I will set up scaffolding by using all 4 cohorts of my radiologic science students in one lab. This creates a zone of proximal development with the more skilled students and a framework for learning. It will be both the experiences of creating images in the lab based on trial and error in combination with the collaboration of their peers and more skilled partners. This will also shift my role to the outer circle of the ZPD where I will work as a facilitator for procedural outcomes instead of a futile lecturer of outcomes.  It is exciting to put a name on the type of learning that I use and transform the way I teach to a better approach.

 

          Annotated Bibliography

 

Bates, T. (2014, July 29). Learning theories and online learning [Blog post]. Retrieved                                      from https://www.tonybates.ca/2014/07/29/learning-theories-and-online-learning/

    Dr. Bates describes the differences between the 3 main types of learning theories (behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism) but also includes the newer theories of online digital learning and connectivism.  How connectivism is not yet supported by a ton of data but it relies on the autonomy of the learner and how they decide to learn, who they choose to interact with and how they share the information to build their own knowledge. 

Drew, C. (June 18, 2019). What is the humanistic theory in education?. Helpful                              Professor. https://helpfulprofessor.com/humanist-theory-in-education/

   This article focuses on the origins of humanism. Discusses the learner as a whole person and the role of emotions in humanism. Gives a history of Abraham Maslow the main theorist and then describes Maslow's Hierarchy of Need.  It gives examples of how that theory could be applied in the classroom. The strengths and limitations of the theory. It then discusses Carl Rogers and his contribution to Humanism.

Hofmann, S. G., & G., A. G. J. (2017). The Science of Cognitive Behavioral therapy. Academic Press.

         This book discusses all the theories but my focus was on the chapter of social constructivism. The primary theorist in social constructivism which is Lev Vygotsky and the interplay of the "zone of proximal development" 

McLeod, S. (2023, June 2). Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory of cognitive development. Simply                         Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html  

      This article discusses Vygotsky's ideas and then compares them to Piaget and how his theory differs.  They talk about cultural differences between the two. Social influences on cognitive development. It discusses the "zone of proximal development" and also includes utilizing his theory in the classroom. 

McLeod, S. (2023, June 11). Behaviorist approach to psychology: Definition, history, concepts, and              impact. Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/behaviorism.html

        This article discusses behaviorism and the theories behind it.  That it is primarily concerned with observable behavior. It breaks it into the different types of behaviorism: methodological, radical, and social learning. It also gives a timeline of the development of the theory. It discusses the criticism of the theory.

Medium. (2019, September 28). Abraham Lincoln quotes. CIO Views, 1–1.

         Quotes from famous people on success.

Ozer, O. (2004). Constructivism in Piaget and Vygotsky. The Fountain.                                                               https://fountainmagazine.com/2004/issue-48-october-december-2004/constructivism-in-                     piaget-and-vygotsky

 This is another article on the similarity and differences between Piaget and Vygotsky. It discusses how each classroom would be different based in their theory. 

 

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