- One of the most important things I've ever learned is to read. I started preschool when I was 3, so I was inundated with language all day. I loved stories and was eager to read them on my own. Because of this, my father started teaching me to read when I was about 3 or 4. He was my hero and could do no wrong in my eyes, so I was an eager sponge soaking up every little thing he told me. With every success he showered me with love and affection, leading my to push myself to learn more and more, and not just about reading. With each struggle, I was given gentle encouragement and taught to be patient and try again, a skill that has been abundantly useful. His positivity and excitement about my learning, along with his encouragement and lessons on patience, were motivating factors throughout the rest of my school career and my life as well. Learning to read was such a positive experience for me because it was something that I genuinely wanted to know, I was spending time with someone I loved, and I received positive attention with my success. I was also able to take my time, go at my own pace, and not feel the pressure of classmates who can read better than me. It was one-on-one and all about me. It was also meaningful because it opened me up to the world of learning, a world in which I am still an active participant.
Part 2: Observing Student Learning
- How would you describe the context of learning in the video?
The students in the video are taking part in active, meaningful learning. They are able to make long lasting bonds with what they are learning because they are engaged in the projects presented to them, or in some cases, selected by them. The learning is taking place inside the classroom and out, online and in-person. The material presented is based on successful use in the school setting as well as educational theory of the likes of Dewey.
- Remembering our earlier discussions of cognitive (specific knowledge), affective (skills), and behavioral (behavior) outcomes to learning, how would you describe the students' learning in the video? Do you notice any similarities or differences with your own account of powerful learning?
The students in the video exhibited all three learning outcomes. The students demonstrated cognitive outcomes through projects like the school of the future where they are learning specific knowledge relating to geometry. The students were motivated to earn the contract and needed to internalize the content in order to create the most effective design. Throughout the video, the students were also demonstrating behavioral outcomes; they are being conditioned to behave in a certain way when doing a particular task. While not specifically addressed, I inferred that the students taking part in the collaboration on single-celled organisms with the university in New York were able to demonstrated certain behavioral outcomes. I would expect that the students would be conditioned to run fair tests and collect meaningful data, behaviors that would ensure that their research would be valid and useful to the university. Finally, the most prevalent learning outcome is affective. The students were required time and time again to learn, internalize, and utilize new skills in order to be successful. The students were successful because the skills learned were meaningful and important to them at the time. According to Seymour Papert, "you learn this when you need it". The students decided what skills were needed in order to solve their problems and learned them! Learning what you need to know, WHEN you need to know it is important, and in my opinion is one of the best ways to learn and retain what is learned.
I felt that my own learned was similar in many ways. I was "energized, focused, and challenged, determined to do (my) best" when it came to learning to read. I wanted to do it, and spending time with my father kept me energized, focused, and challenged all at the same time. By going at my own pace, I became a director and manager of my own learning. In the classroom, most of my learning was more traditional and text-based, but I was able to overcome that and excel because my early learning taught me patience and stick-to-itiveness. As an educator, I know that not all students were given this foundation, so it is my job to help them learn by providing learning opportunities that they can get excited about.
"Great posts, you have written a very thorough post covering the Learning About Learning post. Your breakdown of the types of learning outcomes is well stated. The addition of your own personal learning experiences helps to further support your ideas on the subject. You also do a nice job analyzing the Gee piece on learning through video games."