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My Beliefs About Learning February 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — leahdewhurst @ 10:15 am

After reading about the different learning theories I have gained a better insight and appreciation for the different learning theories and their possible application to learning. I use the behaviourist approach when it comes to my reading workshop and the implementing the Daily 5.  There are specific behaviours the students need to complete in order for The Daily 5 to be a success. That means we “train” the students for specific behaviours until it becomes automatic.

I also see myself using an objective approach where I provide the students with an “anchor” before they set sail on the open seas of knowledge. A basic understanding of the material in question I think provides the students with a guiding compass for further travel. This also is applied during the Daily 5 and reading instruction.   With the advancement of technology, it has definitely made it possible for students to get “lost” in their learning and allow for new learning opportunities.  The technology that is available permits us to provide richer and more exciting learning environments.  Connecting and completing projects with classrooms around the world have definitely opened my students’ minds and has made them become more responsible for and active in the learning process.  In the end, I believe there is a place for each theory within the classroom, depending upon the situation and environment.

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One Response to “My Beliefs About Learning”

  1. Marnie Says:

    I agree that most educators likely draw from multiple epistemologies throughout the year. I think the importance of being able to define or align oneself with one or the other theory comes in ones ability to design curriculum and make decisions about instruction within your environment. I wonder if there isn’t a tendency to make reactionary decisions rather than thoughtful decisions based on one’s guiding understanding about how learning takes place? As I think back on my career I know I had a vision of the kind of learning environment I wanted. I would have been clumsy in my ability to define my theory of learning but I realize that is what guided much of my thinking. If I had been clearer in this area, it may not have taken me so long to be able to design the learning environment that I believed was best for my students. I made too many “reactionary” decisions rather than decisions grounded in what I realize now was my theoretical framework.

    I read the Daily 5 last year amid collegial discussions of whether it was too behaviouristic or not. While there is a training phase to develop specific behaviours, I felt the power of the method was in moving students to independence and being able to take responsibility for their own learning and being able to make choices within the “5”. It develops that independence so that students can make meaning with others in ways that are not all teacher-directed but student-directed.
    Perhaps, this is an example of drawing from more than one theory. Might its “ultimate goal” support Constructivism but draw on Behaviourist approaches to get there? Not sure.


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