Home > Creativity and Innovation > Making Learning Personal – Chapter 2 by @bbray27 and @khmmc #plearnchat

Making Learning Personal – Chapter 2 by @bbray27 and @khmmc #plearnchat

January 31, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

As I started reading Making Learning Personal, I loved the ideas. I felt like Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey were sitting down talking to me.  Now I need to blog about some of the great ideas.

In Chapter 2, the author starts with Plato who showed that learning was tied to interpersonal interactions and the love of learning. Vygotsky theory stresses making meaning of the knowledge, he stresses: Social Interaction, The More Knowledgable Other, and the Zone of Proximal Development (which is the learner’s ability to solve the problem independently). His famous quote is “What a child can do in cooperation today, he can do alone tomorrow.” Dewey stated that learners must learn what interests them because that is what motivates them. He also sought to connect learning with real life. “If we teach as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” by John Dewey

Jerome Bruner states four features of theory of instruction:

  1. predisposition to learn – motivational, cultural, personal factors along with social factors with teachers and parent influence.  Learning and problem-solving emerged out of exploreation.
  2. Structure of knowledge – structure knowledge that enables the learner to most readily grasp the information.
  3. modes of representation – access information using multiple representation
  4. Effective sequencing – the right order is very important

Bruner introduced the ideas of readiness for learning and spiral curriculum.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is best known for his work with the theory of flow.  “Flow is when people are fully immersed in what they are doing and there is a balance between the challenge of the task and the skill of the learner. . . When you are in flow, you are energized, focused, and completely involved and absorbed.  Carol Dweck is mentioned for her work with “Mindset”, which is the name of her book that I did a blogpost.

The types of learners that are now in school are different even from the Generation Y learners of the 1980-90s. These learners grow up with computers, tend to be optimistic about life and don’t want a normal job or schooling.  For more information, check out my blogspot on The Impact of the Generation Y. The Generation Z or the Net Generation are the learners of the 1997-present. These learners tend to be more realistic, but also know the answer is on their phone.  When these learners entered school, educators needed to start engaging them in different ways. Personalized learning will work for any generation because they can control their own learning.

Learning Styles have influenced teaching methods, but is that just pigeon-holing our students to fit a mold?  Same with multiple intelligence.  When I take the multiple intelligence test or the Myers-Briggs, I always score as well-rounded, nothing really stands out.  Is that the goal?  That we are all well rounded with our learning styles. Research has not proven that multiple intelligences can not predict future performance. General intelligence alone predicts success. Lexile scores and reading levels have been also controversial. These don’t allow learners to follow their interests, instead learners only get to select a certain range of books which may be their reading level but might not be their interest level.  Standardized test have started to rule schools, where they must be administered so many times a year and testing is starting at younger ages. Some learners do not do well with timed, or multiple choice, or just testing environments in general. Can those tests really show what learners know?  Or do they just show who tests well?

Learning uses the three types of memories that humans have: sensory, short-term, working, and long-term memory. Our goal is to get the information processed deeply into our long-term memory. It is also proved that we learn when your brain is active. I have always that if we don’t use it, we lose it.

Universal Design for Learning was created by CAST – Center for Applied Special Technology in 1984 and is research based. What CAST found out “was not about learners overcoming their barriers; it was about reducing or eliminating the barriers that keep learners from learning.” “UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials and assessments that work for everyone – not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.”

UDL Principles:

  1. Multiple Means of Representation (perception, language, expressions, symbols, and comprehension)- recognition networks, the WHAT of learning, how we gather facts and categorize what we see, hear and read, identifying letters, words or an author’s style are recognition tasks. Present information and content in different ways.
  2. Multiple Means of Action and Expression (physical action, expression and communication, and executive function) – strategic networks, the HOW of learning, planning and performing tasks, how we organize and express our ideas, writing an essay of solving a math problem are strategic tasks. Differentiat the ways the students can express what they know.
  3. Multiple Means of Engagement (recruiting interest, sustaining effort and persistence, and self-regulation) affective networks, the WHY of learning, how learners get engaged and stay motivated, how they are challenged, excited or interested. Stimulate interest and motivation for learning.

“What we want are kids who are able to set good goals for themselves, to be able to regulate when things go wrong, to be able to sustain and handle frustration.” by David Rose.

Developing a “Personal Learner Profile (PLP)” can help teachers, parents and learns identify how learners learn best based on their strengths, challenges, interests, aspirations, talents and passions. The three principles of UDL are : Access, Engage, and Express. Learners must find their strengths and challenges in how they access, engage and express their knowledge.  A learner’s PLP can and should change over time. a “Personal Learning Backpack (PLB) contains resources, tools, and learning strategies identified for the learner. ” Review “The Myth of Average” if you think that average works.  It doesn’t.  Creating a “Class Learning Snapshot (CLS)” can be helpful for the teacher to understand the class as a whole. To do this, review only four of your diverse learners in one class and create a lesson based on their preferences and needs by creating the “Class Learning Toolkit (CLT)”

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