Love Working with you folks!

One of the things that I'm really enjoying about doing this course, is that I'm 'teaching' or 'facilitating' about the psychology about 'teaching/learning' so that you as teachers/facilitators can use that in your own teaching/learning environment. For instace all the feedback that I give you either in the lecture series, in this blog, or in your assignments, are all things that you're going to be facing in your professional roles as educators. Mark me words folks (said with a wagging finger) you're going to be giving out the same kind of feedback to your own students/pupils that I'm giving you. I know this because this is exactly what happened to me!

Assignment 1 observations

For instance here in assignment 1, a few choice observations that just really struck me:

  • Why (oh why) to folks love to do really ornate cover pages, or in the poster pages, doing really ornate borders? Trust me, you get teeny, weeny marks, if any at all for your border or cover page. You get more 'marks per unit effort' on the contents of your actual assignment.
  • I'm stunned by the plagurism in the poster. Not so much that it was done, but that it was done so unintelligently. I'm guessing that some of you just 'guessed' that a paragraph was appropriate and then hoped for the best. When your students/pupils do this to you, you're are going to be slapping your forehead in disbelief. The best answers were invariably those folks that tried to put it in their own words - which incidentally was often closer to what a 15 year old would be able to read.
  • What is it with emboldening the words in a paragraph? What I mean by this is that I saw so many paragraphs which had about 30-50% of their words emboldened. The result was a mess, in which any emphasis was completely and totally lost. Imagine if someone was trying to tell you something important and they shouted every third or every other word. See what I mean?
  • Many of you described a situation, in or out of school, in which the behaviour can be described by one of the theories. Actually this is NOT what I wanted (notice that this is the only word emboldened in this paragraph) you to do. You were supposed to construct a teaching/learning activity based on the theory. Your mental conversation might go something like this: "Right, ok well if cognitive theory is true, then I would have to design a class that explains that reason for US invading Iraq in the early '90s and in 2003 by ..." and then explain the teaching learning activity.
  • Many of you were too brief with your behaviouristic, especially your operant conditioning example. In the latter, you needed to have explained what the actual reinforcer is (normally this would be the encouragement or disapproval voiced by a teacher) which is, as it were, the promise of a reward (or punishment) yet to come. The actual reward or punishment is not the reinforcer - it's the reward/punishment of course that the child/student is striving towards.
  • I said in class that most of you hadn't quite figured out that cognitive psychology is more about internal representations which might be termed 'mental maps', but that doesn't mean that cognitive psychology is all about learning how to make or read 'real maps'. It goes something like this: if cognitive theory is what is really going on in our heads, then we need to provide an adequate framework for children to understand the relationships between different facts; that is why it is a good idea for students of biology to study classification because it provides a framework on which to understand how animals fit into an ecological context – mammals vs. reptiles, evergreen trees vs. deciduous or fern trees, etc. The classification of organisms helps children to remember how the animals and plants most likely interact.
  • To follow on from above, you've got to make a lesson plan that allows frameworks to be constructed rather than simply 'blasting' children with loads of facts and figures, if you're using cognitive theory.

However, when it's all said and done I absoultely love working with you folks because whatever I as a facilitator experience working through the course, I know that you're going to experience the same with your own students, and there will be a distinct 'a ha!' moment in your heads. At that point, if I could read your thoughts, I would be thinking 'Maleka!' ☺

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