For your Module 2 reflection activity begin creating linkages between your own epistemological beliefs and your classroom instruction. Do you see inconsistencies in what you do and what you believe? See if you can extend your thinking to include ways in which you incorporate technology into your curriculum. For example, drill and practice software used for test preparation and/or remediation fit most behaviorist learning theories which fall under objectivist epistemologies. Would this necessarily fit with your own beliefs about the nature of learning?
Reflecting on the last two weeks I can clearly see inconsistencies between the way I deliver content to students and the way I feel content should be delivered to better prepare students. I am sure that there are multiple reasons for why I do this but I feel that the foundational cause is directed to my inexperience and limited pedagogical skills.
My focus over the last two weeks has been to study the various rooted and emerging theories along with their individual models of instruction and to place myself among them. Although I see myself as a combination of a “part of this and part of that” I like to think that I take more of a Social-constructivist approach when teaching.
After completing the required reading, and taking time to reflect on my own beliefs of education, I drew mostly from the Social-constructivist theory due to the emphasis on ‘real world’ application and the belief “that knowledge is situated through experience.” (Barab, Duffy, n.d.) As teachers we seek to provide experiences for our students through engaging and “authentic learner activities,” we allow students to create their own identity “through their relationship with the world.” (Barab, Duffy, n.d.) It is this learning-by-doing attitude that we best prepare our students for the real world.
I question though:
- How do I properly integrate real world situations that students can take ownership of rather than fictitious scenarios students find mundane?
- Do I rely more on ‘practice fields,’ ‘communities of practice’ or both?
- How, as the teacher, do I create student collaboration with professionals in the field of study?
- Does Social-constructivist theory have a place in mainstream public schools or should this theory be set apart for emerging signature/magnet schools that can afford to establish relationships with local and worldwide organizations, universities and large companies to maximize real world learning?
As I continue to master this theory (among others) I am excited at the possibilities of researching certain current events, connecting with a network of schools that are like-minded and giving the students ownership of the project in order to find the solution. I also want to learn how I can create an atmosphere where by reciprocal teaching can flourish in my classroom.