Theories 6 21

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Theories 6 21

  1. 1. “In the right light, study becomes insight<br />But the system that dissedus<br />Teaches us to read and right”<br />“Take the Power Back”, <br />Rage Against the Machine<br />
  2. 2. The Impact of Culture on Learning<br />Exploring the Theories of <br />Jeff Duncan-Andrade <br />and Lev Vygotsky<br />
  3. 3. Jeff Duncan-Andrade and Lev. S. Vygotsky lived nearly 100 years apart. The former writes and works within the hip-hop culture of mostly urban youth in California while the latter toiled in the oppressive confines of Stalinist Russia. Yet these two constructivist thinkers shared ideas about the social and cultural contexts of learning. These ideas offer alternatives to the traditional pedagogies in our rapidly changing world.<br />
  4. 4. How is Learning Defined?<br />
  5. 5. Educator/theorist Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade makes a case that learning is a participatory activity in which students are critical contributors to their own development. For Duncan-Andrade, learning begins within the social and cultural experiences inherent in each student’s world. <br />
  6. 6. For Duncan-Andrade, learning equals empowerment, and creates opportunities for students to become “agents of critical awareness and social change.”<br />He believes that popular youth culture, or the various activities in which young people invest their time, must be considered in any authentic and effective pedagogy. <br />
  7. 7. Russian psychologist Lev S. Vygotsky defined learning as the result of social interaction. “Social relations and the culture from which the social interaction is defined helped to form a child’s cognitive functioning.” (Goodman, p.26) Learning is the end product of socialization and social behavior. For Vygotsky, learning proceeds development. <br />
  8. 8. Vygotsky believed that the most critical learning stage was the period between what a child already knows, and what they are capable of knowing/learning with guidance from a parent, teacher or more accomplished peer. <br />This stage is know as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).<br />
  9. 9. What is the role of teacher/educator?<br />
  10. 10. According to Duncan-Andrade, teachers should maintain the role of instructional leader but without retaining the concentration of power. Distributing the power over what and how students learn leads to “authentic caring” Valenzuela (1999) where the classroom draws from the culture of the students themselves instead of what is prescribed by the dominant culture. <br />
  11. 11. Duncan-Andrade believes that when youth popular culture is incorporated into the classroom, the teacher/educator can guide their students to think more critically about what they already know--the media, music, language, style contexts of their world-- then apply those critical thinking skills to the larger world.<br />
  12. 12. Vygotsky believed the teacher/educator was not a “depositor of knowledge to students” (Freire, 1970) but a collaborator in a learning process. He viewed this process as a dialog between teacher and student and the process itself as important as the task being taught. An important ingredient in this process was the concept of “scaffolding” where the teacher gradually decreased the amount of support as the student assumed more confidence and understanding. <br />
  13. 13. Vygotsky viewed the relationship between teacher and student as a partnership where dialog and social interaction guides the students toward mastery.<br />Once the educator guides the student through the ZPD, the student is capable of taking that knowledge and applying it elsewhere. <br />
  14. 14. What is the role of student/learner?<br />
  15. 15. Duncan-Andrade views students/learners as producers in a dynamic learning process, rather than recipients of static force fed knowledge. He believes that when students are given opportunities to make meaning of their own world through their popular culture, they can learn to think critically and apply that thinking to other cultures, concepts and inequities. <br />
  16. 16. Vygotsky also believed that the student/learner was an active participant in the learning process. He believed that students do not learn in isolation but within the social and cultural contexts that make up their daily lives. He believed that students acquired language, memory, and reasoning skills in every social experience, whether it was teacher/student, family/child or peer to peer.<br />
  17. 17. What do Duncan-Andrade and Vygotsky have to do with schooling today? <br />
  18. 18. Duncan-Andrade and Vygotsky are relevant in discussions about schooling today because they both take into account the social and cultural environments within which students live and learn. Both scholars believe that learning takes place as a result of these socio-cultural experiences and in many different forms: discourse, music, media etc. <br />
  19. 19. If learning takes place as a result of these social and cultural interactions, then how or if schools take advantage of these learning opportunities is crucial. It is crucial because now more than ever, we live in a socially connected, though culturally diverse world. <br />
  20. 20. Through technology, music, and media, students are presented with non-stop opportunities to think about their world and the bigger, connected world around them.<br /> I believe both Duncan-Andrade and Vygotsky would urge schools to utilize these opportunities to teach our students to make decisions, ask questions, defend opinions, right injustices, formulate solutions.<br />
  21. 21. Exploring Key Concepts<br />What Duncan-Andrade & Vygotsky Might Think<br /><ul><li>Social Justice/Critical Pedagogy
  22. 22. Social Environments
  23. 23. Role of Technology </li></li></ul><li>Social Justice<br />Duncan-Andrade<br />Believes examining youth popular culture in the classroom will develop students’ critical thinking abilities which will lead to the awareness of inequities<br />Believes examining youth popular culture within the classroom will lead to empowerment and the belief that change is possible. “This sort of empowering pedagogy, focused on developing students’ capacities as as agents of critical awareness and social change must consist of a critical youth cultural literacy” (Goodman, p.124) <br />Vygotsky<br /><ul><li>Believed that the development of the individual was the product of social interactions and cultural experiences so he most likely would have felt that people as a society had a responsibility to promote equality
  24. 24. As a special educator believed that a person’s biological handicap was far less than that which society imposed. Felt a "positive differential approach" that can fully develop a handicapped child's higher psychological functions and overall personality.” (www.bgcenter.com/disabled_child.htm) I feel Vygotsky would have carried this ideal into other areas where society was unfairly neglecting or abusing its members, especially students. </li></li></ul><li>Social Environment<br />Duncan-Andrade<br />Believes strongly that students’ popular culture—the things in which they invest most of their time—should be not be neglected but rather included within the curriculum. This includes all facets of their social environment<br />Believes that especially in urban youth culture “meaning making” from their cultural and social environments can lead to development of critical and examination and thinking skills. This includes the social network of family & friends that now becomes and instant and pervasive part of their lives<br />Vygotsky<br /><ul><li>Believed that the development of the individual was the product of social interactions and cultural experiences which included family and friends
  25. 25. Believed that many of the language, memory and reasoning skills we develop are acquired through interactions with parents, grandparents, teachers and peers. Therefore, he would have encouraged the inclusion of a varied and robust social environment to stimulate and encourage students </li></li></ul><li>Role of Technology<br />Duncan-Andrade<br />Two questions D-A says we need to be asking to determine a pedagogy that meets the needs of today’s youth are 1) what are students investing themselves in and 2) how?. (Goodman, p.121) The answer to both is clear: technology. Because technology is so pervasive in today’s popular youth culture, Duncan-Andrade feels that as educators, we cannot ignore its impact on our students. Instead, we must look for ways to integrate it into the curriculum and teach information literacy with the same goals that we teach canon literacies: critical thinking, problem solving, interpretation, etc. D-A believes that technology, through the Internet, media, social networking, delivers a host of ways for students to think critically about their world and the bigger world. <br />Vygotsky<br /><ul><li>Believed that whatever was inherent in the particular culture of the student was relevant and necessary to promote the PZD. What needed to be kept in mind was that it would differ from culture to culture. I believe Vygotsky would support technology not as a substitute for shared social learning, but as a supplement.
  26. 26. I think he would have looked at technology as a way of encouraging social interaction enhancing the teacher/student relationship. In fact, he might have applauded the shared scaffolding that might occur as student guides teacher through the technology.</li></li></ul><li>References<br />Goodman, G. (2008) Educational Psychology An Application of Critical Constructivism. New York: Peter Lang.<br />Kerr, S.T. (1997). Why Vygotsky?Presented at the Annual Meeting of theAmerican Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. November 22, 1997. http://webpages.charter.net/schmolze1/vygotsky/kerr.htm<br />“Take the Power Back”, Rage Against the Machine, Rage Against the Machine, Sony Music Entertainment,1992.<br />Valenzuela, A. (1999). Subtractive Schooling: U.S. Mexican Youths and the Politics of Caring. New York: SUNY Press.<br />

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