What is Learning?• I want to talk about learning. But not the lifeless, sterile, futile, quickly forgotten stuff that is crammed in to the mind of the poor helpless individual tied into his seat by ironclad bonds of conformity! I am talking about LEARNING - the insatiable curiosity that drives the adolescent boy to absorb everything he can see or hear or read about gasoline engines in order to improve the efficiency and speed of his cruiser. I am talking about the student who says, "I am discovering, drawing in from the outside, and making that which is drawn in a real part of me." I am talking about any learning in which the experience of the learner progresses along this line: "No, no, thats not what I want"; "Wait! This is closer to what I am interested in, what I need"; "Ah, here it is! Now Im grasping and comprehending what I need and what I want to know!" Carl Rogers 1983: 18-19
Responses to question What is learning ?• Learning as a quantitative increase in knowledge. Learning is acquiring information or ‘knowing a lot’.• Learning as memorising. Learning is storing information that can be reproduced.• Learning as acquiring facts, skills, and methods that can be retained and used as necessary.• Learning as making sense or abstracting meaning. Learning involves relating parts of the subject matter to each other and to the real world.• Learning as interpreting and understanding reality in a different way. Learning involves comprehending the world by reinterpreting knowledge.
Learning as a Product• an outcome - the end product of some process.• It can be recognized or seen.• This approach has the virtue of highlighting a crucial aspect of learning - change.• Does a person need to perform in order to determine whether he/she has learnt• Are there other factors that could have resulted in the changed behaviour• Is the change long term/ short term?
Is there a difference between ‘Knowing that’ vs ‘Knowing how’
A man knowing little or nothing of medical science could not be a good surgeon, but excellence at surgery is not the same thing as knowledge of medical science; nor is it a simple product of it. The surgeon must indeed have learned from instruction, or by his own inductions and observations, a great number of truths; but he must also have learned by practice a great number of aptitudes. (Ryle 1949)
• Learning how or improving an ability is not like learning that or acquiring information. Truths can be imparted, procedures can only be inculcated, and while inculcation is a gradual process, imparting is relatively sudden. It makes sense to ask at what moment someone became apprised of a truth, but not to ask at what moment someone acquired a skill. (Ryle 1949:
Learning as a Process• Task-conscious or acquisition learning - on-going, concrete, immediate; confined to specific activity• Learning-conscious or formalized learning- Facilitation learning; people are aware of this task called learningWhich is present in our Jamaican schools?
BehaviouristLearning theorists• Thorndike, Pavlov, Watson, Guthrie, Hull, Tolman, SkinnerView of the learning process• Change in behaviourLocus of learning• Stimuli in external environmentPurpose in education• Produce behavioural change in desired directionEducators role• Arranges environment to elicit desired responseManifestations in adult learning• Behavioural objectives• Competency -based education• Skill development and training
Behaviorism• Weakness -the learner may find themselves in a situation where the stimulus for the correct response does not occur, therefore the learner cannot respond. - A worker who has been conditioned to respond to a certain cue at work stops production when an anomaly occurs because they do not understand the system.• Strength - the learner is focused on a clear goal and can respond automatically to the cues of that goal. - W.W.II pilots were conditioned to react to silhouettes of enemy planes, a response which one would hope became automatic.
CognitivistLearning theorists• Koffka, Kohler, Lewin, Piaget, Ausubel, Bruner, GagneView of the learning process• Internal mental process (including insight, information processing, memory, perceptionLocus of learning• Internal cognitive structuringPurpose in education• Develop capacity and skills to learn betterEducators role• Structures content of learning activityManifestations in adult learning• Cognitive development• Intelligence, learning and memory as function of age• Learning how to learn – mnemonics , gems etc
Cognitivism• Weakness - the learner learns a way to accomplish a task, but it may not be the best way, or suited to the learner or the situation. For example, logging onto the internet on one computer may not be the same as logging in on another computer.• Strength - the goal is to train learners to do a task the same way to enable consistency. - Logging onto and off of a workplace computer is the same for all employees; it may be important do an exact routine to avoid problems.
HumanistLearning theorists• Maslow, RogersView of the learning process• A personal act to fulfil potential.Locus of learning• Affective and cognitive needsPurpose in education• Become self-actualized, autonomousEducators role• Facilitates development of the whole personManifestations in adult learning• Andragogy• Self-directed learning
ConstructivistLearning theorists• Bandura, Vygotsky,View of the learning process• Interaction /observation in social contexts. Movement from the periphery to the centre of a community of practiceLocus of learning• Group dialogue and collaborative problem solving model and guide• Learning is in relationship between people and environmentPurpose in education• Full participation in communities of practice and utilization of resources, practical, authentic situationsEducators role• Works to establish communities of practice in which conversation and participation can occur.Manifestations• Socialization• Social participation• Problem solving
What is motivation?• Motivation is the inner power or energy that pushes one toward performing a certain action. Motivation has much to do with desire and ambition, and if they are absent, motivation is absent too• Motivation is a desire to achieve a goal, combined with the energy to work towards that goal. Students who are motivated have a desire to undertake their study and complete the requirements of their course.
Are you a motivated student?• Being a motivated student doesn’t mean you are always excited or fully committed to your study, but it does mean you will complete the tasks set for you even when assignments or practicals are difficult, or seem uninteresting.
Can you motivate a person?• As educators we need to provide the environment that will cause persons to be motivated.
Basic principles of Motivation that can be applied to Learning• The environment can be used to focus the students attention on what needs to be learned.• Incentives motivate learning.• Internal motivation is longer lasting and more self- directive than is external motivation, which must be repeatedly reinforced by praise or concrete rewards.• Learning is most effective when an individual is ready to learn, that is, when one wants to know something. If a student is not ready to learn, he or she may not be reliable in following instructions and therefore must be supervised and have the instructions repeated again and again.• Motivation is enhanced by the way in which the instructional material is organized.
What is Brain based Learning?• A comprehensive approach to instruction using current research from neuroscience.• Emphasizes how the brain learns naturally and is based on what we currently know about the actual structure and function of the human brain at varying developmental stages.• Using the latest neural research, educational techniques that are brain friendly provide a biologically driven framework for creating effective instruction.• This theory also helps explain recurring learning behaviors, and is a meta-concept that includes an eclectic mix of techniques.• Currently, related techniques stress allowing teachers to connect learning to students real lives and emotional experiences, as well as their personal histories and experiences.
BBL involvesThis form of learning also encompasses such newer educational concepts like:• mastery learning,• experiential learning,• learning styles,• multiple intelligences,• cooperative learning,• practical simulations,• experiential learning,• problem-based learning,• movement education.
Core Principles of BBL• The brain is a parallel processor. It can perform several activities at once.• The brain perceives wholes and parts simultaneously.• Information is stored in multiple areas of the brain, and can be retrieved through multiple memory and neural pathways.• Learning engages the whole body. All learning is mind-body: movement, foods, attention cycles, and chemicals modulate learning.• Humans search for meaning is innate.• The search for meaning comes through patterning.• Emotions are critical to patterning, and drive our attention, meaning and memory. (Caine and Caine)
• Meaning is more important than just information.• Learning involves focused attention and peripheral perception.• We have two types of memory: spatial and rote.• We understand best when facts are embedded in natural spatial memory.• The brain is social. It develops better in concert with other brains.• Complex learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by stress.• Every brain in uniquely organized.• Learning is developmental. (Caine and Caine)
BBL -Implications• Learning environments are created that immerse students in a learning experience.• Relaxed alertness: An effort is made to eliminate fear while maintaining a highly challenging environment.• All students are accepted with their various learning styles, capabilities and disabilities. A relaxed accepting environment pervades the room.• Children are stretched to maximize their potential.• Active processing where the learner consolidates and internalizes information by actively processing it.• Information is connected to prior learning.• The stage is set before a unit of study is begun by the teacher preparing the students to attach new information to prior knowledge so the new information has something to latch onto. (Jensen; Caine & Caine)
What does the class look like?• Rich, stimulating environments using student created materials and products are evident on bulletin boards and display areas.• Places for group learning like tables and desks grouped together, to stimulate social skills and cooperative work groups. Have comfortable furniture, for casual discussion areas. Areas with large pillows who prefer not the work at a desk or table.• Safe places for students to be where threat is reduced, particularly in large urban settings.• Variety of places where children prefer to learn• Change displays in the classroom regularly to provide a stimulating situations for brain development.• Have students create stage sets where they can act out scenes from their readings or demonstrate a science principle or act out a dialogue between historical figures.• Have multiple resources available. Provide educational, physical and a variety of setting within the classroom so that learning activities can be integrated easily. Learning centers. Multiple functions of learning is our goal. (Darcangelo, 2000)
• Flexibility: This common principle of the past is relevant. The teachable moment must be recognized and capitalized upon. Dimensions of flexibility are evident in other principles.• Active and passive places: Students need quiet areas for reflection and retreat from others to use intrapersonal intelligences.• Personal space: Students need a home base, a desk. All this allows learners to express their unique identity.• The community at large as an optimal learning environment: Teachers need to find ways to fully use space a primary learning setting. Technology, distance learning, community and business partnerships, all need to be explored by educational institutions.• Enrichment: The brain can grow new connections at any age. Challenging, complex experiences with appropriate feedback are best. Cognitive skills develop better with music and motor skills. (Darcangelo, 2000)
References for BBL• Caine, G., Nummela-Caine, R., & Crowell, S. (1999) Mindshifts: A Brain-Based Process for Restructuring Schools and Renewing Education, 2nd edition. Tucson, AZ: Zephyr Press.• Caine, G., Nummela-Caine, (1997) Education on the edge of possibility. Alexandria, VA: ASCD--Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.• DArcangelo, M. (2000). How does the brain develop? A conversation with Steven Peterson. Educational Leadership, 58(3), 68-71.