Dryden Clark Week 6

Something that was interesting to me was reading about Friedrick Froebal and his idea around giving children gifts such as blocks, balls, and rods. This seemed to simple and not realistic to me that this would teach children concepts of size, volume, angles and balance. When I sat back and thought about it though you start to piece together how such a simple idea does work. Something else that stood out to me was how early school systems were set up in Canada as early as the 1850’s. This was shocking to me as I would have assumed that this would have been set up after the industrial revolution. Another thing I never would have thought of was how difficult it would have been for the government to set a public school system in Canada primarily the three big hurdles of funding, strong opposition to public schools and a shortage of teachers to teach. I would have thought early Canadians would support a public system so any child would have the opportunity for school.

I made connection with the Residential schools and the affects it had on the students. Working in a youth correctional centre I have seen youth brought up by parents and grandparents that attended these schools and the damage they did on them and unfortunately their children as well have been affected. Another connection I made in these readings are with the learning plan that was presented in the readings. The activity was that students research a First Nations tribe and present a speech to the class. I experienced a similar activity, but on different countries and as discussed it did peak my interest and got me more invested in the project than just reading from a text book. I would like to use similar activities in my own classroom.

My question is as a teacher should we adopt an individual teaching philosophy like realism or is it better to grab a combination of a few or even pick and choose pieces from each philosophy that you believe in and create you own individual philosophy?

Dryden Clark Volunteer Placement

My placement is at William Booth Special Care Home. Right off the bat something that stood out to me was how many people come to the home for part of the day to just attend part of the programming and then later go home. My understanding is the folks just come to socialize and take part in the planned activities that go on from games to singing. I thought that the home was also just a palliative care home and quickly realized that it is not just that at all. There are many different patients there from palliative patients to people who just need some assistance with day to day life. I did not know that William Booth was part of Red Cross either. My previous knowledge was it was a privately ran Care home. I have only had one session there so far, but really enjoyed my time with everyone. The experience was much different that I expected.

Something I connected with was the brain development we have been learning about in class. Mental health is definitely a big part of the people involved at William Booth. This mental ranges from people who have had mental health from birth and others that have developed overtime as they have aged. Another connection I have is with some family members over the years that have developed mental health problems as they got older. It truly is amazing and at the same time very sad what can happen to the brain as we grow older and the body slowly starts to shut down.

The question I have is why is there so much negativity around similar care homes or even homes that are less involved and supply less assistance and allow people to come and go. Unfortunately people do grow old and need help at times and that’s what these homes are there for and yet people have negative thoughts and a hard time going there or helping a family member go to one of these homes.



Dryden Clark Week 4 Readings

Observational learning is something I never thought of before in a sense of how it is broken down in this chapter. I had an understanding that humans do this as a form of learning, but not in the steps shown. My previous knowledge understood this as you seen something you wanted to learn or do and tried to perform it. Not knowing that there is a underlying motivation behind why you want to learn this like satisfying someone else. One thing I learned through the readings was, how successful it can be to give students control in their learning. I would assume if this was given to me I would always take the easiest way out, but by giving a certain part of the control, were the teacher says write a minimum of 4 pages or more on your favourite activity outside of school. You give the student a guild line, but motivate them to write about what they want or is important to them. Another section that I did not know about was the two types of motivation extrinsic and intrinsic. I had never really thought of motivation in either of these types of form before, but when you start to look back at many of the tasks you have performed in life they always fit into one of these to sub-types of motivation.

I can relate to teachers behaviour and feedback directly impacting students goals as mention in the start of chapter 11.  My teacher was old school and put the fear of god in you if you did not study or complete an assignment. Not that this was a good thing, but oddly enough it was my best mark in high school. Both these teachers affect my drive and goals in the classroom.

Another topic in the reading I can relate to is observational learning. When I was playing hockey at a young age, I looked up to a older youth on my team. This boy was a really good skater and I liked the way he skated and my dad always talked about how he skated so nice. . Through watching the boy and using the 4 steps of attention, retention, production and motivation and reinforcement I learned how to skate a different way without knowing that I was using these steps.

Question As a teacher how does one get a student to go from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation? Or should we just be satisfied if the student that does have extrinsic motivation still has good marks and seems to understand what you are teaching?

Dryden Clark

One of the things that was brought to my attention in these readings was how much memory is broken down. I guess I take this just for granted and never really thought about how many different processes the brain has to remember and retain information as well as filter out was is deemed as useless information. Another thing that was brought to my attention was being around students that are being bullied and picked on. Its not that I did not think this happened in school, but forgot about this aspect of being a teacher that you are more than just someone who provides knowledge, but a mentor and someone students can talk to about issues there are having.  The way youth compared to adults or adolescence learn was also brought to my attention. How age limits you in ways of using different strategies to retain information whether it be short or long term memory. Youth having difficulty developing useful and easy strategies to retain information.

I connected with the multiple times in the readings an example is given or exercise on how you use different strategies such as imagery in memory and this to picture what is beside Tim Hortons. This was another that I do not really think about and is a life skill that is undervalued. The other part I connected with was the example of the little girl being picked on by friends in school. This happened very similarly to a girl I went to school with and was kept hidden from most people and it unfortunately lead to her switching schools.

The question I have is more so for myself and how would I react if the story about the girl being picked happened in my classroom. How would I deal with this? Would I notice this is going on? I’d like to believe I would, but ultimately have that fear in the back of your mind that you would slip up and let a student done that you did not doing anything make their schooling and home life improve.

Week 1 Readings

Both of the readings definitely had a lot of material that really make you sit back and think how amazing the human brain is and how sensitive it is to different types of information as well as how the information is given and received. For me it was really eye opening on how much different nurture settings could have such an impact on cognitive learning. Relating to a child brought up at home and receiving normal care and wellness sometimes going above the norm, compared to a child being brought up at an orphanage or in a difficult situation at home not receiving the same care. Another major learning point for me was how much research has been done of the individual different stages of children going all the way up to adulthood. This really gives a teacher the opportunity to look at how to teach based on age and learning ability of the student(s). The mentioning in chapter 2 about how different culture changes brain development was also intriguing. This is something I had previously new about, but had not thought about to the depth that is mentioned from Chinese language and how the brain works different when reading Chinese compared to reading English language and how this can play a role in the classroom.
Adolescence was a big connection for me in these readings. I started to connect things to my life in this stage like not being able to fall asleep early at night as well as having stage fight in early stages of high school and struggling to speak in front of my peers in classroom setting and why this is happening. Another connection I made was in relation to mental health, social and emotional supports are often not available to youth. With working at a youth correctional facility I have seen this first hand and the effects this can play on an individual.
The question that I still have pertains to whether Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories and their ideology on having the students learn how to learn compared to giving students facts or information to learn and testing there knowledge on what they have retained. Which of the two is more affective or is a combination of the two the best route to take?

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