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?

3 thoughts on “Week 1 Readings

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  1. In reply to your question… In my opinion a combination of the two would work as a most efficient route. I say this as I think back to elementary school and learning the multiplication table. It seems to me, that we learned the process in which you obtain your answer; so we learnt how to learn. Yet, after that initial learning took place, then it was just simply memorization from there on out. Playing games like “around the world” where you would stand up at your desk beside the “traveler”, the teacher would then give you a multiplication question and whoever could say the answer correctly the fastest got to move on. The student who could go around the whole class without getting any questions wrong won the game. There is no way that I, or the students that were doing well and winning were solving the question our heads, it was pure memorization. Do I think the memorization itself has benefitted me in my math career? I sure do. Do I also think that learning the process of solving problems and coming up with solutions is crucial? Of course. I really they compliment each other and go hand-in-hand.


  2. Hey thanks for your insightful post! I can see that you also paid close attention to adolescents needing to sleep in more and also the problem with being afraid to talk in front of the class. I too have struggled with this and still do today although I believe it’s getting better. Do you think that as teachers we should require our students to give presentations so that they become familiar with talking in front of an audience or should we just give them the option? The readings this week said there should be a equal balance of challenge and support; too much challenge can cause anxiety which can lead to unsuccessful learning. Could talking in front of a class create such anxiety that the students will not learn properly from the activity? Is there a different way the teacher could exercise presenting skills but in a more comfortable way?



  3. Thanks for the post! You mentioned the fact that you are or were involved in a youth correctional center; I look forward to hopefully hearing more about your experience in our future meetings.
    I wanted to take a brief shot at your question.
    There is a strong argument to be made on the importance of teaching our students how to learn and continue to learn, rather than just feeding them information that they would be able to find themselves if given the tools and the need. I believe that if certain knowledge is of value to certain individuals, they will be interested in acquiring it. We must attempt to give students the tools that will help them succeed in accumulating ideas, as well as an underlying want to gain knowledge.

    -Steen Hoffman


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