ETEC 512

My Personal Learning Theory:

 I began this class as a Nurturer and I am happy to say that I am ending the class as a Nurturer. Nurturing allows students to succeed or fail in a non-threatening environment where expectations are high but generally achievable with effort. However, failure is part of the learning process and students should not be defeated by it.

I have been greatly influenced by Bandura and Vygotsky. I am still exploring how best to teach but Bandura’s model along with Vygotsky’s ZPD will always be the cornerstone of my teaching philosophy. I will simply use more or less of other theories based upon the group dynamics of my classroom.

Clearly this learning theory model by which I define myself and on which I base my own beliefs concerning how children best learn and develop into moral members of society is the Social Cognitive Theory of Albert Bandura. This theory proposes that people are neither driven by inner forces nor automatically shaped and controlled by external forces. The model is composed of three interacting determinants which are behaviour, cognitive and other personal factors and environmental events.  Self-efficacy is a major concept in Bandura’s theory of behaviour and motivation. The theory predicts that people will choose, persist in and expend effort on tasks that they believe they can carry out successfully. It further theorizes that with self-efficacy individuals are provided with the resilience to persist even after many failures. Bandura’s model works well with Vygotsky’s ZPD to guide students to reach their full potential.

I believe that with the theories I employ along with the social and moral operatives that I model, my students can set about the real job of learning evermore increasingly difficult concepts with the honestly held belief that they can achieve success. 

 

 

 

A group project on Constructivism: http://sites.google.com/site/constructivism512/

A very worthy experience. I have had the good fortune to have worked with a number of exceptional people in my group assignments. I thoroughly enjoyed helping to put this presentation together.

 

Is learning online theoretically different, or can it be encompassed under existing theories of learning?

Has the digital age caused us to re-think and re-examine learning theories and do we really need a new learning theory for today’s world? George Siemens (2004) says yes, we do. He suggests that the very foundational principles of learning have been altered by the new technology and our brains are being rewired. I disagree.

An excellent example of an earlier digital age is Australia’s School of the Air-the first of its kind in the world. The School of the air had its official opening in 1951 and continues to this day. It has always used communication technologies in order to deliver education to students. These technologies were originally pedal operated two-way radios. By 1992 satellite television broadcasts had been introduced and subsequently technology took off with e-mail, phones, faxes, personal computers, laptops, internet access and innovative software programs such as REACT and VSAT.

Technology was vital in delivering education but the School of the Air was always a community of learners first. In 2001 it had an Artist in Residence. Kindergarten children work with clay and during one term they worked with a local potter to make tiles.

In any real community of practice, technology is simply a tool for enhancing, supporting and even sometimes making education possible but the community of learners is still what it is all about.

I concur with Kerr (2007) who suggests that most of what we need has already been provided by past theories. Yes, we have greater access to knowledge and we often receive it in a different form but the human connection that Piaget, Bandura and Vygotsky acknowledge in their learning theories continues to work in my classroom, distance education classrooms and in online education. The center is children surrounded by technological aids.

 

 

References

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism:A learning theory for the digital age. Elearnspace.

Kerr, Bill (2007). From his blog Bill Kerr

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