How do we know if a person has successfully learned?

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People are unceasing in their quest for knowledge. But how sure are we that they have reached the spire of erudition and have acquired depth and not merely superficial learning. Some people would argue that learning is objective in nature and others are stringent in their definitions who would only rely to grades and final reports. Does it follow a cyclical or a linear process?

It is only necessary to understand that people learn differently. With all the myriads of technological innovations and educational reforms in teaching methodology – one has to say that the process of getting to it is more arduous than the end itself. This I believe, that to delineate someone in one approach is impossible. Someone’s learning style is different from the other. Thus, learning is not all-exclusive to one approach tailored for all, the opposite is likely to be true that it is all- inclusive. Preferences in learning either inductive and deductive ways should also have to be considered. This is in consonance to the notion that people are diverse. It is likely that a problem based style is preferred to a subject based style. With all this diversity, we find unity in learning.

Learning for learning sake is futile. People learn to impact yourself and others. For one to do so, change must occur within you and the others. Behaviorists would solely rely on overt outcomes but Im more inclined to a balanced view. This is not to totally disparage behavioral theory but to see it working with other point. A balanced view that change can happen overtly and covertly, related to what you are currently learning.

The argument is not only limited to styles and outcomes, but also in how learning is acquired. Whether something is learned through a natural acquiring process regardless of maturation and time or learned something through deliberate understanding of a concept and in a structured and taught environment doesn’t matter.Both routes can have a significant impact to the learner.

Learning never follows a linear approach. I believe that it always undergo a cycle. This is to say that your knowledge to a one concept has no finality. This could be repelled by another scientific result in the future. It always has to be amended if science and research dictates.

To answer the question – How do we know if a person has successfully learned? , entails considering the person’s preferences and styles in learning, the outcome ( covert or overt evidences ) he is exhibiting and how he acquired learning ( learned or unlearned ). When all these factors are considered, we can then evaluate if one person truly learned or not.

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EDS 111 Final Journal Entry

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One of the greatest contributions of studying the principles of teaching is for me to mete out educational constructs that are merely crafted out from personal assumptions. These assumptions are devoid of empirical evidence and deep application of thought processes. Through evidences,I can finally merge practical experience with theories. Further, decisions are not merely decided from opinions but evidences taken from colleagues’ experiences, scholarship works, critical reflections and educational policies.

It is only necessary that I have to study the concepts of the course to question my assumptions with theories and find relevance in connecting present situations with overarching and broader knowledge of education.In applying the principles and concepts, it is only necessary that I have to apply the knowledge to enforce deeper understanding and embody the skills of the 21st century instructor. Another result of studying the concepts led me to develop critical thinking. The world needs teachers who can critically think in every situation and act accordingly in moral and social situations.

In preparing to become the 21st century teacher, I have to craft proposals that are in line with the principles of teaching in my personal and educational context. After all, what is theory without application. Thus, it is only necessary for me to see the relevance of what I have studied to practical application in my context.

My professional goals include deep awareness of critical reflection in influencing sound academic judgement. Second, integration of technological knowledge to create a digital classroom. Third, appreciation and appropriation of non-conventional and effective teaching techniques. Fourth, actively invest on professional growth and finally, awareness to the importance of creativity, differentiated teaching and scholarship of teaching and learning. All of these goals are only attainable with my will to succeed and actively seek for professional growth regardless I am supported or not in my cause.

Changes include conducting training on critical reflection and implementation of teacher’s log or journal. Second, appropriate teaching responsibilities and administrative functions. Third, provision of timely, organized, relevant CPD programs that emphasize on collegial strength, project/problem based programs with pedagogical significance. Fourth, exposure of teachers to trainings and seminar with emphasis on the seriousness of socio-emotional impact to teaching and learning. Lastly, provision of seminars with emphasis on creative teaching and recent studies about differentiated teaching and trainings on how to conduct action research.

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Final Entry

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Formulating my personal questions in the final exam was difficult.To fully grasp the idea of creating your own questions and later answer them entails deep understanding of the concepts in the modules. The activity is geared to test high-order thinking skills by synthesizing the concepts and evaluate.

The final requirement is not only to test how well you answer the questions but also how well you are succinct in conveying important concepts of your answers.  Although, some students might see the test easy but being deliberate to provide a deep answer without detailing much makes you  concise and entails being purposive in your answers and for me, that calls deep thinking.

I find the final requirement quite challenging but I consider this as an avenue to express my point of view about certain themes that demand attention. Theme such as false assumptions and formulated educational constructs that lack empirical evidence not only necessitates a second look but also must be scrutinized in a deeper and meaningful level.

For my personal suggestion, I found writing an essay good but I want more other enriching activities that not only requires me to write. What I’m trying to emphasize is that I prefer other modes of exemplifying my learning in  a way that doesn’t demand me to use a pen and a paper. Perhaps, I prefer a more practical approach in application and something that will force me to use the concepts in a more valuable output that can later be used in the real world scenario.

Overall, the lessons were really great. I love studying the concepts especially behavioral approaches, constructivist and cognitive theories. I can feel that I’m much more ready to deal with students having a mind of a psychologist. Equipped with knowledge and understanding, I can best define learning and teaching better. Further, my definition and perception of teaching and learning is now more grounded with theoretical principles and I can make a more informed decision today in the teaching and learning framework.

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Two Unique Hats

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Teachers are unique beings.They don different hats in different situations.Teachers can be a facilitator, manager, creative art teacher, scholar and a director. Many of these functions are just as important as his main role as a teacher.

One of the most valuable hats of teachers is the ability to engage with students coming from different backgrounds and beliefs. Not only it is necessary but donning so, will prevent teachers facing serious complaints. In order to best understand diversity in learning. Let me enumerate some ways how to deal with students coming from various backgrounds. First, one should not be afraid to diversify his teaching techniques. Students are different. One size cannot fit all. It has to be different catering different forms of intelligence. Tapping different levels of knowledge, ranging from low order to high order thinking skills.Second, culturally sensitive topics are highly avoided. It can be about religion or any forms. Some culture friendly topics can be used to present thematic presentation inside the classroom. Third, invest time for growth and socio-emotional learning.Students are sometimes sensitive and fragile. Establishing good rapport is vital and being genuine is necessary and appreciated.Fourth, a teacher should reflect in his capacity to handle students diversity .One must be able to ruminate of becoming someone who can make a good impression both to his students and his community.

Another hat is the creativity hat. A teacher must believe that he is creative. He should be fearless and he should not be afraid to define what is essential in the classroom to be creative.He should think both in and out of the box. Second, being creative doesn’t mean being aimless. It has to have a pedagogical aim. Third, provide avenues for students’ creativity. Different forms of activities can be done. Giving each student an opportunity to best exemplify. their creativity inside the classroom. Fourth, rewarding them is also important. Provide bigger thresholds for mistakes. Finally, incorporate collaboration using resources that are familiar to them and culturally sensitive.

Some teachers are unappreciated. Some are underpaid. If only people can see the gravity of a teacher’s uniqueness in his profession.One has to ultimately ponder why many of them are still working so hard even if they are unappreciated.

How would you characterize your epistemological beliefs? How have these beliefs been facilitating or inhibiting to the ways you learn?

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My understanding of epistemology brought me to shed light in my view of my personal quest for learning. I believe that this view is not necessarily correct and apparently, it needs revision or accommodation of theoretical bodies of knowledge where empirical evidences are evident.

In terms of learning, both inherited ability and outside factors interplay to assist me in fully understanding complex concepts of knowledge. That means, my physiological abilities including my mental faculty in synthesizing and evaluating concepts with extraneous techniques like mnemonics and patterns work and help each other to maximize learning. For me, an individual has to develop his techniques in studying and nourish his brain in order to effectively learn something. In addition, one has to be motivated. Either he can be extrinsically and intrinsically motivated, one has just to have passion to finish the task at hand.

When it comes to how fast an individual learn, I think it varies from one person to another. But, how fast one learn can be a determining factor of success. Thus, for my point of view, the best way is actually to learn fast. That is, encompassing the depth and breadth of knowledge in a short time. It is notable to observe that learning should take place without losing much information regardless of how fast you learn. In a nutshell, for success sake, its best to learn fast and retention of information is preserved.

I think its best to retrieve information when your ideas are well organized. I view knowledge are arranged in an organized networks where different categories are labelled. Retrieval of the information is easier and any isolated information should be stored in a specialized category until new information arrived to accommodate it. When your knowledge is organized, you can accept new information and compare with your existing schemas. You can either accommodate or update that information based upon the scientific judgement you made.

There are knowledge that are discovered and unchanging. But some knowledge always goes through evolution. That is to say, one has always to be vigilant in updating his stored conceptual frameworks.Even language itself, undergoes change. Several years from now, new developed words are created and the words that we used to use today would face annihilation and extinction in the future.Thus, knowledge has to be updated.

To learn best, one has to consider both his inherent ability to learn and the extraneous factors that assist his learning. Second, to keep at pace with the demands of the world. An individual has to always be fast to learn without so much information leaking.Third, organize knowledge systematically. This is best for easy retrieval of information. Finally, knowledge has to always be updated. Even, some discoveries are considered factual. There are still some things that unknown to men. They can either update their current knowledge with the new ones. For my view, this is how my epistemological beliefs govern my way of learning and teaching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recall a few instances when you were rewarded for good deeds and punished for wrongdoings. Did you feel encouraged to repeat the behaviors that were rewarded and avoid those that were punished?

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I can probably say that I felt deeply encouraged when my good deeds are appreciated and welcomed. There are times that I can still remember that I was doing an intense job in my work. I truly felt that the job was too much for me as a teacher.But the heaviness of feeling was relieved through simple gesture of appreciation.

I can say that I was motivated to do my job better. And the positive reinforcement that I received had just increased my motivation to work responsibly in one area to the next. On the other hand, being punished had also made a deep impact in my motivation. I learned that doing something could be detrimental in my profession so avoiding to do wrong actions in the office taught me to discipline myself.

In my view point,  although there are points raised by other domains of learning that behavioral theory is not perfect and only enhances extrinsic motivation.I cannot deny the fact that most of my childhood experiences only mirrors this concept of learning. It was notable to reminisce past experiences when I was young that even my parents bribe to give me prizes if Im going to do something good. Even in my professional work, I felt that some HRs are using this method to increase the work efficiency of employees in the workplace.

Understanding that there are different concepts in behavioral theory like positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment and negative punishment gave me more opportunities to control classroom atmosphere and modify behaviors. The importance of behavioral theory in dealing with difficult students help me to make the teaching-learning framework easier.

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Understanding Schema

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The word ” Schema” was only first introduced to me during my study here in UPOU. Its relatively new in my vocabulary but understanding it improves my view about cognition.

How children create their own schema is necessary in understanding the importance of reinforcing knowledge that has been brought up by their own personal experience and previous studies. The activation of prior knowledge through thematic presentation of your lesson can aid you in becoming a better teacher and improving the learning process. In addition, I have learned that lessons can be a lot meaningful and engaging to the students.

But how can we activate prior knowledge? For my personal belief and experience, we can best do so through giving pre-questions in the class. A simple open ended question can provide you an informal assessment of what is actually happening inside their minds. Through their answers, I can assess the success rate of students who can be able to finish successfully the current course. Another point is providing a simple problem. Students can discuss the problem and collaborate with their peers. As they exchange their ideas and provide a final output. Through these, schemas are not only reinforced but also challenged. They can accommodate, assimilate or update their schema about certain educational concepts. The vital role of collaboration can not only question your standing as a learner but also improve your deep thoughts about some of your assumptions that might have caused by your prejudice.

Students’ schema are always changing. They are in constant improvisation to become better students. Their current knowledge about certain concepts might be caused by their limited schema and their reactions toward some issues can be affected because of this. Providing students a lot of avenues to question, improve and update their current understanding will lead them in becoming better students.

The challenge is for teachers to always be creative. Allowing our students more time to ruminate about new concepts that are foreign to them. Providing them group work activity that let them interact with their peers and collaborate in improving the learning process. Not only that, introduction of questions that are deep and engaging will let them seize the opportunity to become better students.

The concept of Schema provided a better understanding in how students think and process new knowledge. With this concept, it allows me to fully understand my responsibility as a teacher in dealing students’ schema.

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Continuing Professional Development

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Having just a professional license card is not enough to prove your mettle in the real word classroom scenario. The ever constant change of situations in the teaching-learning environment only warrants a teacher to always be creative and unceasing in one’s quest for development. But, what makes a good continuing professional development?

The quest for CPD begins from a desire. Teachers must understand the value of humility for one’s need to always get better everyday. He has to learn that learning can also take place with someone aiding you to make you become the best you can be.In addition, the cost of learning is high. You have to pay the price for it. Continuous learning must also be in constant inquiry. The inquiry can be done through your personal reflections where you raise concerns about your personal assumptions. Are these practices good or are they seemingly good? Questions like this must never cease to yield answers that are source of your personal growth and professional knowledge enrichment. Lifelong learners should be the thrust of both the teachers and the educational institutions alike.

Continuing Professional Development should be collaborative. There must be a collegial strength among teachers. Second, it should be democratic. and transformative. Learning should never be like just listening and writing from one expert. It should be engaging and most of all, it produces wonderful outputs.Moreover, contemporary approaches should be applied and empower teachers to become effective teachers in the 21st century.

Continuing Professional development must also incorporate and understand the value of professional learning communities. Professional Learning Communities can be a great resource for continuous inquiry and improvement.As it also evolves the school and be transformed. Leaders of educational institutions must also support continuing professional development  and foster it. Having shared values and vision, we can best institute PLCs including its reforms. For PLCs to flourish, supportive conditions should be provided.

CPDs must not only be limited to our traditional practices, instead we can adapt a more collaborative, teacher-focused, timely, relevant, democratic, revitalizing, re-imagining and transformative professional practices.

The transformation of ourselves including our teaching methods and seeing the results of our students are most encouraging. These results empower teachers to become more effective in their endeavour an encourage educational leaders to advocate best practices of CPD in the community to produce greater impact in the society.

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