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Sacred Reading Day 3: Creating Stone Soup

Yilmaz, K. (2011). The cognitive perspective on learning: Its theoretical underpinnings and implications for classroom practices. The Clearing House, 84, 204-212. 

What is Sacred:
This article is an introduction to cognitivism, its connection to constructivism and its departure from behaviorism. It is both a definition paper and a source for classroom examples of the educational theories that they are talking about. The purpose of the paper is to take down the invisible wall between teacher practice and educational theory as a way to create a foundation for real educational change. The author argues that as the teacher practitioner, if one does not understand the theory behind the practice, there can be no real change in practice. It is not enough to know content and strategies. 
 They [teachers] also need to understand what philosophical assumptions
and theoretical perspectives characterize a given instructional framework without succumbing to the notion that teachers first and foremost should be concerned
with day-to-day practical issues and problems in the classroom rather than the theoretical ones that are supposed to concern academics or theorists.
Connections to current/future work:
When I think of my own educational theory that is the basis for how I plan my lessons and units, I am more constructivist than anything else. My goals throughout my career have been fairly set in stone:

  • know the students first (their needs, their skills and talents)
  • do not use a textbook as it makes me lazy and unresponsive to bullet 1
  • get to the point where the students own their own learning and I step aside
In order to accomplish these goals, especially without a textbook, I need to constantly read with my students in mind in order to find them resources that (using Vygotsky's ZPD - zone of proximal development) are at their instructional level. Now that I spent one year at UHWO, I am a little better at figuring out who the students are, so I continue to try and gather materials, not in hopes that I get it right, but really purposefully looking at getting it right.

This article is what I consider a stone soup article. It could hold nothing of value on its own (just rocks and water), but depending on how I break it apart and put the onus of learning on the students, it could hold everything necessary to have a dynamic, engaging, students teaching students session on learning theories.

Future (like before next August) - re-read it once I have a better idea of how many students I have - decide where I want to jigsaw, how I want students to present and what the other possibilities are for my stone soup article.

Note to self: Housed in Evernote, EDEF 201 folder


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