Thursday, March 14, 2013

Social Cognitive Theory

Chapter 10
Which of the learning activities/skills can you think of that lend themselves to learning through modeling?
I think that there are a handful of skills that lend themselves to learning through modeling. I think that students definitely learn good problem solving skills and critical thinking habits through modeling. A teacher/parent/other student might demonstrate their thinking out loud or visually show their steps they worked through to come to the answer or conclusion that they did. For instance, in reading, a teacher is intentional about saying what they think in an interactive read aloud so the students know how to think more critically about a book. This is very important for comprehension, as well. The students may need to think about: well why did this character act the way she did? What made her do that? What would you do in that situation? These also lend themselves to making predictions and inferences. Communication and collaboration are also skills that can be developed through modeling. A student might learn a particular method of communication at his home, which may not always be acceptable in a school or professional setting. A teacher or other figure might model a more acceptable or "proper" way of communicating with good grammar, tone, manners, etc. For example, instead of a student getting mad at another student for making a particular comment, this student could verbalize his frustration in a more effective way in order to convey his/her emotions rather than pitching a fit. 
How might self-efficacy and self-regulation contribute to the intervention plans you use in your case study?
For my intervention plans, I would have taken Lisa aside and spoken with her privately, as well as possibly changing out the group members she was working with. There is a possibility that part of her frustration could stem from her not getting the job she wanted because she thinks she cannot do the other jobs. If this were the case, I would either let her select the job she wanted, first, to build her self-efficacy and slowly have her try other jobs once her self-efficacy was there, or I would give her verbal feedback everyday to support and encourage her with a potential reward afterwards. For example, if she took the job given to her one day and completed the job well and without fuss, she could select which job she wanted the next time. As for self-regulation, this plays a large role in Lisa's behavior. I believe that if you could increase self-regulation, then her behavior as a whole would improve because she would have more control over her actions after certain events. If she didn't get the job she wanted, she would have to self-regulate (maybe sit for one minute in a chill-out area) and come back ready to tackle the task of another job instead. For her interrupting, she would also have to self-regulate and make it more of a habit to wait until someone is finished talking before she barges into the conversation. 
The teacher I am placed with currently told us that she will not baby them when it comes to assignments and behavior. If they miss an assignment because they were playing around instead of doing their work, sorry, they'd have to take a zero. Or if a student was messing around with a shoe during a carpet time, sorry, no shoe for you. I think that this can add to students' self-regulatory skills because many times, they do not want to repeat the "punishment" they were given, which will develop their regulation strategies for the future. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Chapter 9
How would you define successful mastery of your lesson objectives from a behavioral view of learning?
I think I would define successful mastery of lesson objectives from a behavioral view of learning by observing how the student responded to certain stimuli. One of the main assumptions of behaviorism is that "learning involves forming associations among stimuli and responses," as well as, "learning involves a behavior change" (Ormrod). I believe that if you used a classroom management system to frequently monitor students' understanding (i.e. fist five), you could continue to utilize this to see how they behaved regarding certain topics. If all of the students immediately held up all five fingers signaling full understanding, you could assume that they had mastered that topic. If the students were hesitant to put up their hands or only used 1 or 2 fingers, you could assume that they had not quite mastered the topic. This is just a behavior you can utilize during a lesson. Then, obviously, you could measure their mastery on whether or not they could accurately answer a question about it - even if they THINK they've mastered it doesn't necessarily mean they have. They should be able to produce their knowledge and SHOW you that they've learned the material, as well. 

Consider your CSEL intervention case study.  Are there tools from a behaviorist view for either encouraging productive behaviors or discouraging undesirable behaviors that you could apply to the case?  What are they?

Elementary Education Case Study
You engage your third grade students in cooperative learning activities at least twice a day, changing heterogeneous group members once every four weeks. You have agreed upon routine procedures that your classroom community uses within their small groups, including the roles and responsibilities of group members. Lately you have noticed that one small group always seems to have difficulty grasping material and completing their project in an acceptable manner.  You observe this group carefully and find that Lisa seems to be the catalyst for their problems.  She gets angry with others if she does not get the job she wants and refuses to do her part in contributing to the group’s learning.  She constantly interrupts others in her group.  She does not pay attention when her group prepares for class presentations. 

Yes. The tools from a behaviorist view for encouraging productive behaviors are to give immediate praise for a good behavior, let the students know of something enjoyable they might receive if good behavior continues, use rewards like stickers (especially that are a subject of interest to the student - cars, etc.), have students complete certain procedures based on behavior (i.e. who gets to line up first), and make class jobs only available to students who have shown good behavior (Ormrod). The tools for discouraging undesirable behaviors are scolding, losing privileges  doing a behavior over again until they do it correctly, time-out, and ISS, etc.  

I think it is also important to take into consideration practices like cueing because if you can get to the root of this issue Lisa is having, you may be able to develop cues between teacher and student to change behavior. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cognitive Processes

Chapter 8

Consider a lesson plan you might use. Which metacognitive skills/abilities are involved as students gain facility/knowledge in this domain?

In teaching about emotions and feelings, you could start out by reading a children's book, in which the characters are going through a struggle with emotions (maybe a scenario of bullying, etc.). You could ask questions for metacognition such as, "What would you have done in that situation? Do you think that what he/she did was the right thing to do? Why/Why not? I wonder if his/her feelings were hurt, what do you think? Why do you think the bully was acting that way?" etc.  You could then have them break off and complete a short writing assignment to reflect on whether they had ever had their feelings hurt by somebody, or something along those lines. During this activity, the students would be talking about thinking processes, and you would be providing opportunities for students to experiment with their memories. These are important because the age-typical characteristics for K-2, according to the book, are:

  • Awareness of thought in oneself and others, but limited ability to reflect on the specific nature of one's own thought processes
  • Considerable overestimation of what has been learned and how much can be remembered in the future
  • Belief that learning is a relatively passive activity
  • Belief that the absolute truth about any topic is "out there" somewhere, waiting to be discovered
(Excerpt from Educational Psychology: Developing Learners 7th edition by Jeanne Ellis Ormrod)

Think of an activity or lesson component that explicitly teaches one or more metacognitive and one or more problem solving skills. 

The two skills that I have in mind are note-taking (metacognitive) and heuristics (problem-solving). For example, if I presented them with information about the Boston Tea Party, they would take notes to remember certain material. For successful notes, they would have to think about what was most important to write down. Then, with the information I had given them, they could break off into small groups or pairs and use their notes to address the situation surrounding the Boston Tea Party in their own way. Would they have acted similarly to the colonists? Would they have poured all the tea into the harbor? Why or why not? If they thought they would have acted differently, what would they have done in the colonists' shoes? Explain. After they had some time to reflect on this and jot down their own ideas, we would regroup as a whole class and discuss everyone's ideas to get an idea of what the students had come up with.