WEEK 7: FITTING THE PIECES TOGETHER
Human beings learn in many different ways whether it be by seeing, hearing, and experiencing things first hand (Gardner 2000, pg. 1). However, for some learners have the ability to excel in one method of learning than the other.
The question as to how one acquires knowledge, as always been a fascinating topic. The learning theories, which basically describe how information is absorbed, processed and retained during the learning process helps to outline guidelines as to how this can be achieved. My perspective on the subject as to which is the ideal method for learning proofs futile. As I am led to conclude that learning occurs in stages, which in my view would require a different approach for each stage. John Dewey adheres to the fact that the education begins shortly after birth and continues to shape throughout one’s life. For example during one of previous panel discussion, I argued that it is possible for a child to start out his/her learning through the introduction of behavioral theory. This is due to the fact that a child level of cognitive skills as yet to mature fully (Ormrod et. al., pg. 37, para. 2, 2009). Yes, like Bill Kerr, I too agree that all _ism has a place in the learning arena (Kerr, 2007). Therefore, my ideology has not changed, if anything, I now have a deeper appreciation and understanding of the role each play.
Howard Gardner claims that all human beings possess not just a single or general intelligence but also a set of relatively autonomous intelligence (Gardner, pg. 4 para. 1). He as also brought to my attention that educators have been confusing his MI intelligence with learning styles (pg. 8 para1). This revelation as led me to investigate the difference between the two.
According to an article written by Barbara Prashing (2005) she explains that:
Learning Styles (LS) can be defined, as the way human beings prefer to concentrate on, store and remember new and/or difficult information.
MI on the other hand is a theoretical framework for defining/ understanding/assessing/developing people’s different intelligence factors. Being able to recognize that these two terminologies are not the same, provide instructors with a better insight as to how to prepare lessons to suit individual learning style. I also recognize the fact that where a learner can have MI, learning styles on the other hand tend to be of a singular. As instructors we have to also factor in the need for greater, careful and consistent planning while trying to keep up constantly changing education trends. As Gardner reminded us, “teachers should fashion teaching and learning so that all students have the chance to learn and to demonstrate what they have learned…” (2000, pg. 32). Instructors also have to appeal to the diversity of our currently evolving learners, since learning environment are also constantly changing.
Within the teaching arena, we are now seeing the implementation of technology being used to enhance learning. One of the many concerns that Gardner raised in his article entitles ‘Can Technology Exploit Our Many Ways of Knowing’, is the fact that instructors are relying to heavily on technology to do their work and forgetting the human factor. He pointed out that they are often simply used to “deliver” the same old “drill and kill” content (Gardner, 2000, pg. 33). I believe technology is there to enhance the learning experience as it appeals to the various styles of learning. It should also mitigate the need for teacher center atmosphere, as it encourages learners to exercise their cognitive abilities.
Technology has given rise to new structure of classroom setting, which is an appeal notion. This week during my research on various educational website, I have been introduce to what is now recognized as Hybrid, flip-flop classroom just to name a few. A classroom that encourages blended learning would be a dream environment for any instructor. However, as technology constantly changes, it’s hard to say whether or not most educational institution will have the luxury or chance to facilitate such development. In third-world countries, most public schools can only dream of such transformation. So while we are living in a globalize economy, we are for the most part have limited access to the “latest and greatest” technology out there.
Bill Kerr. (2007, January 1). _isms as filter, not blinker. Retrieved from http://billkerr2.blogspot.com/2007/01/isms-as-filter-not-blinker.html
Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.
Prashing B. (2005, August) Learning Styles vs. Multiple Intelligences (MI):Two Concepts for Enhancing Learning and Teaching Retrieved from: http://www.creativelearningcentre.com/downloads/LS%20vs%20MI%20TEX9_p8_9.pdf
Gardner, H. (2003, April 21). Multiple intelligences after 20 years. Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. Retrieved from http://www.consorzionettuno.it/materiali/B/697/773/16/Testi/Gardner/Gardner_multiple_intelligent.pdf
Gardner, H., In a Nutshell, Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. Retrieved from http://www.consorzionettuno.it/materiali/B/697/773/16/Testi/Gardner/Gardner_multiple_intelligent.pdf