The learning styles methods class is on the move. The first two days went fairly well, and we have a few more hurdles to cross before completing the requirements for the class.
The course attempts to fulfill one major objective: Equip students (who are teachers, one way or the other) with knowledge and skills that would enable them to become effective “learning-designers” in the classroom. When teachers take the role of an active facilitator of the thinking process, students are empowered to become life-long learners and thinkers.
The foundational theme of the course is that learning takes place best when it encourages thinking (“thinking is the highest form of learning). The brain, which is the organ responsible for the human thinking processes, operates the best when its neurons are stimulated to interconnect with one another (both intra and inter regional neural connectivity) – e.g. connecting emotion with reasoning/problem-solving, connecting motor skills with visual skills, connecting visual with auditory modalities, etc. When the “whole brain” approach to teaching is adopted, assimilated, and practiced, teachers would become “learning-designers” who are aware about How The Brain Learns. Their practice would reflect adherence to the principles of how the brain learns, in natural ways and settings. Bringing these principles into the class and contextualizing them would encourage and engage students in higher order thinking skills.
The following topics were discussed during the first two classes:
1. Traditional teaching and its characteristics
2. Role of psychological eras in determining educational trends at school
3. Introduction to teaching methods that incorporate the principles of How the Brain Learns
4. Rationale for not dealing with each learning style from an “exclusivistic” viewpoint
5. Evidence that learning styles and/or multiples intelligences work in unison, at all time – established through an understanding about how the brain learns – physiological and neurological explanation
6. Dimensions of Learning: Perceptions and Attitudes; Acquiring and Integrating Knowledge; Extending and Refining Knowledge; Using Knowledge Meaningfully; Productive Habits of Mind – DOL encompasses all the necessary interactive components (especially when deliberately applied in lessons) that would be required for “brain-based teaching”
7. Dimension 1
8. Dimension 2: Acquiring Knowledge
- Concept Maps
- The Human Flowchart
- Concept Formation
- Concept Attainment
9. Organizing knowledge (Under dimension 2)
- Graphic organizers
Topics for Next Week:
Dimension 2: Storing Knowledge (Memory Techniques)
Dimension 3: Extending and Refining Knowledge
Highly Effective Questioning (HEQ)
Dimension 4: Using Knowledge Meaningfully (decision-making, debates, problem-solving, investigating, inventing, analyzing)
Dimension 5: Developing Productive Habits of Mind