Question 1 (Jan 22, 2008)

An understanding about learning styles requires knowledge of brain functioning. The “whole-brain” approach to teaching is an appropriate one because it enhances intra/inter-neural connectivity in the brain, which has a significant positive outcome on learning. Lessons that incorporate a variety of learning modalities in unison are more stimulating and beneficial for students than the ones that focus exclusively on one or two learning modalities.

Although this is an established fact, teachers are still faced with the challenge of covering contents within a specified time frame (we still teach at schools that are bound by traditional views of teaching and learning). Teachers are constantly running out of time to complete the “syllabus” and in the process, find it difficult to employ the “whole-brain” approach that considers students as individuals with different preferences and styles in learning.

Recommend five concrete ways to enable a teacher to use the “whole-brain” approach to teach his/her subject(s), and at the same time, complete the syllabus assigned to him/her. (5×5 = 25 points)

5 thoughts on “Question 1 (Jan 22, 2008)”

  1. 1Q1
    List 5 concrete ways to use the whole brain approach to teach and complete the syllabus.

    1. TWA- teaching with analogies
    a] introduce the target concept [human eye]
    b] review analog concept [simple camera]]
    c] identify relevant features of target and analog [retina and film]
    d] map similarities [lens]
    e] indicate where analogy breaks down [focusing]
    f] draw conclusions [about lens aberrations]

    2. Dale’s cone of experience
    a] information-text and verbal symbols; pictures and visual symbols, audio recordings and photos
    b] cognitive skills: motion pictures, exhibits, field trips
    c] motor skills and attitudes
    demonstrations [teacher], dramatized experience [skits], contrived experience [simulated],direct

    3. HEQ- highly effective questioning
    a] use intense questioning
    b] qrq-question response question
    c] never ask negative questions
    d] discourage ‘I don’t know’ responses

    4. Co-operative Teaching [pigs]
    a] face to face interaction [oral]
    b] positive interdependence
    c] individual accountability
    d[ social skills
    e] group processing [evaluation]
    jig-saw, teams-games-tournament, think-pair-share, pair of pairs, doughnut,
    numbered heads together

    5. Guided Inquiry Process
    concept exploration, concept elaboration, concept extension, application, evaluation
    open ended activity to explore a new subject, a new concept is formed at the end by the class, data collection of object and the description

  2. Five concrete ways using the “whole-brain” approach which enable the teacher to cover the syllabus:
    1) Bloom’s Taxonomy – in the cognitive domain this involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills. Bloom believed that the first level had to be mastered before the next stage could be tackled. The stages are:
    a) Knowledge – recall of data and information
    b) Comprehension – understanding meaning and stating the problem in your own words
    c) Application – using and applying concepts in new situations in- or outside the classroom
    d) Analysis – being able to distinguish between facts and inferences
    e) Synthesis – putting parts together to form a whole with new meaning or structure
    f) Evaluation – making judgements about the value of ideas or materials
    Knowing where each student is cognitively allows the teacher to differentiate the learning appropriately.

    2) Highly Effective Questioning (HEQ) – this theory involves a very high level of questioning from the teacher whose job is to illicit the most specific, complete and justified responses from students. The questioning has 7 steps that follow on Bloom’s structure, and, at least initially, should be followed in a linear order. The theory being that these are the seven steps to critical thinking. The steps are:
    a) Label, identify, find e.g. What is the key information on the page?
    b) Connect, compare, contrast, infer e.g. What is the relationship between A and B?
    c) Sequence, classify, integrate, pre-summarise e.g. What are the main points of this piece?
    d) Decode, interpret e.g. What is this question asking us, and why?
    e) Encode, answer e.g. What is your answer, and why?
    f) Apply, predict e.g. How could you use this in your own life?
    g) Summarise, conclude e.g. What have we learned today?

    3) Dale’s Cone of Experience – this method is based on the belief that students only remember 10% of what they read compared with 90% of what they do: that the lower the degree of abstraction the better the learning. Therefore learning experiences should be related to and involve the lives of the learners. The best learning occurs through:
    a) Real-world experiences – designing/performing a presentation
    b) Contrived experiences – simulating/modelling a real experience
    c) Hands on workshops – participating in workshops
    d) Demonstrations
    e) Field trips
    f) Exhibits
    Using movies and motion pictures, audios, photos, recordings, pictures and visual symbols, and text come once the learning has been established as they have high levels of abstraction.

    4) KWL charts – this is a strategy that enables the teacher to establish what the students already know which avoids re-teaching and wasting time. It then establishes what the students want to learn, and allows the teacher to adjust the curriculum to their needs in order to ensure that they have a vested interest in the lessons. Finally, it enables the students to identify what they have learned, thereby noting the increase in their knowledge and how successful the delivery of the curriculum was.
    a) K – What I already know
    b) W – What I want to learn
    c) L – What I have learned

    5) Teaching with Analogies (TWA) – this strategy is based in the belief that by linking new learning to prior knowledge through comparison, the brain will learn better. It has 6 operations that the teacher carries out:
    a) Introduce the concept e.g. human eye
    b) Review analogy concept e.g. simple camera
    c) Identify relevant features of target and analog e.g. retina, film
    d) Map similarities e.g. lens
    e) Indicate where analogy breaks down e.g. focusing
    f) Draw conclusions e.g. about lens aberrations

  3. Five concrete ways to enable a teacher to use the “whole-brain” approach to teach subjects and complete the syllabus.

    1.Highly Effective Questioning (HEQ)
    In this HEQ theory, it is believed that by providing the structured approach by using questions, the cognitive and critical thinking skills of students can be developed. In the HEQ, there are 7 steps, and each step is guided by teacher’s effective questioning. During the HEQ lesson, teacher is not the giver of the information. They ask questions to the students to elicit the most specific, complete, and justified response. The steps are asked in a linear order and skipping forward in the step-process is not permitted.
    These are the steps:
    Step1: label, identify, find = What do you see?
    Step2: connect, compare, contrast, infer = What is the relationship?
    Step3: sequence, classify, integrate, pre-summarize = Can you make a brief pre-summary?
    Step4: decode, interpret = What is the question asking, and why?
    Step5: encode, answer = What is the evidence for your selection?
    Step6: apply, predict = How would you apply this?
    Step7: summarize, conclude = What did you learn today?

    2. Inquiry – Based Learning
    Inquiry- Based learning is a form of active learning where progress is assessed by how well students develop experimental and analytical skills rather than how much knowledge they possess. Teachers are viewed as facilitator and their job in an inquiry learning environment is not to provide knowledge, but to help students along the process of discovering knowledge themselves.
    The important points in this theory are:
    (a)The teacher doesn’t communicate knowledge, but is rather there to help students to learn for themselves.
    (b)The topic, problem to be studied, and methods that are used to answer the problems are determined by the student not the teacher.
    (c)Inquiry learning emphasizes constructivist ideas of learning.

    3. K-W-L chart
    This is the strategy that teachers activate students’ prior knowledge by asking them what they already Know; then students (collaborating as a classroom unit or within small groups) set goals specifying what they Want to learn; and after reading students discuss what they have Learned. Students apply higher-order thinking strategies which help them construct meaning from what they read and help them monitor their progress toward their goals.
    K stands for Know = This is the prior knowledge activation question.
    W stands for Will or Want = What do I think I will learn about this topic? What do I want to know about this topic?
    L stands for Learned = What have I learned about this topic?

    4. Cooperative Learning
    Cooperative Learning is the strategy that students work in small groups with students of different levels of ability. They use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a group is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping group member learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement.
    The cooperative learning can;
    (1) Promote students’ learning and academic achievement, and increase their retention.
    (2) Enhance students’ satisfaction with their learning experience and promote their self-esteem.
    (3) Help students develop skills in oral communication.
    (4) Develop students’ social skills

    5 elements of cooperative learning are (Pigs Face) ;
    1. Positive Interdependence (sink or swim together) = Each group member’s efforts are required and indispensable for group success.
    2. Individual & Group Accountability (no hitchhiking, no social loafing)
    3. Group Processing = Group members discuss how well they are achieving their goals and maintaining effective working relationships.
    4. Social skills (Interpersonal & Small Group skills) = Leadership, decision-making, communication, trust-building
    5. Face-Face Interaction (promote each other’s success)= Orally explaining how to solve problems.

    Class activities that can be used in cooperative learning
    1. Jigsaw
    2. Think-Pair- Share
    3. Numbered Heads Together
    4. Teams games tournament
    5. The doughnut

    5. Dale’s Cone of Experience
    In the active learning environment, students can learn more material, retain the information longer, and enjoy the class more. Dale’s Cone shows the effectiveness of learning according to the media involved in learning experience. He mentioned that the least effective method, the top of the cone, involves learning from information presented through verbal symbols and listening to spoken words, and the most effective method, the bottom of the cone, involves direct purposeful learning experiences, such as hands-on or field experiences.
    Dale also indicated in his cone that people remember;
    10% of what they read= text/pictures/visual/ symbols
    20% of what they hear = audio/photos/recordings
    30% of what they see = view and watch image, motion picture
    50 % of what they hear and see = visit exhibits/ sites, watch a demonstration, field trip
    70% of what they say or write = participate in hands-on workshop, design collaborative lessons
    90% of what they say as they do something= simulate, model of experience lessons, design/perform a presentation – do “real” thing.
    If teachers can prepare the students’ learning environment as authentic and close to the real life experience, students can retain the knowledge longer. Also, if the more sensory channels possible in interacting with a resource, the better the chance that many students can learn from it.

  4. Answer to the question 1:
    The five concrete ways to use the whole brain approach to teach and complete the syllabus are:
    1. use the ICT/web to provide the inputs on line to students as early as possible if it is available–put all the lectures, handouts, and other recommended materials on line with clear instruction and rubrics for assignments that are authentic and flexible based on students’ interests;
    2. use verity of instructional practices based on students’ needs such as lecture, reading, audio-visual, demonstration, discussion group, practice by doing, authentic application and so on;
    3. enable, empower, energize and envision students in self-learning (acquiring, applying and developing knowledge) by using high effective questioning based on the needs of students;
    4. use team approach/cooperative teaching–build high levels of trust, moral ethics, confidence and credibility among all the members of the class, and let all the members work toward the goal and objectives of the syllabus/course as a whole by cooperating and helping each other;
    5. use student-centered approach–enhance/maximize the level of students’ motivation toward the course and teaching contents, let students select the topics in the syllabus based on their interests and needs, and let them explore and teach the topics to others in meaningful ways with proper and sufficient guiding/scaffoldings from the teacher.

  5. Cluster information: See where concepts can be grouped into themes, units or general inquiries. Introduce general (umbrella) concepts that you know will cover many facets of the curriculum. From here have exploratory sections that can span into other areas of focus. Make sure to cover the entire syllabus in the clustering. Allow for student inquiry into broad clusters while making sure that benchmarks are attained.

    Collaborate with others to see where the syllabus overlaps. Systematically break the syllabus/curriculum down into parts to see where the focus will lie in your particular course. Look at the most difficult and/or most interesting areas to focus the attention; from here take an adaptive approach which will cater to student’s learning based upon the needs determined through formative assessment and subject overlap. If different teachers are teaching from their subject’s perspective this will enable different learning style approaches to occur naturally while maintaining the goal of covering the material.

    Encourage study groups giving empowerment. Allow for student inquiry: Keep open ended questions and do not give answers. This will inevitably take the learning out of the classroom, empowering the student to do their own learning. They will explore questions that may arise to them and this will enable an approach that suits them best. Also, have classroom routine that logically varies, either during the class or during the unit. The class can then be separated into individual or group work so the students move through different learning centers catering to each learning style and giving a well-rounded approach. This variation, along with the study group approach will keep students eager for more because they know that something new and sometimes a new way of doing things is around every corner.

    Provide Multiple Pathways to get to a standard, while involving Multiple Intelligences:

    words (linguistic intelligence)
    numbers or logic (logical-mathematical intelligence)
    pictures (spatial intelligence)
    music (musical intelligence)
    self-reflection (intrapersonal intelligence)
    a physical experience (bodily-kinesthetic intelligence)
    a social experience (interpersonal intelligence), and/or
    an experience in the natural world. (naturalist intelligence)

    Do not cater to just one intelligence entirely or wholly, but represent these different intelligences to the students through diverse approaches to the same task. The students now have a choice to obtain the objectives of the class. Make sure that students are not always choosing the same way to approach the objective every time. Allow for some way to regulate and control this by posting the multiple intelligences as a board on the front of the room, with the student names down the side. As each student finished a project using that or those intelligences as the primary foci, they put an “X” next to it so they know they have fulfilled this aptitudinal pathway.

    Follow the “Design Process” from the IBO. This process juxtaposes quite well to both “Bloom’s Taxonomy” and the “Guided Inquiry Process” in approach:

    “Investigate -> Plan -> Design -> Create -> Evaluate” DP

    “Knowledge – Comprehension – Application – Analysis – Synthesis – Evaluation” BT

    “Concept Exploration – Evaluation – Extension – Application – Evaluation/Reflection” GIP

    It is a progression of steps through scaffolding and an exploratory approach that allows the students their own understanding, while maintaining proof process. At the same time it asks that a teacher consider also a “Learner Profile” which covers these areas: Inquiring, Being Knowledgeable, Thinking, Communicating, Being Principled and Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Taking, and Being Balanced and Reflective.

    By following this course of action and reflecting also about the profile, the student works in a cohesive manner, applying Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor skills but thinking and working strategically with the process as the central focus.

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