An introduction to Pedagogical Theory (Class discussion – 20th September 2012)

Introduction :

Our approach to learning / teaching will be shaped by what we believe these things are / should be.

Or put another way – our preconception determines our learning / teaching experience. For example :

  • A teacher who believe’s experience should be ‘passed on’ vs. a teacher who let’s their students learn for themselves.
  • A student who wants to experiment vs. a student who wants to be indoctrinated.

We examined some basic theories & principals.

Richardson (2005) :

Concepts of teaching :

  • Imparting information.
  • Transmitting structured knowledge.
  • Student / teacher interaction.
  • Facilitation of understanding.
  • Bring about a conceptual change in a student.

Concepts of learning :

  • Increase of knowledge.
  • Memorization.
  • Facts.
  • Abstraction of meaning.
  • Process fuelled by personal interests.

Gladwell, Outliers : 

Practice makes perfect (10,000 hours to achieve expertise).

Constructivism :

Learners construct their own learning.

  • Teacher poses questions / problems.
  • The subject is related to larger ideas / concepts.

Constuctive Alignment (John Biggs 2002) :

What the student does = what the teacher does.

Learning outcomes = Learning activities = Assessment & feeedback.

Assessment :

Authentic Assessment = Aligned Assessment = Relevant to the real world.

Teacher prescence throughout activities will enable better aligned assessment.

Students with different starting points means standardised assessment may be more difficult.

Unaligned Assessment – For example marking down for bad grammer when it isn’t in the Learning Outcomes.

Transformative Learning (Jack Mezirou 1991) :

  1. Recognise exsisting limits of understanding.
  2. Reform understanding.

Engagement with conflicting view points / defend foreign positions to challenge & stretch students.

Threshold Concepts :

Transformative (when you cross the threshold).

  • Irreversible.
  • Intergrative (enables connections between different areas).
  • Potentially difficult. (Reassessment through doing something outside of your comfort zone / fresh perspective).

Examples :

  • Santa Clause / cultural issues.
  • Acid test.
  • On sonic art.

Experiential Learning (David Kolb) :

Do > Reflect > Do > Reflect > Do > Reflect >>>>> And so on…

Concrete Experience > Sharing > Processing > Reflecting > Applying > Concrete Experience >>>>> And so on…#

Social Learning Theory :

Learning as a social experience, part of everyday life.

Communities of practice (COP)(Jean Lane / Etienne Wenger)

  • Shared interest.
  • Shared relationship.
  • Shared repetoire.
  • Legitimate peripheral participation (it’s ok to be a beginner / more / less involved in a COP.




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