Students' ability to transfer the learning from school to their everyday lives depends a great deal upon context in which the learning takes place. Students need application and reasons for why they care about learning. (Patricia Gonzalez)
Effective classrooms should viewed as a community of learners that are both learner centered, knowledge centered, and assessment centered. The learner centered environment recognizes and builds upon students' prior knowledge and experiences. The knowledge centered environment focuses on providing well thought out instruction that leads the students to higher levels of understanding. The assessment centered environment provides students with continuous ongoing assessment/feedback. Feedback should occur often and does not need to be formal. Feedback is most effective when when students have the chance to use it and revise their thinking. (Amy Murphy)
"The fourth perspective on learning environments involves the degree to which they promote a sense of community. Ideally, students, teachers, and other interested participants share norms that value learning and high standards. Norms such as these increase people’s opportunities to interact, receive feedback, and learn. There are several aspects of community, including the community of the classroom, the school, and the connections between the school and the larger community, including the home." (154) This seems to track well with what we are studying in SED 690, that learning occurs while situated in a community, with certain professional characteristics not found in other communities.
And...why not use these four perspectives when doing Teacher Training and Faculty Development? It was pointed out that most Faculty Developments ignore being Learner Centered (they seldom ask faculty what they need to know) and are not Knowledge Centered (believing that this next, wonderful teaching "technique" can be equally and adequately applied to all disciplinary areas.) (Mark Pichaj) [And, hey, how do I get my wiki contribution bulleted like Amy and Jane?]
Effective teaching involves a combination of knowledge of subject area content and the teaching strategies that will benefit student learning in that subject area. Each subject area has a particular set of teaching methods that best support learning. Teachers need to be aware of the misconceptions students often bring with them about their subject area and how best to deal with these misconceptions. Effective teachers stress understanding not memorization. (Jane Pafundi)
An important point made in this section is that merely having the technology does not guarantee desired learning outcomes. Perhaps offering useful professional development for integrating technology should not only be offered to educators but also to their students. Furthermore, just simply using a computer is not a sufficient integration of technology to benefit student learning. (Arpa)
National Research Council. (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition. Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning with additional material from the Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice, National Research Council (get full text)