Learning & Classroom Management

by

Jason Bates

Final Paper Submission

Lesson 1 Question1                   Lesson 2 Question 1                  Lesson 2 Question 2

Lesson 3 Question 1                  Lesson 3 Question 2                  Lesson 4 Question 1

Lesson 4 Question 4                 Lesson 8 Question 2                 Lesson 9 Question 3

Lesson 14 Question 3                Lesson 13 Question 1                     Lesson 13 Question 

        Lesson 14 Question 6             Lesson 9 Question 2                      Lesson11 Question  4  

Lesson 12 Question 1     

 

 

Lesson 1 q1 On contracts

Many teachers at all levels use "contracts," wherein individual students agree to behave in certain ways or complete specified work. Have you seen contracts used in this way? What does the literature/theories suggest about their strengths? What are their shortcomings? What do you think?

 

 

My analysis shows that being only a second year teacher as fellow classmate Josh Norman at the Middle School level, I too have much to learn and have received advice and suggestions from many people. Upon reading his submission regarding behavior contracts, I noticed that one of his first comments mentioned how a colleague offered him the advice to, “not smile until Christmas.” I hope Josh agrees with the educators who feel this statement is ‘out of date.’ I think it is easy to get confused with associating behavior with discipline. It is apparent that this associate was explaining to Josh that by demonstrating a stern, fierce demeanor to a class from the onset, you will gain their respect (through fear) and therefore complete classroom control. I hope that Josh did not adhere to this advice. I try to smile, laugh, and have fun as much as possible. It is important to establish a relationship with these Middle School aged students. Teaching the skills that enable these ‘children’ to become lifelong-learners should be the key. We see these students for seven hours a day. Most likely far more than the time they spend with their own parents. Our daily interaction is precious.

I have yet to witness any form of behavior contract established in the classroom, however, our technology department has established a policy that is quite similar. Because we are a highly affluent, and technologically advanced school (all students in grades 7 – 10 have their own laptop), the technology department with consultation from the faculty, established an Acceptable Use Policy for the computers. This policy established specific guidelines which must be followed in regards to certain content that can be viewed, as well as software that ca be installed, and appropriate images and graphics. All students and parents must sign this contract prior to being issued a network password. A set of consequences is also maintained in which a student may lose email or network privileges for a determined period of time.

Pertaining to the classroom, however, to my knowledge a behavior contract has not been utilized. All students are required to sign an honor pledge when any form of written work is submitted, and we of course have a student handbook that must be strictly followed.

Upon my reading of contracts, I feel that they are a fantastic concept. Not only are they a useful tool for teachers and students, but also I think they are more important for parents. Much too frequently parents attempt to intercede in student/teacher relations and offer excuses for a child’s behavior, tardiness, or lack of homework. With a well-established behavior contract signed by both student and parent, many unwarranted conferences could be avoided.

We mostly speak of this behavior contract being used in the primary and sometimes secondary school levels, however there are also instances where this philosophy is being used in our nation’s universities. State Representative Alan Sanborn, a Republican from Michigan, proposes that college students be required to sign "responsibility contracts" spelling out how they must behave as a condition of enrolling in the state's public colleges and universities. Sanborn’s idea came from his long career as a probation officer in the state correction facility. Much too frequently he has witnessed the effects that alcohol can have on college students. After several riot instances on MSU’s campus and several other instances that took place at other nation-wide colleges. "It can send the right message that they are here for higher academic performance," Sanborn said. And if they choose instead to drink or riot? "If you're convicted, you're gone." Prospective students could make an informed "decision on whether they want to go" to school in Michigan. "MSU has a waiting list and would have no trouble filling its seats," he added.

          As fellow classmate Brian Engle noted in his paper I too take firm belief in Skinner’s notion that, “while contracts may be fun to use, they must be treated as serious commitments, the terms of which must be compiled with by all who have signed.” All responsibility however cannot be placed directly on the student on his signing of this contract. The teacher plays an extremely vital role in determining the success of this concept. “Since learning is a form of behavior modification, the teacher's responsibility is to construct an environment in which the correct behavior of the student is reinforced.” (Driscoll, 1994)

          I was also glancing over what CTER student Leonard Fretzin stated to be a good example of a behavior contract (http://www.maisd.com/cms/stanton/contractform.html), and I am not sure if I agree. Having to establish individual primary and secondary goals for each student may too time consuming at the onset of the school year. This contract, in my opinion, may be better utilized later in the year when a specific student is encountering some difficulties. Establishing a specific goal the student needs to accomplish to remain a member of the group may be very effective, especially if the consequences are personal and damaging.

 

References sited and used:

 

Driscoll, Marcy P. (1994). Psychology of Learning for Instruction. Allyn and Bacon

 

Student `contract' proposed in Mich. Legislator focuses on college behavior. John Hall, Boston Globe; Boston, Mass.; Apr 25, 1999.

 

Charles, C. M., (1998). Building Classroom Discipline. Longman, White Plains, N.Y.

 

http://www.maisd.com/cms/stanton/contractform.html

 

CTER students cited: Brian Engle, Josh Norman, Leonard Fretzin

 

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Lesson 2 q1 Canter too controlling?

Many people, when first learning about the Canter model, have the reaction that it is overly controlling of student behavior. Do you think so? Make a convincing argument to defend your position.

 

In the past, Assertive Discipline was criticized for focusing too much on unwanted behavior and possible being too harsh. Recently, however, Assertive Discipline is being criticized for its’ extensive use of praise and rewards. Their central point is, “Students must be taught in an atmosphere of respect, trust, and support, and how to behave responsibly.” (Charles 101)

My analysis shows that the Canter model of student discipline is more ‘assertive’ than it is controlling. As Canter specifically states, “Hostile teachers typically use an aversive approach characterized by shouting, threats and sarcasm. Both styles should be eliminated.” Canter also finds that “the assertive teacher is more effective than the nonassertive or the hostile teacher. The assertive teacher is able to maintain a positive, caring, and productive climate in the classroom. A climate of care and support produces the climate for learning.” In my opinion and also those of several colleagues there is a difference between maintaining a healthy classroom environment and one that is manipulative and controlling. Also, Canter states that “firm control is liberating,” I do not think that control in this respect should be associated with a negative connotation.

He also explains the need to keep parents involved in the entire classroom discipline process. He says an ongoing communication process should take place. Some steps mentioned are the following, “Call your students' parents after you've written to express your interest in building a relationship, it's time to follow up with a phone call. By being proactive and communicating with parents, you help all of your students start with a clean slate-and give them an opportunity to learn and succeed. Be sure to make your phone call positive. Ask about the child's previous experience in school-both positive and negative. Request suggestions on how to make the coming year successful. Reinforce the importance of parent support. Express your confidence in the child's potential. Communicate your expectations. Emphasize the value of homework in teaching students to work independently, assume responsibility, and learn time-management skills. Use the thank-you cards to recognize parent involvement and positive student behavior or achievement.” (Canter 1997)

A major criticism of Assertive Discipline is that is focused too much on restraining poor behavior rather than encouraging students to maintain intended behaviors. Canter indeed states that proper discipline should not consist of physical or psychological harm.  However, proper control must be maintained to ensure an environment conducive to learning. Yes, being assertive does require a certain degree of control, but not that of a ‘harsh taskmaster.’ With over 50% of classroom time being delegated to behavior management, a specific behavior plan must be followed. Being assertive is now a move towards good discipline, where a bond of trust is developed between the student and the teacher. Once this is established, a proper plan of behavior can be presented that will assist in providing a well-balanced classroom structure.

The best part of assertive Discipline is that involves teaching the student proper behavior. This is especially important in the Middle School. Although I am the 7th grade Earth Science teacher, I often explain to my parents that I truly believe my role to include teaching their children proper discipline, respect, and responsibility. Teachers who adhere to assertive discipline assist in teaching their students lifelong learning skills.

http://courseinfo.cet.uiuc.edu/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_1214_1&frame=top

 

Charles, C. M., (1998). Building Classroom Discipline. Longman, White Plains, N.Y. p. 83 – 101.

 

Act now! Limited-time offer!
Learning; Palo Alto; Aug 1997; Volume 26, p. 14.

 

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Lesson 2 Required q2 Response to Evertson

*Given below is an email correspondence between me and Prof. Carolyn Evertson at Vanderbilt University. She and some colleagues have authored a very nice book on classroom management. I sometimes use that book when I teach Edpsy 316 on campus.

What is your reaction to my inquiry about the exclusion of assertive discipline from her textbook?

 

          I admire both yourself and the students for being ‘assertive’ enough (no pun intended) to question the author of the text. To be quite honest, I believe her answer is quite ridiculous. I have only been performing research on Canter’s Assertive Discipline for a short time and can conclude that his philosophy should have been included in the text. Ms. Evertson should realize that almost all theories have opponents and doubters. To me, that is not a viable reason to omit Assertive Discipline. In regards to being considered psychological maltreatment in 1988, I think every form of classroom discipline at that time could have been classified as maltreatment. I attended a catholic elementary and secondary school where physical punishment was the norm. Being ‘whacked’ with a yardstick across the hands for speaking out of turn was not considered abnormal. Having Brother Ken grab you by the collar and drag you into his office was common lunchroom conversation. I wonder if Ms. Evertson has ever been employed as a Middle School teacher? She seems hesitant on placing the “ burden of compliance on students.” Besides the student, who else is there, parent? OURSELVES??

          If she would thoroughly review the steps of Assertive Discipline, she and her doubting colleagues would see that it involves some very positive traits. One is that all students “have a right to a warm, supportive classroom environment in which to learn, where teachers do all in their power to help students be successful. (Charles 85) Teachers should also “be mindful of students’ needs for warmth and encouragement.” (Charles 86)

          The canters believe in developing a basis of trust and respect. Teachers should listen carefully, speak respectfully, and treat all fairly. Sending positive notes home, learning about each students’ personal lives, and chatting them out of class, are also important aspects of Assertive Discipline. They say that positive recognition encourages positive behavior and improves the overall classroom environment. The effective praise should be personal, genuine, and specific to be effective.

          Granted, I have only been a teacher for 18 months and only been a student of educational philosophy for 4 years, however I entrust that Assertive Discipline will remain of my classroom management plan for coming years. It has proven to be successful and appropriate for the majority of classroom teachers. If it is the most widely used classroom discipline plan, I do not see how Ms. Evertson could leave it out of her text, no matter what her personal beliefs may be.

 

References:

 

Charles, C. M., (1998). Building Classroom Discipline. Longman, White Plains, N.Y. p. 83 – 101.

 

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*What are some ways that you use punishment to control the actions of students? Are those ways effective? Are there other alternatives?

 

Most approaches for dealing with student disruptions involve the use of various forms of punishment such as removals from the classroom, restitution activities, in school and out-of-school suspensions, and expulsions. Although some of these approaches may make schools safer by removing the offending students, they have little effect on encouraging students to perform socially appropriate behaviors. In fact, they may even cause a greater degree of misbehavior. ( http://alcorenv.com/~ptave/joshua.htm)

My analysis shows that clarification needs to be established demonstrating a difference between punishment and consequence.  Barbara Coloroso states that proper discipline can do things that punishment cannot. They are: “shows students what they have done wrong, gives them ownership of the problem created, gives them ways to solve problems, and leaves their dignity intact.” (Charles p. 218)  I really enjoy classmate Beth Twardowski’s written consequences, and believe she does a fantastic job in following Coloroso’s philosophy. Beth has the students write the following as consequences for improper behavior:

 

 “The rule I did not follow was…

  This rule is important because…

  Consequences of my actions include…” 

 

Skinner says that, “punishment can promote motivation and proper behavior, but it often produces highly undesirable side effects of fear, dislike, and desire for revenge.” (Charles, 72) Gordon also defines punishment as, “aversive treatment of students; has overall negative effects.” (Charles 300) Students should not be influenced into proper behavior for fear of being punished.

On the other hand Canter speaks of consequences in the following manner, “Negative consequences are penalties teachers invoke when students violate class expectations,” however “positive consequences are rewards, usually words or facial expressions that teachers offer when students comply with class expectations.” (Charles, 84)

 

As fellow classmate Todd McKinley provided in his paper, I too have a similar set of established rules and consequences. Our first and third consequences are the same (1st – Verbal warning, 3rd  – After school detention). While Todd uses a student-teacher conference as a second consequence, I use written assignments, for example; 25 times--“I will refrain from speaking out of turn at inappropriate times.”

          My class is a wireless laptop class where many issues with technology can arise. Classroom rules were established by the students and are as follows:

1.       Only print to classroom printer when you have received permission (only as when you think it is appropriate)

2.     Don’t speak out of turn (raise your hand and wait to be called on)

3.     Be to class on time / prepared and pack up / shut down quietly.

4.     During lab activities all areas must be cleaned. Always follow safety rules established by the teacher.

5.     Laptop should only be opened when teacher permits. When laptop is not in use, screen should be closed.

6.     Do playing of games or participation in chat (Go directly to consequence #3)

7.     Be polite and respectful of both people and property.

 

          I think students most often view the term punishment whereas teachers and administrators most often use the term consequence. More times than not, I try to avoid the authoritarian approach, in which some form of punishment appears to prevail. Instead I try to initiate a bit of a give and take policy. Students are given a limited choice and instructive consequences.

          Through more reading, I have been able to classify my ‘brand’ of dealing with student behavior with Curwin and Mendler. I frequently utilize creative responses such as humor. In fact, I am glad that there has been some research that shows this type of classroom management being effective. For a while I was getting nervous that I was implementing a philosophy never before discussed. Middle age students, in my opinion, respond much better to “ role reversals, humor, nonsense, and paradox.” (Charles 209) In logic, it sounds very ineffective and maybe even childish and inappropriate, however it is pretty much the only way I respond to my students and I have the least trouble with classroom behavior than any of my colleagues. Although Curwin and Mendler encourage this practice to be used with behaviorally at risk students, I find it extremely effective in my low risk class.

          If you are like me, and are looking to see what categorical philosophy you may fall in, try this site: http://education.indiana.edu/cas/tt/v1i2/what.html, and fill out the questionnaire.

References Cited:

 

Charles, C. M., (1998). Building Classroom Discipline. Longman, White Plains, N.Y.

 

Evaluate, Then Take Appropriate Disciplinary Action Series:
The Washington Post; Washington; Feb 22, 1999; Evelyn Vuco

 

Todd McKinley— Control Actions

 

Beth Twardowski— Control Actions

 

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Lesson 3 q2 Corporal Punish

Punishment still lingers in various forms in most school districts -- so does corporal punishment!
Where? In what forms does it exist in your district? What does research say about the effects of
punishment, and of corporal punishment? What do you say about the use of punishment? Why?


          Before reading what research says on corporal punishment, check out this site about an incident in Texas: http://nospank.org/msg8.htm.

Corporal punishment has been an accepted part of child rearing for untold generations. And in a recent study done by Parents magazine, nearly three-quarters of respondents “still believe that spanking is an appropriate punishment for misbehavior.” However, it's taken a long time for the idea of discipline without spanking to reach the mainstream.

          In his book Beating the Devil Out of Them, Murray A. Straus, founder and co-director of the Family Research Lab at the University of New Hampshire, states: "Most parents use corporal punishment to stop a child from misbehaving and to make him or her well-behaved. While that may be their intention, the evidence in this book indicates that spanking and other legal forms of corporal punishment are more likely to block that goal."

I wonder with great concern how any individual could be in support of corporal punishment for children. Apparently these individuals were raised with it themselves and have used it with their own children "successfully." While some may claim there may be some success with corporal punishment, the psychological and behavioral research in this area is overwhelmingly against this method of modifying the behavior of children.

          Corporal punishment usually does not eliminate but, rather, suppresses the behavior. Consequently, corporal punishment tends to result in the immediate suppression of the behavior but does not reinforce long-term behavioral change, and provides an unacceptable model for problem- solving. Corporal punishment tends to create harmful emotional consequences - fear, tension and withdrawal. Therefore, it produces the kind of frustration that leads to further deviance. Corporal punishment tends to be associated more with the punisher rather than the behavior. Unfortunately, there are actually 23 states which still have laws on their books permitting corporal punishment: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming.

          Leading associations have come out in opposition to corporal punishment."The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry opposes the use of corporal punishment in schools and takes issue with laws in some states legalizing such corporal punishment and protecting adults who use it from prosecution for child abuse."  The American School Counsellors Association states: "ASCA seeks the elimination of corporal punishment in schools and other places of caregiving." The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that “corporal punishment may affect adversely a student's self-image and his or her school achievement, and that it may contribute to disruptive and violent student behavior." The National Council of English Teachers is on record since 1985 as being opposed to corporal punishment.

            Researchers have also found that children who are spanked show higher rates of aggression and delinquency in childhood than those who were not spanked. As adults, they are more prone to depression, feelings of alienation, use of violence toward a spouse, and lower economic and professional achievement. None of this is what we want for our children.”

Research also suggests that a behavioral program, similar to the combination of a Skinner and Kounin model, consisting of both positive reinforcement and appropriate consequences (removal of privileges, time-out, etc.) that is clearly presented (and posted), firmly enforced and consistently executed is by far the best type of program to modify and shape children's behavior.

It is also instructive to note that the research on domestic violence and abuse indicates that approximately 80 percent of both victims and perpetrators were from homes where physical violence was used in lieu of the above strategies.

Africa has had many experiences with corporal punishment, especially the use of canning. Many Africans are of the belief that good behavior does not come by accident. A child acquires it as he grows. This means it is the family, which lays the foundation of a child's good or bad behavior.

A family that does not have an organized discipline plan at home is to blame if this child does not respect rules at school. Parents should not expect teachers to correct the bad behavior of their children if they themselves do not guide their children properly in the first place. A parent can, and should, be strict without being cruel.

          Physically punishing children has never been shown to enhance moral character development, increase the student's respect for teachers or other authority figures in general, intensify the teacher's control in class, or even protect the teacher. Current research in behavior modification concludes that using positive reinforcement techniques that reward appropriate behavior “is more efficacious and long lasting than methods utilizing aversive techniques.” “Punishment is based on aversive technology and produces very limited results.” A student may cease acting up in one class only to continue in others.

          There is much that can be done at local and state levels to advocate the ban of corporal punishment in schools. Various court rulings have noted that corporal punishment in schools is an issue that can be resolved by state law and/or local district policies. Individuals can join various groups to evaluate their local and state climates in this regard. I urge all to do so.

References:

Parents are wise to avoid corporal punishment Series: LETTERS
St. Petersburg Times; St. Petersburg; Sep 16, 1999

 

http://www.newafrica.com/education/articles/caning.htm

 

http://www.familyeducation.com/article/0,1120,1-286,00.html

 

http://www.positiveparenting.com/nospank.html

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Lesson 4 q1 Kounin and Skinner

What advantage(s) might result from merging the Kounin and the Skinnerian models into one?

 

Jacob Kounin’s main focus was on classroom management and keeping students consistently on task. The more students are actively involved in classroom discussions, the less susceptible they will be involved in misbehavior. “Kounin found out that the act of desisting one student could result in desisting others without ever addressing them specifically. The positive form of the ripple effect is seen when the teacher reinforces one student who is already "desisting", and the others desist in anticipation of receiving some positive reinforcement.”  He believes that the management technique or philosophy implemented is much more important in controlling the class than the teacher. Although I agree that ‘organization is the key to success,’ I believe that the teacher’s personality is an important component in implementing and achieving a successful discipline plan. Some of Kounin’s principle teachings were:

Good lesson momentum helps keep students on track.

Teachers good in behavior management are able to attend to two or more events simultaneously.

Teachers should make instructional activities enjoyable and challenging. (Charles, 36)

In essence, Kounin was being extremely proactive and preventative in his approach to dealing with behavior problems.

On the other hand, BF Skinner worked in a much different fashion. He focused on controlling the behavior after it occurred. Some of his principle teachings are:

Reinforcing stimuli common in classrooms include knowledge of results,

approval, awards and free time, and smiles, nods, and praise from the teacher.

Reinforcement refers to the process of supplying a reinforcing stimuli to individuals after they have performed a particular behavior.

Schedules of reinforcement describe when and how reinforcement is provided when someone attempts to shape an individuals’ behavior. (Charles, 70)

I think that there would be several advantages to combining both philosophies into one classroom management system. The major advantage would be that a very positive classroom environment would be established. This combination would require a constant delivery of positive and encouraging stimuli as students are involved in proper behavior. Praise could also be given prior to expected behavior with the anticipation that this “lead by example” will encourage students to do the same. With positive expectations established and encouraged on a consistent basis, the chances of encountering frequent negative or undesired behavior is likely to be diminished.

 

References:

 

http://courseinfo.cet.uiuc.edu/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_1214_1&frame=top

 

Charles, C. M., (1998). Building Classroom Discipline. Longman, White Plains, N.Y. p. 38 – 40, 70 – 76

 

http://web.csuchico.edu/~ah24/kounin.htm

 

 

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Lesson 4 q2 Kounin and Conductor Metaphor

*In some ways Kounin’s model casts the teacher into an orchestra conductor’s role. Discuss how this can be a reasonable metaphor, and some places where the metaphor breaks down. Does this metaphor work well to explain your teaching techniques? Design one that might work better.

I, like Margie Adkins must say that the analogy of an orchestra conductor appeals to me. However, the more I think about it, I am a full time conductor. Whether in the classroom teaching, or on the basketball court instructing, I am constantly up in front asking for complete attention and concentration, as I lead my “musicians.” When one of my players makes a mistake in a set play, we all must stop and correct the mishap before we go on. In the classroom, when a student is having difficulty in comprehension of a specific topic, the entire set of musicians must wait until understanding is achieved before we move on to the next measure. Like an orchestra conductor, a teacher must have silence to ensure proper concentration. Any loud noises or disruptions could ruin the entire piece (lesson). In the school I teach, music-band-chorus, is very prestigious. All members are part of this organization because they want to. They are eager to learn and frequently make sacrifices to attend all meetings. I do not think this would hold true in my Earth Science class. Although I make every attempt to keep the material new and inspiring (Kounin-satiation), I do not think the conductor may have the same degree of obstacle to overcome.

          Kounin describes "withitness" as the ability of a teacher to know what is going on in all parts of the classroom at all times (Charles, 37).  The conductor does this through position and motion during a performance.  As the conductor moves and turns, he not only can view the members of the orchestra, but can also concentrate his sense of hearing.  This insures that each  member is playing the appropriate notes at the correct time.  A teacher also can show his "withitness" through his actions in the classroom.  Actions can range from making brief eye contact while lecturing to moving around the room during discussions and individual work time.

I believe the comparison to a conductor arrived because of the similar terminology. Terms like smoothness, enthusiasm, and momentum are associated with both Kounin’s beliefs and that of a conductor. Not to mention the need for withitness. I think the best comparison was made by Terri Franklin, when she asked her students to draw a comparison. They provided examples that while a conductor may be using his right hand to direct the string section, he may be using his left hand to direct the brass (overlapping). Similar to that of a teacher needing to do more than one thing at a time, utilizing smooth transitions in between tasks.

Kounin’s seven models of discipline apply directly to the conductor metaphor.  As classmates Barnett and Trieger said, “the conductor’s “withitness” is necessary for the orchestra’s performance.  A teacher with this quality will increase her student’s performance in all academic areas.  Smooth transitions from one piece (each lesson) to the next make the overall results much more melodious.”  The orchestra members all know which piece and page is next, and students must learn the same smooth transitions to the variations and interpretations applied to the music repeatedly played by the symphony.

          An observation of Kounin states, “that teachers’ personality traits had little to do with classroom control and that management is a complicated technology consisting of specific techniques applied at the appropriate times and in the appropriate manner so as to provide learning experiences that are nonsatiating.” (Charles 42).    

        

            I think another possible metaphor that I could relate to is that of a safety patrol officer. This individual has the responsibility of caring for the well-being of young students. Students come from all different directions and all different walks of life, yet the safety patrol officer must somehow manage all students at one time within a specific organizational plan to ensure the needs of each individual student are met.

 

Lesson 8 q2 – Required Phonics & Whole Language

Do you think the phonics vs. whole language debate in the learning process, is relevant when thinking about students reading from the computer screen.

Regarding technology, it doesn't matter that youngsters love computers or that high-tech toys make learning fun. It's no matter that spell-checkers are easier to use than dictionaries. Despite this, there is an anti-technology voice in American education, debating on whether computers enhance or inhibit learning. Whether the discussion is on whole language vs. phonics, curriculum frameworks, many say the education pendulum is swinging back toward the fundamentals. All these gadgets are wonderful and, yes, the children love them, but they don't replace the need for basic skills.

"Some see technology as a panacea for everything that is wrong with education," says Steve Gag, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino's technology adviser in Boston. "But really, computers are only helpful in the schools when they aid the educational process."

My analysis shows that computers have brought significant changes to US classrooms. Young children can publish their first books on them. Elementary students use computers to e-mail penpals in far away locations. Foreign language teachers access the Internet to get their students involved with foreign language sites, encouraging them to read foreign newspapers and magazines on line. High school and college students log onto the Internet to message friends, plan weekends, purchase products for their dormitory rooms, and, more important, to research their academic papers.

I remember reading from an opponent of computer based instruction that the Internet, faxes, e-mail, and voice mail prevent adolescents from learning basic interpersonal skills. The writer continued to state that the only way to learn how to get along with people is to spend time interacting with them. I believe this philosophy also applies to the reading process. The best way to learn to read, is to read. During my college experience, I performed several Individual Reading Inventories (IRI) to students at different age levels. The purpose of these assessments were to analyze the readers’ deficiencies, whether additions, omissions,

In Piaget's theory, “knowledge is not a mere collection of isolated bits of information. Each child constructs frameworks of knowledge within which he or she organizes the specific bits.” Although discussions of phonics often center on reading, an important element is the link between reading and writing in these classrooms and the contribution with writing made to children's understanding of letter-sound relationships. As children used their reading experiences in their own writing, their need for knowledge about letters, sounds, and words became both immediate and purposeful.

Historically, the phonics versus whole language debate has addressed a deficit argument that children in whole language classrooms are denied instruction about letter-sound relationships. Computer based instruction may affect this debate even more. However I do not believe that reading from a computer screen is any different than reading from a book. In this new age of technology, students will most likely spend 75% of their time reading and processing information from a computer screen. It only seems logical to learn from the tool that you will be using later. If someone is going to get a drivers license and plans on driving a car, there is no need for them to practice with a motorcycle.

 

References:

Computers: Aids or enemies of reading? Bookbird; Basel; 2000; Manuel Gandara  

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Lesson 9 q3 Analysis of Student Writer

Analyze ***"The Writing Conference"***, the video segment of Ms. Dawn Harris Martine's, second grade teacher from a Harlem elementary school, who is working with a student on a writing assignment

 

Donald Graves, author of "All Children Can Write," states that the "writing-process approach to teaching first emphasizes what children know, then the conventions that will help them share their meaning with others in the class." Graves could certainly point to Martine’s classroom as a fine example of the point he is trying to get across.

I agree with Jennifer Haberkorn in that, “One of the most important steps of the writing process is student-teacher conferencing. This allows time for teachers to engage the student in conversation about his/her writing.”

The video segment is a fine example of how a writing conference can be motivating for a student. Ms. Martine did a model job coaching the student during the writing conference. It is known that students have varying abilities; therefore teachers can focus on relevant skills for each student. With Monica, Ms. Martine knew that she had to "bring in more challenging books," to allow her to reach her full potential. With Damion, she acknowledged he was not writing much, however she felt anything he wrote, even a title, "would be a success." This is a very encouraging statement. I also found the tone and fluctuations in her voice to be very nurturing. The most notable comment was when she explained that writing about another story (3 little pigs) is okay, and "THAT'S TRYING."

 This conference did two important things. One, it provided the student an individualized learning opportunity, and secondly it supplied the teacher with valuable information concerning the student.

The following are recommended teacher practices provided by Graves:

Engage the students visually.
Schedule conferences regularly.
Listen first, then ask questions.
Be patient for responses.
Follow the child's lead.
Initially, focus on the information in the piece to help students gain greater clarity of subject. Encourage elaboration on something the child already knows a lot about.
Ask questions you think the child can answer.
After the piece is finished, choose one skill to address within the context of the topic.
Avoid lengthy responses as they tend to take writing away from the child. Don't challenge authorship by dominating conversation.

 

References

Graves, Donald. Children Can Write, LD Online Newsletter, University of New Hampshire Learning Disabilities Focus, 1985

 

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Lesson 14 q3 - Required Gang scene

*Locate information on the internet and from your school district that describes the gang scene in your school, school district, community or city. Determine the names, symbols, garments, gang structure, effect on your school, and/or effect on you.
How do you plan to interact with gang 'wannabees' or members in your school, classroom or laboratory?

 

Due to the fact that I am employed by a VERY affluent, private, school, I have absolutely no experience with the gang culture. However, the research I gathered has provided me with the following facts and information.

In the late twentieth century gangs have taken on a different character and have moved into areas not portrayed by an old movie I am sure most of us have seen; Oliver Twist. Most significantly, they are spreading from inner cities into the suburbs; indeed, while gang activity has been stabilizing in urban areas, it has increased significantly elsewhere. At the same time, gangs have become a growing problem in public schools, which historically have been considered an area where gang issues would not usually have entered.

Researchers agree that most gangs share certain characteristics. Although there are exceptions, gangs tend to develop along racial and ethnic lines, and are typically 90 percent male. Gang members often display their membership through distinctive styles of dress--their "colors"--and through specific activities and patterns of behavior. In addition, gangs almost universally show strong loyalty to their neighborhood. All of these representations recently have been visible in the public schools.

Gang style and activity can vary tremendously from gang to gang, and can even change rapidly within individual gangs. For instance, African American gangs tend to confine their activities to their own communities, although the Bloods and the Crips, two gangs originating in Los Angeles, now have members nationwide. In contrast, Asian gangs often travel hundreds of miles from home in order to conduct their activities (Bodinger-deUriarte, 1993). In addition, African American and Hispanic gangs are much more likely to display their colors than are Asian gangs. “White” gangs are often made up of white supremacists. Gangs can also vary tremendously in numbers and age ranges of members.

Despite their high profile in the media, relatively few young people join gangs; even in highly impacted areas, the degree of participation has rarely exceeded 10 percent. In addition, it has been reported that less than 2 percent of all juvenile crime is gang-related (Bodinger-deUriarte, 1993).

Because gangs are organized groups, and are often actively involved in drug and weapons trafficking, their presence in school can increase tensions. It can also increase the level of violence in schools. Students in schools with a gang presence are twice as likely to report that they fear becoming victims of violence than their peers at schools without gangs (Trump, 1993). Moreover, a 1992 Bureau of Justice Statistics survey reports that schools with gangs are significantly more likely to have drugs available on campus than those without gangs (Bodinger-deUriarte, 1993).

Although many gang members acknowledge the importance of school, it is much more important to them as a place for gathering with fellow gang members for socializing and other more violent activities. It is also possible to find those gang members who had been suspended or had dropped out of school on campus with their associates, using the school as a gang hangout rather than as an educational institution. Students attending schools with gangs are more likely to avoid certain areas within their school and more likely to bring something to school for protection.

Four factors are primary in the formation of juvenile gangs (William Gladden Foundation, 1992):

First, youth experience a sense of alienation and powerlessness because of a lack of traditional support structures, such as family and school. This can lead to feelings of frustration and anger, and a desire to obtain support outside of traditional institutions.
Second, gang membership gives youth a sense of belonging and becomes a major source of identity for its members. In turn,gang membership affords youth a sense of power and control, and gang activities become an outlet for their anger.
Third,the control of turf is essential to the well-being of the gang, which often will use force to control both its territory and members.
Finally, recruitment of new members and expansion of territory are essential if a gang is to remain strong and powerful. Both "willing" and "unwilling" members are drawn into gangs to feed the need for more resources and gang members.

The following eight interventions have each been shown to be effective on their own, but can also be the basis of a comprehensive school-wide strategy:

Target students vulnerable to gang recruitment for special assistance, particularly through the use of peer counselors and support groups. Mentoring, conflict resolution programs, and tutoring can be particularly effective.
Establish moral and ethical education, values clarification, and conflict resolution as important components of the school curriculum.
Create an inviting school climate where every student feels valued.
Educate all school staff, including support staff, about how gangs develop and how to respond to them.
Offer special programs for parents on gangs and how to deal with them as a parent. Present information in a culturally sensitive way, and in a variety of languages, to reflect the diversity of the community.
Monitor youths who are not enrolled in school but "hang out" on or near school property. This can help school officials assess the existence of gangs in the neighborhood, and anticipate and prevent their formation in the school.
Offer educational programs for students about gangs, their destructiveness, and how to avoid being drawn into them, preferably in small groups where they can express their feelings comfortably.
Provide regular opportunities for students individually and/or in small groups to discuss their experiences in school and make future plans that offer hope and personal rewards.

Though the above steps offer no magical solution for eliminating gangs, they offer options that may make gangs appear less attractive and prepare individuals to more effectively resist gang pressure to join with them.

          I must say that I am extremely fortunate and appreciative of the fact that my daily dealings as a teacher and coach do not require any contact with the above research.

 

References

Arthur, R., & Erickson, E. (1992). Gangs and schools. Holmes Beach, FL: Learning Publications.

Bodinger-deUriarte, C. (1993). Membership in violent gangs fed by suspicion, deterred through respect. Los Alamitos, CA: Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory.

Gaustad, J. (1991). Schools respond to gangs and violence. Eugene, OR: Oregon School Study Council.

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Lesson 13 q1 Glasser switch

A large city school system is considering switching from its traditional classroom
management program to the Glasser technique. What are the most important
problems that it is likely to encounter and how might they be resolved?

Concerns about the quality of public schools in America are everywhere. It is difficult to pick up a newspaper or listen to the news on radio or television without hearing concerns about cost, effectiveness, curriculum, violence, teachers, parents, or some other aspect. In response to these concerns have come various reform efforts, one of these has been the Quality School model of William Glasser. Glasser began writing about the need to reform schools in 1969 with his book: Schools Without Failure. During the past 28 years he has continuously promoted ideas on how schools should be run. Glasser's model has increasingly gained favor in schools and school districts around the country.

In Glasser's (1990) model, competition between individuals is an underlying cause of the problems in American schools. Competition, rather than bringing out the best in people, creates a situation in which only some students can succeed. Also in this model, competition is de-emphasized and behavior modification and coercive techniques are no longer to be used. In a school that adheres to the Glasser model there is a strong emphasis on dialogue, on the belief that no one is forced to do anything, regardless of the external factors, a behavioral choice must be made, and all people can be successful if they focus on their strengths and the selection of behaviors that bring success (Glasser & Wubbolding, 1995).

The concepts and language used by Glasser is straightforward and easy to understand. This accessibility is the major strength of his approach and can make working with students, parents, and faculty significantly easier than other approaches.  On the negative side, the environment and society are given limited responsibility for invading on the individual's range of choices. Glasser does not address issues of culture and context External explanations for behavior are simply not acceptable to Glasser. All behaviors are seen as choices made by the individual. The choices may be good or bad. In no way can anyone or anything other than the individual be held responsible for the behavior.

Some have the belief that adopting the Glasser (1990) model not only wouldn't help them convey dominant cultural values to students but that adopting the model may actually challenge the culture and values they want taught. Others raise a lot of questions whether the use of Glasser's model would really result in the students becoming more responsible for their behavior

Too often the result is rejection by teachers and children of one another. Each side may adopt severe methods against the other. Children may "play hooky" and withdraw from teachers' efforts. And teachers will make discipline the major subject matter in the class. Lack of success in teaching encourages one at least to demand order in the classroom. If children cannot properly be taught, this failure must be kept inconspicuous. Management of the children's failure is thus resolved by discipline techniques.

It is my belief that diminishing the use of competition, as required by Glasser (1990), is the fundamental sticking point for most of the people who oppose the implementation of his model. They can only accept Glasser if his model is presented in culturally acceptable terms of individual responsibility for how one's life develops. They bring their childhood experience, of attending schools that are steeped in the cultural traditions of competition and their adult experiences of low wages, fear of economic hardship, and a sense that the world is a more competitive place, to the schools and demand that their children be properly prepared for this harsh environment. School reforms that lessen competition and emphasize equality of outcome are dismissed as being at best naive and at worst as destructive of American society and culture. This instinctive, culturally deep-rooted knowledge creates significant obstacles to the use of not only Glasser's model, but other efforts to change the way schools operate.



Reference:
Glasser, W., & Wubbolding, R. (1995). Reality Therapy.

Glasser, W. The Quality School. Harper Perennial (1990)

Keith Schmidt (friend who is devote reader and researcher of William Glasser)

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Lesson 13 q2 - Required Accept responsibility

*One of the features of Glasser’s strategy is: ...getting the student to accept responsibility... What does that mean and where does it fit in with his larger scheme?

 

“Accepting that you can control only your own behavior is the most difficult lesson choice theory has to teach, so difficult that almost all people refuse to learn it. This is because the whole thrust of SR theory is that we do not control our own behavior; rather, it is a response to a stimulus outside ourselves.” (Glasser 1997). Choice theory teaches that we are all driven by four psychological needs embedded within us: the need to belong, the need for power, the need for freedom, and the need for fun.

Glasser believed that schools could offer students a chance to experience success and recognition. Self-worth would become the product of success and could discourage deviant behavior. Teachers would be role models who regularly made good choices in their own lives thereby influencing positive choices in their students.

He felt teachers should do the following:

Stress student responsibility in making good choices, showing those students must live with the choices they make.
Establish class rules that lead to success. Glasser considered class rules essential and wrote disparagingly of teachers who tried to function without them in the mistaken belief that rules stifle initiative, self-direction, and responsibility. Rules should be formulated jointly by teacher and students and should always emphasize that students are in school to study and learn.
Accept no excuses. A teacher who accepts an excuse says, in effect, that it is all right to break a commitment, that it is all right for students to harm themselves. Teachers who care about their students accept no excuses.
Call for value judgements. When students misbehave, they should be required to make judgements about their actions.
Suggest suitable alternatives. If a student is unable to think of alternatives to the inappropriate behavior, the teacher should suggest two or three possibilities and encourage the student to select one of them.
Invoke reasonable consequences following student behavior. Glasser stressed that reasonable consequences should follow any behavior the student chooses. Consequences should be desirable to the student when good knowledge that behavior is chosen and undesirable when poor behavior is chosen. The knowledge that behavior always bring consequences, desirable or undesirable, helps students take charge of their lives and control their own behavior.
Be persistent. Caring teachers work toward one major goal: getting students to commit themselves to desirable courses of behavior. They must always help students make choices and have them make value judgements about their bad choices.
Continually review the discipline system. Glasser said that any discipline system should be reviewed periodically and revised as necessary. (Charles, pp.184-185)

 

Once a teacher/school teaches a student how to accept responsibility, classroom behavior should greatly improve. With this success, the teacher/student relationship will grow and the learning process will blossom.

 

 

Referenced sites:

 

Charles, C.M. Building Classroom Discipline. PP. 68-79, pp. 34-37

 

"Choice theory" and student success
The Education Digest; Ann Arbor; Nov 1997;Volume 63, p. 16 - 21

 

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Lesson 14 Question 6

Research and describe the mediation process. Use my paper, and information from other websites as a starting point.

Mediation is a process for resolving disputes and conflicts in which a neutral third party acts as a moderator for the process. In mediation, the goal is to work out differences constructively. Mediation provides schools with an alternative to traditional disciplinary practices. Students involved in this process learn a new way of handling conflict. It offers a risk free way to settle disputes for the parties involved in the dispute. No agreement, no deal.

In mediation, trained students help their classmates identify the problems behind the conflicts and to find solutions. Peer mediation is not about finding who is right or wrong. Instead, students are encouraged to move beyond the immediate conflict and learn how to get along with each other - an important skill in today's world. Peer mediators ask the disputing students to tell their stories and ask questions for clarification. The mediators help the students identify ways to solve the conflict. Through mediation, students learn communication skills they can use in other situations at school and home. They learn to put feelings into words, to reflect on and summarize what they hear, and to develop empathy. Mediators also learn what it means to act impartially, even when mediating for classmates they know very well.

A key component to any mediation process is letting each student tell his or her own story and then to feel as if someone understands his/her perspective. Common situations involving name-calling, rumors, bumping into students in the hallways, rumors, and bullying have been successfully resolved through peer mediation.

Several groups have specified a process for peer mediation. Teacher Talk has identified the points common to them. The following lists illustrate the ground rules and the steps of the mediation process. When both students agree to the ground rules, the mediation can proceed.

Mediation Steps:

Agree upon the ground rules
Each student tells his/her story
Verify the stories
Discuss the stories
Generate solutions
Discuss solutions
Select a solution
Sign a contract

Ground Rules

Participants should be willing to:

Solve the problem
Tell the truth
Listen without interrupting
Be respectful
Take responsibility for carrying out the agreement
Keep the situation confidential

There is a growing, common-sense consensus that the best way to handle violence in the schools and prevent its spread throughout the community is to defuse disputes before they turn violent.

Schools have attempted to manage interpersonal conflicts among students, teachers, and administrators by various models of discipline, such as referrals to the principal's office, detention, suspension, and expulsion. Yet, it does not appear that these methods teach the students the problem solving and conflict resolution skills they need for life to resolve conflict in a productive, non-violent way.

Peer mediation programs, where students are trained generally to resolve disputes involving other students, have been shown to be an effective means of resolving disputes in school settings. "There is anecdotal evidence that students transfer the mediation techniques learned in school to settings beyond the classroom. Students have reported using their mediation skills to resolve disputes at home with their siblings and in their community with peers," (Johnson, Johnson, and Dudley 1992, 97).

Both mediators and disputants benefit from the mediation training and conflict resolution process. Students who are taught the skills of mediating disputes learn political skills which can be used beyond the classroom. Student mediators learn to listen effectively, summarize accurately, and think critically. Further, they develop skills on how to solve problems, to lead, to write, and to foster meaningful discussion among disputants. Since mediation seeks to solve a dispute and prevent its recurrence, student mediators learn to plan for the future. They learn about responsibilities as well as rights, about consequences as well as choices.

Disputants involved in mediation also learn many of these same lessons. More importantly, maybe for the first time in their lives, they learn non-violent ways that they can choose to resolve their conflicts. They learn that they can succeed at resolving conflicts peaceably, that they can resolve problems without resorting to violence. They also develop a capacity to empathize with others. Part of the magic of peer mediation is the result of having the time and space to look at a problem. Mediation lets students meet in a safe, supportive environment where they can risk being honest instead of belligerent, where they can show why something hurts them instead of talking tough. Another reason it works is that children often find it easier to talk to someone like themselves.

Keys to a successful peer mediation program

Start early. It's important for young children to learn "that's how we do it at school." By the time they're ready for middle school, they will know how to refer themselves to mediation to settle disputes instead of resorting to name calling and fighting.

Teach problem-solving skills to all students. Commit to finding and using a curriculum that helps students see the advantages of problem solving and gives them simple tools to accomplish this on their own or with the help of others.

Make mediation part of a comprehensive program. Work with your staff to create a violence-prevention program that includes student-initiated problem solving as a strong component.

Model mediation skills. To achieve maximum program impact, be prepared to share with your teachers responsibility to learn, teach, and model the skills required of student mediators.

Reference:

Elementary school peer mediation The Education Digest; Ann Arbor; Sep 1999;

http://www.uncg.edu/edu/ericcass/conflict/docs/cre/chapter3.htm

 

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Lesson 9 q2 Textbook Eval

Suppose that you wanted to evaluate a textbook in your content area. List some important
characteristics (content, as well as those related to the process of reading-to-learn) to look for that would help students learn by reading it, and explain why.

Some characteristics to consider when evaluating a textbook for content, especially in a public school setting would be if the content meets district, state, and national standards that have been set for the particular subject. It would also be important for the content to be up to date and supported by supplementary materials. Other aspects, that I have come across in the search for Earth Science textbooks, are that the presented information is correct. My 7th graders have discovered several mistakes in our current textbooks and test banks. The text should also contain age appropriate language and reading level, as well as be grammatically correct. All new words should be clearly defined and root words should be explained. If thematic units are part of your grade level curriculum, then you should look into activities that could be linked to other subject areas. Probably most important regarding content is that the textbook should encourage higher-level thinking and be able to be used for several years.

Since we do not allow backpacks in our middle school, physical aspects of textbook selection are also important. The size and weight of the textbook appropriate for the students who will carry it to each class. The binding, pages, and cover should be durable.

          The selection of the accompanying teachers materials is also important. The teacher's edition and resource materials should be helpful, comprehensive, organized, and easy to use. One aspect I verified was that the teacher's edition or resource package includes any technology such as a CD or video. In fact, the package also contained a student CD-Rom, which we were able to acquire a shareware license and reproduce for each individual student.

          Since some students are better visual learners, then illustrations should also be given thought. Photographs should be of good quality and relevant to the accompanying text. Graphs and charts should be easy to understand and interpret.

          Last, but certainly not least: accompanying teachers edition should contain answer keys to EVERYTHING!!

 

References:

http://www.abacon.com/graziano/eval.htm

http://www.project2061.org/newsinfo/research/textbook/articles/approach.htm

 

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Lesson 11 Question 4 

*Compare the ways that a teacher with a behaviorist leaning and one with a cognitive leaning view errors that students make during learning and testing? Make your discussion relevant to psychological theory and your content area.

 

A teacher with a behaviorist approach would perceive mistakes as displays of inadequate training, while those with a cognitive approach would perceive mistakes as misunderstandings that are due to a lack of prior instruction of a specific subject matter.

Making errors are natural and a very integral component of the learning process. At times, students learn much better from their own mistakes, because they are able to process the errors that have meaning and importance and build upon those errors to devise a better way to succeed. As a teacher in deciding which strategies to utilize, it is important to evaluate the knowledge level of the learners and the cognitive processing demands.

The constructivist teacher sets up problems and monitors student exploration, guides the direction of student inquiry and promotes new patterns of thinking. Classes can take unexpected turns as students are given the autonomy to direct their own explorations.

In a Constructivist Classroom, students ideas are respected and encouraged. A teacher asks open-ended questions, which allow students to be problem solvers, taking complete responsibility for their learning. Students are encouraged to think ‘outside the box.’ Blooms taxonomy is incorporated into all teacher/student communication.

          Teachers who view learning from a behaviorist standpoint tend to believe that learning comes from extensive practice and repetition. Teachers who adhere to the behaviorist approach believe that students make errors because they have not repeated the concept often enough. A problem made in this type of classroom will be seen as a problem with the student’s ability to perform. The teacher's responsibility is to provide an environment in which the correct behavior of the student is reinforced.  

          I teach Earth Science, and though it is content-based course, I spend very little time lecturing. Instead I provide the students with an opportunity to research and experiment with the concepts they learn about. They take a particular topic and apply it to their personal life, making the subject matter relevant. Are some hypotheses proven wrong? Surely they are. But that is the essence of learning.

A comparison of both methods can be seen below (2)

In the behavioral paradigm:

  1. Learning is passive.
  2. Students must learn the correct response.
  3. Learning requires external reward.
  4. Knowledge is a matter of remembering information.
  5. Understanding is a matter of seeing existing patterns.
  6. Applications require "transfer of training" which requires "common elements" among problems.
  7. Teachers must direct the learning process.

In the Cognitive Paradigm:

  1. Learning is active.
  2. Students explore various possible response patterns and choose between them.
  3. Learning can be intrinsically rewarding.
  4. Knowledge is a matter of acquiring information
  5. Understanding is a matter of creating new patterns.
  6. Applications require the learner to see relationships among problems.
  7. Students must direct their own learning.

 

 Comparison of  Teacher-Dominated and Cognitive Perspectives on Education

 

Teacher-Dominated Perspective

Cognitive Perspective

Teacher Centered

Learner Centered

Teachers Present Knowledge

Students Discover and Construct Knowledge

Students Learn Meaning

Students Create Meaning

Learner as Memorizer

Learner as Processor

Learn Facts

Develop Learning Strategies

Rote Memory

Active Memory

Teacher Structures Learning

Social Interaction Provides Instructional Scaffolding

Repetitive

Constructive

Knowledge Is Acquired

Knowledge Is Created

Teacher Provides Resources

Students Find Resources

Individual Study

Cooperative Learning and Peer Interaction

Sequential Instruction

Adaptive Learning

Teacher Manages Student Learning

Students Learn to Manage Their Own Learning

Students Learn Others' Thinking

Students Develop and Reflect on Their Own Thinking

Isolationist

Contextualist

Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation

Reactive Teachers

Proactive Teachers

Knowledge Transmission

Knowledge Formation

Teacher Dominates

Teacher Observes, Coaches, and Facilitates

Mechanistic

Organismic

Behavioralist

Constructivist

 

References

 

1.http://www.sedl.org/scimath/compass/v01n03/construct.html

2.http://courseinfo.cet.uiuc.edu/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_1214_1&frame=top

 

In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms by Jacqueline G. Brooks and Martin G. Brooks (Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1993)

 

Cognitive Versus Behavioral Psychology : Fred T. Hofstetter, University of Delaware (http://www.udel.edu/fth/pbs/webmodel.htm)

 

   

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Lesson 12 Question 1

In lesson 12, Anderson describes the Social Information Processing Model. In addition, he suggested a list of questions that teachers can use to try and figure out why students' actions are seemingly incompatible with expectations.

Should a teacher try to get "inside a student's head" like the questions seem to imply? Or, should the teacher just stick with the observable actions -- ones that can be punished or reinforced, depending on the teacher's preferences for appropriate or inappropriate actions, and leave the student's head alone?

"A significant number of studies have established the value of social information-processing (SIP) models in evaluating and attempting to explain children's and adolescents' social adjustment." (Crick & Dodge, 1994,). These models highlight the specific components of children's "on-line" cognition (Dodge & Feldman, 1990) that directly contribute to and maintain specific social behaviors. Also, the SIP approach proposes that social behavior is the result of the precise processing of social information using a number of cognitive steps. Skillful processing at each step allows greater social ability, whereas deficiencies lead to social maladjustment.

The vast amount of research to date specifically has focused on SIP mechanisms and aggressive behavior. That research has demonstrated consistently that childhood aggression is accompanied by deficiencies in key processing steps. For example, physically aggressive children are more likely than are their nonaggressive peers to attribute hostile intent in ambiguous provocation situations, to formulate aggressive responses, and to favorably anticipate the outcomes of aggression (Crick & Dodge, 1996). Those findings have been obtained for a wide range of age groups, from early childhood through early adolescence.

Another component relative to social information processing is the role of emotion. Crick and Dodge ( 1994) have argued that emotions (e.g., distressful feelings) might significantly influence socialcognitive performance. Angry or upset feelings, for example, could reinforce hostile emotiuons and inspire retaliation

Accordingly, past research has shown that aggressive young adolescents report greater difficulties than do their nonaggressive peers in controlling negative feelings in provocation situations (Crick, 1995).

Getting inside a students' head is a difficult question. In some instances it may be successful if the student is having a difficult time expressing himself. By prying out thoughts and attitudes, the teacher may more easily have the ability to fully evaluate a response. On the other hand, some students, as the above research has demonstrated, do not respond well to further teacher inquiry. I believe that a responsible teacher should make this decision on a case by case basis.

References:

The Journal of Early Adolescence; Thousand Oaks; Feb 1999; David A Nelson & Nicki R Crick

 

 

 

Master Reference List

Computers: Aids or enemies of reading? Bookbird; Basel; 2000; Manuel Gandara  

Charles, C. M., (1998). Building Classroom Discipline. Longman, White Plains, N.Y. p. 38 – 40, 70 – 76  

Parents are wise to avoid corporal punishment Series: LETTERS
St. Petersburg Times; St. Petersburg; Sep 16, 1999

Charles, C. M., (1998). Building Classroom Discipline. Longman, White Plains, N.Y.

 

Evaluate, Then Take Appropriate Disciplinary Action Series:
The Washington Post; Washington; Feb 22, 1999; Evelyn Vuco

 

Charles, C. M., (1998). Building Classroom Discipline. Longman, White Plains, N.Y. p. 83 – 101.

 

Charles, C. M., (1998). Building Classroom Discipline. Longman, White Plains, N.Y. p. 83 – 101.

 

Act now! Limited-time offer!
Learning; Palo Alto; Aug 1997; Volume 26, p. 14.

 

Driscoll, Marcy P. (1994). Psychology of Learning for Instruction. Allyn and Bacon

 

Student `contract' proposed in Mich. Legislator focuses on college behavior. John Hall, Boston Globe; Boston, Mass.; Apr 25, 1999.

 

Charles, C. M., (1998). Building Classroom Discipline. Longman, White Plains, N.Y.

 

Arthur, R., & Erickson, E. (1992). Gangs and schools. Holmes Beach, FL: Learning Publications.

Bodinger-deUriarte, C. (1993). Membership in violent gangs fed by suspicion, deterred through respect. Los Alamitos, CA: Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory.

Gaustad, J. (1991). Schools respond to gangs and violence. Eugene, OR: Oregon School Study Council.

Glasser, W., & Wubbolding, R. (1995). Reality Therapy.

Glasser, W. The Quality School. Harper Perennial (1990)

Keith Schmidt (friend who is devote reader and researcher of William Glasser)

Graves, Donald. Children Can Write, LD Online Newsletter, University of New Hampshire Learning Disabilities Focus, 1985

Charles, C.M. Building Classroom Discipline. PP. 68-79, pp. 34-37

 

"Choice theory" and student success
The Education Digest; Ann Arbor; Nov 1997;Volume 63, p. 16 - 21  

 

In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms by Jacqueline G. Brooks and Martin G. Brooks (Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1993)

 

Cognitive Versus Behavioral Psychology : Fred T. Hofstetter, University of Delaware (http://www.udel.edu/fth/pbs/webmodel.htm)

 

http://www.maisd.com/cms/stanton/contractform.html

 

http://courseinfo.cet.uiuc.edu/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_1214_1&frame=top

 

http://education.indiana.edu/cas/tt/v1i2/what.html

 

(http://www.maisd.com/cms/stanton/contractform.html)

 

( http://alcorenv.com/~ptave/joshua.htm)

 

http://www.newafrica.com/education/articles/caning.htm

http://www.familyeducation.com/article/0,1120,1-286,00.html

http://www.positiveparenting.com/nospank.html

http://courseinfo.cet.uiuc.edu/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_1214_1&frame=top

http://web.csuchico.edu/~ah24/kounin.htm  

http://www.abacon.com/graziano/eval.htm

http://www.project2061.org/newsinfo/research/textbook/articles/approach.htm

http://www.sedl.org/scimath/compass/v01n03/construct.html

http://courseinfo.cet.uiuc.edu/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_1214_1&frame=top