Socratic Pedagogy from a Nietzsche-esque point of view

Panneck, Brook

ET

Rud, A. G. (1997). Use & Abuse of Socrates in Teaching. education policy analysis archives, 5, 20.

This article, as described in the introduction is a “plan upon Friedrich Nietzsche’s well-known essay, The Use and Abuse of History (1874, 1979)”, wherein the author examines the history of Socratic pedagogy, it’s famous proponents and critics, its uses and abuses, as well as explanations.

It includes recent commenters on this method, and a critical evaluation through the eyes of various critics of Socratic methods. It looks at the pedagogy through Plato’s works, examines abuse of the methods and illustrates the celebrated method among teachers, who have in some cases taken the method much further.

This is an interesting article that encourages a deeper thinking and understanding of the Socratic method. It also inspires creativity, not only in the way we use it, but how we can use the method on ourselves. It also suggests we use a level of caution when using this method so we don’t abuse it or the learner. 

Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism, and Social constructivism

Panneck, Brook

ET

Hung, D. (2001). Theories of Learning and Computer-Mediated Instructional Technologies. Educational Media International, 38(4), 281-287. doi:10.1080/09523980110105114

This article describes the major schools of thought in educational theory, namely- Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism, and Social Constructivism. The paper proposes a framework for using these theories in online instruction and lists technologies for supporting the different theory implementations. I proposes that all of these theories have a place in the classroom.

Not only does it provide explanations for these theories, but it has a table that shows each of the theories, and explains the instructional design/delivery respectively. It has a table outlining, the processes of learning, type of learning, instructional strategies, and key concepts. Additionally, it has a table showing the different types of learning tools and technologies to support each of these technologies. Lastly it illustrates tools used to support active learning among groups and individualize learning.

This is a great paper for those that want to get a basic foundational understanding of what these theories are, how they can be taught and the technologies that support the teaching. It is also a great jumping off point to learn more about these theories individually. I recommend checking out the references at the bottom of the article to find more great articles that this author used.

Teaching Google Natives To Value Information

Elizabeth Brown

CO

Heick, T. (2014). Teaching google natives to value information. Retrieved from
http://www.teachthought.com/technology/teaching-google-natives-to-value-information/

Summary
Heick suggests enlightening millennial’s (who grew up computer savvy) on  the importance of information and research. This generation has used Google, specifically, to answer all of their questions, thereby appreciating information less (because of its simplicity). Heick acknowledges that this not a black or white issue, but maintains “while neurological functions may not [be] change[ing],
how students access, use, share, and store information is.” The logical answer is to be cognizant of this reality and provide practical advice. Heick suggests the following:

“1. Is sounds counterintuitive-intuitive, but periodically create information-scarce
      circumstances that force students to function without it.
 2. Illuminate – or have them illuminate – the research process itself.
 3. Do entire projects where the point is not the information, but its utility.
 4. Use think-alouds to model the thinking process during research.
 5. Create single-source research assignments where students have to do more
     with less.”

Evaluation
This article is provides an interesting analysis of a complex issue. Heick concludes that she does not have all of the answers, but she does include some insightful examples. The main point of the article is that we cannot expect students to ignore technology, (nor do we want to), but they can be more thoughtful in their research.

Toward constructivism for adult learners in online learning environments

Panneck, Brook

ET

Huang, H. (2002). Toward constructivism for adult learners in online learning environments. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(1), 27. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=5894267&site=ehost-live
This article views adult online learning through the lens of constructivism. If you ever took part in online learning when it was first getting off the ground, you may remember the typical bird unit/behaviorist methodology employed. Many of these online learning experiences utilized televised technology to deliver instruction, where the sole source of information came from the instructor. Online learning has, for the most part, come a long way since then, though you will still find the typical bird units still being used, and quite often. This article explores the need for constructivist methodology for adult online learning, by first exploring this history. The last sentence of the first introductory paragraph, perhaps sums it up best- “…adult learners always bring their unique learning characteristics to the learning situation, so an effective instructor should recognize learners’ characteristics to help them learn best” (Hang, 2002, p. 27). Though that particular outlook should be applied to all learners of any age.

The article justifies the need for newer constructivist online learning formats for adult learning based on their unique circumstances of work, family and other responsibilities not typically present with other types of learners. It explores a history of constructivism theories, which by the way, I would recommend that classmates explore this article to find great references to constructivism theories, and adult learning theories. It also explores online learning technologies and addressed how these “cognitive tools” provide support for the online learner, in their learning processes (21stcentury skills can be found here also).

After reviewing various theories mentioned above, the article addresses issues associated with constructivist approaches to online learning, both for the instructor and for the learner. It then explores, through the lens of constructivism, interactive learning, collaborative learning, facilitating learning, authentic learning, learner-centered learning, and high quality learning. It then concludes with a justification, need, and proposal for applying these constructivist theories to the adult online learning environment.

This is an excellent article. It reviews educational theories- specifically online learning/instruction. It also includes a lot of great information relevant to 21st century skills, constructivism, and adult learning theory. The references to other articles are a bonus, making this a great article for other classmates to check out and keep in their personal libraries. 

Hands-On Science With Squishy Circuits

Elizabeth Brown

ET – Learning Styles
IL – Critical Thinking
Z – Fun

Thomas, A.M. (2013). Hands-on science with squishy circuits. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/annmariethomassquishycircuits.html

Summary
In this Ted talk, Thomas proposes having children use play dough to create their own “squishy circuits” and learn about electricity in the process. Specifically, she suggests making home-made play dough for this project, including two different recipes. The first one calls for flour, salt, vegetable oil, and cream of tartar. While the other is the same except that it calls for sugar instead of salt. Thomas explains that when the different play dough’s are incorporated  the sugar dough “has a resistance 150 times that of the salty dough,” while the “salty dough conducts electricity.” The end result is that circuits have been created. She displays the play dough on a table and later in the presentation demonstrates the different things that can be done with it. For instance, she connects wires which causes the circuit to light up. Thomas also connects a piece of play dough to a motor, creating a spinning-tail motor in the process.

Evaluation 
This is a great example of project-based learning. I can see how this project would be both fun and educational for children. Its amazing that children are doing such complex work: designing circuits, but are doing it in a creative, age – appropriate way. My friend recently completed a lesson on electricity for 5th graders. I plan on recommending this talk and lesson to her. Perhaps she can use it next year.

Curriculum That Questions The Purpose of Knowledge

Elizabeth Brown

CA- Written Curriculum
ET- Standards-Based Education

Heick, T. (2014). Curriculum that questions the purpose of knowledge. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/learning.com/learning/curriculum-questions-purpose-knowledge/

Summary
This article discusses the status of curriculum in schools examining its role in learning. Heick begins by giving a framework of curriculum, breaking it down to what it has been in the past in comparison to how it is now. He defines curriculum as “that which is to be studied-a set of planned learning experiences to promote mastery of knowledge and skills.” This is is the traditional model, which is directly based on educational guidelines. Heik makes an analogy comparing “academic standards” to the ingredients found in baked goods. By themselves, standards do not sound appealing, however, it it how they are translated or advertised (into assignments) that makes them not only more recognizable, but more palatable. If the purpose of the curriculum is to teach certain skills, than educators need to decide why these lessons worth learning from a student’s perspective. Specifically, the content should be promoted as something relevant, interesting, and applicable to their everyday lives.

Evaluation
I like how Heick is starting an honest conversation about curriculum and its connection to learning and how it effects everyone: teachers, students, and the community. Until educators question why old methods of teaching are not resonating with students, they are not likely to change. It is important for teachers ask themselves, why am I including this in the lesson and what is the intent? Not only are well thought out lesson plans more interesting (for the students), it is more likely that they will learn
something from them.

Teaching skills for teaching librarians: Postcards from the edge of the educational paradigm

Rachel Sandoval
ET

Reference

Peacock, J. (2013). Teaching skills for teaching librarians: Postcards from the edge of

                the educational paradigm. Australian Academic & Research Libraries32(1),

                26-42. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048623.2001.10755141

Summary
This article discusses the challenges faced by many librarians in academic libraries: the shift from librarians who teach to librarians as teachers (and learning facilitators). This is due in part to the increase of information literacy and other skills that are now being emphasized at colleges and universities. In most cases librarians do not have the educational, theoretical and practical pedagogical training as teachers. This is mainly due to the lack of pedagogical courses in library science programs. The authors of this article argue that through education, specifically professional development, librarians can acquire the knowledge and training needed to be teachers. The article points out some of the possible challenges on campus ranging from misunderstanding of the libraries role on the campus to budget constrains. The authors highlight two university programs that have implemented professional development for teacher librarians to teach.
Evaluation
This is a great article covering the issue of the profession transforming into roles as teacher schools, colleges and universities. Traditionally, library schools have not offered courses in educational theory and practice, leaving many librarians lacking the educational background now required of them. The possible solutions offered in the article are an excellent way for a librarian in this situation to see how others have been able to shift to teaching.

Learning outcomes, portfolios, and rubrics, oh my! authentic assessment of an information literacy program

Rachel Sandoval

CA
CO

Reference

Diller, K.R., & Phelps, S.F. (2008), Learning outcomes, portfolios, and rubrics, oh my!

               authentic assessment of an information literacy program. Libraries and the 
       
               Academy, 8(1), 75–89. Retrieved from

               http://www.ied.edu.hk/obl/files/e-portfolio2.pdf

Summary
This article cover the creation and implementation of an assessment strategy at the University of Washington Vancouver. The paper focuses on the involvement of the library faculty in determining the information literacy aspects of the assessment. The chosen type of assessment was an ePortfolio designed by  faculty/staff committee and chaired by a librarian. Students added to pieces of evidence for each learning goal in the ePortfolio. Evidence could be course work, co-curricular activities, work experience, description of work, volunteerism of other life experiences. Students then wrote reflections pieces for each learning goal.
While, both librarians and faculty felt that more training and class instructional time to explain the new system was needed they felt that the new assessment had merits. Other issues such as question options and wording were changed after the pilot study in order to garner more accurate and relevant student interaction with the ePortfolios. Perhaps the most revealing for student was that they started to see how their general education courses and co-curricular activities overlapped to create a whole educational experience. 
Evaluation
Although mainly categorized as assessment strategies, this article also cover collaboration. This is a great article that shows how librarians can help impact curriculum development and assessment on a college campus. In addition, with so much emphasis on assessments by administrators, accrediting bodies, and legislators, it demonstrates that “old fashioned” survey style or grade based assessments are not the only route. 

Information Literacy and the Multicultural Classroom

Ortiz, Amy

IL

Blas, E. E. (2014). Information literacy in the 21st century multicultural classroom: Using sociocultural literacy. Education Libraries, 37(1-2), 33-41.


Diversity is on the rise amongst postsecondary students. A higher education degree is becoming the standard nowadays for gainful employment. So, as the American demographic landscape changes and the necessity for higher education escalates, instructors seek to accommodate a wide-array of ethnicities, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds. Experiences shape the way we learn, so students with a varied and vast array of experiences will undoubtedly respond to curriculum in vast and varied ways. Information literacy is a significant part of this conversation. Theoretically, if a person knows how to locate, access, analyze and use information, then he or she knows how to learn! This article deals with the challenges of teaching 21st century information literacy skills to a diverse student population. The author writes, “Good teaching should take account of both the social and cultural background contexts of the student cohort and the teaching staff, and the resulting dynamics contained in classroom interactions.” Teaching information literacy in a sociocultural literate environment requires special attention to particular nuances. Librarians may symbolize gatekeepers in many cultures. This means that only the librarian has access to the information and will only share it with certain people assuming they meet the criteria for lending. It is important to break down this stereotype and frame information literacy in a way that relates to the student’s experience. The author cites an example from China, “many libraries in China continue to have closed library stacks, so students’ experience with library collections is quite different from those of individuals studying in North America.” Additionally, students from rural or low socioeconomic home cultures may not be familiar with how libraries work or the function of libraries in education. This article was great at framing the idea of 21stcentury information literacy skills within the context of diverse populations. 

Collaboration Trends in Distance Ed

Ortiz, Amy

CO

Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139-153.


As distance education becomes increasingly popular, instructors seek ways of fostering an online environment where students can more easily interact and collaborate. There is a unique pedagogy behind distance education, which requires a distinct approach to curriculum design. Online interactivity will make use of web 2.0 tools such as wikis, blogs and podcasts. Students and instructors will be able to communicate in real time and delayed time. These types of activities will help students feel connected to their learning experience. This connectedness is constructivist in ideology. The more active a student is in his or her learning process, the more likely they are to comprehend the curriculum. Creating information in the form of a wiki or blog and then exchanging ideas with peers and instructors is a great way to raise questions and nurture an environment where discussion is valued. This phenomenon of online social learning processes is a direct reflection of modern society’s fascination with social networking and digital communication. New learning management software is delivering an educational experience that encourages contact between students and faculty, develops reciprocity and cooperation among students, and gives prompt feedback. A bit of information that I found particularly helpful in this article was the distinction between instructional and learning theories: “Instructional theories explain how to achieve the desired learning outcomes, while learning theories describe how learning actually occurs.” This was helpful in my mind because up until this point I had trouble distinguishing between the concepts. Ultimately, technology will influence the way instructors design courses and the theoretical approaches they use to reach students who are separated from the institution by distance. Collaboration is an integral aspect of learning, so it is important that opportunities for interaction and collaboration combat the restrictions of time and space present in distance education.