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. 
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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.