Saul has offers a balanced perspective in his argument as he shares that teachers too are regulated and may not have the autonomy to change how they address students needs. He shares that districts need to trust teachers more and allow them to do what research says is best for students. This was interesting to read as an educator because I often felt that in district schools, teacher’s don’t have much of a voice and they have to do what they are told or else find a new school to work at. It is encouraging that some people see the need to empower teachers who can in turn empower students to be more involved and engaged in their education.
The line of questioning I’m exploring is: Why is information literacy so challenging for us?
Nevertheless, Mindset has some excellent advice for helping students cope with change. It is probably not necessary to read the entire book, as a number of chapters become repetitive. However, the first three chapters and the chapter on teaching are valuable additions for anyone’s reading plan.
By Bailey, Rachel
Mayer, R. (2008). Applying the science of learning: Evidence-based principles for the design of multimedia instruction. American Psychologist, November, 760-769.
Summary: This article combines the science of learning and instruction. After conducting numerous research trials, the author concludes that some multi-media led instructional strategies are more conducive to learning than others. In the article he highlights 10 effective principles of multimedia instruction. Here are his findings:
- Eliminate extraneous material.
- Highlight essential material.
- Present pictures and spoken words rather than pictures spoken words, and printed words.
- Place printed text next to the corresponding part of the graphic.
- Present corresponding graphics and words at the same time.
- Break a continuous lesson into learner-paced parts.
- Provide pre-training on the names, locations, and characteristics of key concepts.
- Present graphics with spoken text rather than graphics with printed text.
- Present words and pictures rather than words alone.
- Present words in conversational style rather than formal style.
Amy Jessica McMillan
Willis, J. (2014). Cognitively Priming Students for Learning. Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/cognitively-priming-students-for-learning-judy-willis
Judy Willis, a neurologist turned elementary school teacher turned education professor, writes an ongoing blog for Edutopia about brain-based teaching strategies. This article explains how to grab students’ attention so their brains will work to learn more. Willis’s advice involves inviting students to make predictions about upcoming units. For example, the teacher might choose a particularly thought-provoking image or video and provide more hints and clues about it as the unit goes on. According to Willis, “When students want to know required information to create solutions to problems that interest them or to create products that they care about, the brain applies the effort to learn what is required to achieve desirable goals” (para. 8). In other words, our brain is automatically set up to be curious and to take steps to satisfy this curiosity. We teachers have the job of making students want to know more.
I am a frequent reader of Dr. Willis’s blog. She gives practical ways that we teachers can work with students’ brains to help them learn. In this article, she reminds readers that students who have “relevant goals” are motivated to achieve them. Their brains are hardwired to work towards goals that make sense to them personally. On the other hand, students who don’t see school as relevant, do not see the value in working hard. Then, they reinforce that feeling by failing and therefore seeing even less worth in trying. Their brains are telling them that the effort would be better served elsewhere. This explanation makes a lot much sense to me because I see this all the time in the classroom. The trick is to make the students curious, to make them want to know more. Their brains will take it from there.
Five Ways to Integrate
Dr. Julia Marshall
Summary: This article has been a staple of mine for the last six years when thinking about shifting pedagogy to integrate across content areas, particularly spanning art and science. The five creative strategies Dr. Julia Marshall describes are used by both artists and scientists alike in the real world, and are fantastic strategies to implement in the library setting to embrace student choice, collaboration, and synthesis of their ideas. They are cognitive strategies, that are used to communicate the creators’ ideas through depiction, metaphor, mimicry, formatting, and projection.
Julia Marshall is an Art Education professor at San Francisco State University and I had the pleasure of working with her closely on a science and art integration initiative in San Francisco public schools.
Evaluation: In thinking about the cognitive processes that span art and science, Julia offers some specific ways in which both artists and scientists are manipulating information to communicate their thinking. I highly recommend it!