Urban Myths about Learning and Education – Book

Clem, Katy


De Bruyckere, P., Kirschner, P.A., & Hulshof, C.D. (2015). Urban Myths about Learning and Education. Academic Press.

Preview available at https://books.google.com/books?id=7h4tBAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PR4#v=onepage&q&f=false

This is a full book rather than a journal article, but it is a great place to begin understanding educational theories. The authors devote the first section to a wide-reaching foundation in ET background before moving on to describing and debunking 12 common myths in education.

Urban Myths About Learning and Education serves as a particularly elegant source of background to Education Theory & Practice; as it is aimed at novices and experts alike, its early chapters are dedicated to providing a foundational overview of the current educational paradigm, operating theories, roles in education research, and definitions of frequently used terms. I found this so helpful and used it as a launching pad for deeper investigation into individual ideas. The many, many useful references from this book alone could take me years to examine! Ultimately, this single title emerged as my most useful resource on education theory, and I’ve been going back to it repeatedly for further topical background as I stretch my knowledge base. It provided a mental map to how the world of educational research is currently laid out and allowed me to create a scaffold of understanding into which new ideas could be categorized and linked in a meaningful way rather than just added to the top of an ever-growing pile of information.

Education and the Mediated Subject

Mary Fobbs-Guillory


Saul, R. (2016). Education and the mediated subject: What today’s teachers need most from researchers of youth and media. Journal of Children and Media, 10(2). Pp.156-163

Roger Saul discusses how the education system that is still in place in most schools around or country is operating on old understandings of how children work and what they need from schools. He says that researchers can help bridge the divide of where were are now to where we should be by helping educators see the untapped potential of their students and the valuable skills they can contribute to their education. He states that there has been a “mass imposition and perpetuation of a constructed reality…embedded in power relations that have operated to deny in young people a range of options for self-understanding and expression that they might otherwise be entitled to” p.158. Teachers may not even realize they are marginalizing students because they are also being robbed of their agency.

This article echoed a lot of sentiments that I’ve been learning about in my Young Adults library class and that I have felt as an educator. Students can be very bored with the low level work they are often assigned. They need more of a challenge and they are more committed to that challenge when they have input and autonomy. There are a lot of studies that show the value and importance of inquiry and constructed knowledge, yet it is still not the norm in most schools. I sincerely hope that changes.

What Teachers Need from Researchers

Mary Fobbs-Guillory


Saul, Roger. (2016) Education and the mediated subject: What today’s teacher’s need most from researchers of youth and media. Journal of Children and Media, 10(2). Pp.156-163

Roger Saul shares that the majority of today’s educators are still operating with archaic understanding of what young people are capable of and how to engage them in school.  He argues that researchers need to provide educators with a better understanding of their students’ potential to make meaningful contributions to their education.  He also shares that teachers may not realize they are marginalizing their students by not allowing students the opportunity to explore their identity and express themselves as they learn in school.

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.

From Behaviorist to Constructivist Teaching.

Alpers, Jessica

ET-Educational Theory and Practice

Scheurman, G. (1998). From Behaviorist to Constructivist Teaching. Social Education, 62(1), 6-9.

Summary: Scheurman begins this article by explaining that in a given subject, when the constructivist view is applied deep understand of the topic develops and rigorously defensible beliefs about important disciplinary issues are developed. This is enhanced because student view the problems from different perspectives, and come to develop their own views. This is where knowledge is constructed. Teachers are able to be both transmitters and managers of knowledge. Transmitting occurs when a lecture is given, textbooks are read, and then that knowledge is used in an activity. Managing might looks more like “chunking” information, and helping students to build connections and their own thinking processes. Scheurman further describes the teachers as facilitators or collaborators. This means monitoring the “classroom learning and participate actively with students in its evolution.” Ending with some connections and concerns, one being how the movement to constructivism abandons the traditional instruction and assessment models. It is a challenge that would need to be overcome.

Evaluation: This is a good article that describes different ways teachers can teach. For those wishing to be more involved in their classrooms, and less lecture driving this article gives a good explanation of how to begin. This article is primarily directed at social studies classes, but it can be applied to any number of subjects.

Genius Hour

Felix Davila III
RUSH, E. B. (2015). Genius hour in the library. Teacher Librarian, 43(2), 26-30. Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lih&AN=111875244&site=ehost-live&scope=site
In this article, Rush details her approach to developing “Genius Hour” within her school library, noting that approach can be daunting because the purpose of the hour is to allow students to thoroughly research using methods by the librarian for a topic of their choice. The amount of variance may be hefty, but the research time is invaluable for students to become more acclimated to the research process, research methods and progressing through a project with such freedom. Most importantly from this article is Rush’s point that librarians should take care to provide some structure, having at least one physical book pertaining to each topic a student chooses and having a plethora of resources that can advance research goals from a tech perspective too, that way students receive a blended exposure to investigating topics.

This particular article was incredibly important, in my eyes, and it seems to really provide a positive effect on professional goals. During this semester, a class booked the library for a week long project of investigating anxiety, explaining what respectively affects them and how to counteract it or what they do best to handle it. Their research immediately began with running to the stacks, but my library team scrambled together a listing of resources, including websites, apps and community peer support groups that allowed students to supplement their research and find ways to combat their own anxiety. Rush’s explanation is applicable in more ways than just my example, but it goes to show that providing a thin framework from a multitude of sources can go a long way.

Hoverboards and “hovermoms”: helicopter parents and their influence on millennial students’ rapport with instructors.

Anne Luca


Frey, T. K., & Tatum, N. T. (2016). Hoverboards and “hovermoms”: helicopter parents and their influence on millennial students’ rapport with instructors. Communication Education, 65(3), 359-361.


This article deals mostly with how teachers should interact with mom’s of the millennial generation. Millennial children are considered to be quite different. They have a very different environment in which they grew up and were raised in. For this reason, they require teachers to changing their strategies in how they are intending to go on with teaching. However, this article also deals with how the parents effect that teaching, and what that does to the students. Hovermoms, or over bearing parents, tend to change relationships with teachers, making students expect a specific type of relationship with their instructor.


This article is particularly useful because is shows the change in both student needs and culture. Culture and changing lifestyles have impacted what students needs are, and how they behave in class. It changes how teachers need to relate to students as well as how they need to relate to the student’s parents. While relating to parents might not seem like the most important thing, but I think that it could prove to be very helpful. A good way to start understanding students it start by looking at their parents.

Tool literacy as a new process

Alan Phelps
IL-Media Literacy, ET-New Trends, ET-Constructivism and Behaviorism

Valenza, J. (2016, May). Tool literacy as a new process. Retrieved from http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/2016/05/14/tool-literacy/
This current and interesting article comes from School Library Journal. It is a good piece which starts out with an imbedded short, cool video showing the evolution of the work desk from 1980 to today. The article is mainly about the author is trying app smashing– using multiple tools together to complete a complex task. The article really implores the reader to go deeper into apps and find ways for apps to organize work and be more efficient and maximize your time. Valenza states that different people have different affordances and use apps differently. Many people don’t get the most out of their apps, often having 2 or more apps for a task when really, if you knew the app better could get the tasks done with one app. Experiment and explore, be creative and get more out of your apps.
I found the article interesting as I think more and more about how to make my library a 21st century learning commons while maintaining some of the charm of an older library. The author states “Introducing a tool and saying you are going to use this tool to tell this storyis kinda like saying go to page 347 and do exercises three through five.” I never really thought about it like that but it makes sense that a student might get more out of an assignment or project if they had multiple tools to use and could let their creativity take over.

From Behaviorist to Constructivist Teaching

Friel, Holly
Scheurman, G. (1998). From Behaviorist to Constructivist Teaching. Social Education, 62(1), 6-9. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/docview/210642352?accountid=10361
This article provides concise explanations of theoretical frameworks for behaviorism and constructivism, including the main proponents, rationales, and practical applications of these concepts in the classroom.  To explain behaviorism, the author references contributions from B.F. Skinner and Noam Chomsky.  The main tenets of behaviorism are: “1) knowledge is a possession of ‘truths’ that reside outside the knower, and 2) learning is the process of acquiring those truths.” In a behaviorist-informed classroom, the teacher is the transmitter or manager of the acquisition of knowledge.  In regards to constructivism, the author references Jean Piaget (for cognitive constructivism) and Lev Vygotsky (for social constructivism). The main idea behind constructivism is that “knowledge is created by people and influenced by their values and culture.” In a constructivist classroom, the teacher is the facilitator or collaborator that pushes students to come up with their own solutions and formulate their own interpretations of information.
This article is an excellent, brief introduction to behaviorism and constructivism.  The article mentions the applications of these theories in the social sciences, but the main points are applicable to educators in any classroom. This article also contains a great “Matrix of Teaching and Learning Approaches,” illustrating the different roles of a teacher on the behaviorist to constructivist spectrum: Transmitter, Manager, Facilitator, Collaborator. (See below for the matrix.)

Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns 

Gloria Maciejewski
ET – Educational Theory  

Strauss, V.  (2014, Oct. 24) Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns. The Washington Post. retrieved from: 


This is an article I think every teacher should read, no matter where they are in the career.

 It appeared first on a blog by Grant Wiggins, author of Understanding by Design. It turns out that it was written by his daughter, Alexis,  who had transition out the role of teacher after 15 years and was now an instructional coach at an American High School overseas. As part of an introduction into her new role, her administrator asked she shadow a 10th grader and a 12th grader.  She uses her experiences to form three reflective  Key Take-Aways.
1.  Students sit all day long and it is exhausting (no surprise there)
2.  High school students are asked to passively absorb for (a shocking) 90% of the time.
3.  Students wind up feeling like a nuisance all day long.

She then goes on to frame what she would have done differently given the chance to do it all again.

New teachers and old could benefit from this article. I wish there was an elementary version. Wake up teachers and get your kids moving and active.

Good IDEA: Instructional design model for integrating Information Literacy

Blaylock, Solomon


Mullins, K. (2014). Good IDEA: Instructional design model for integrating Information Literacy. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(3-4), 339-349. doi: 10.1016/j.acalib.2014.04.012

A presentation of IDEA (interview, design, embed, assess) – an instructional design model created specifically for librarians, with a theoretical foundation in cognitive and behavioral learning. The model is explained in detail from theoretical foundations to practical implementation. The article features several explanatory flowcharts and even templates and rubrics, providing a suite of tools enabling the reader to make use of IDEA out of the box.


Although the theoretical underpinnings of Mullins’ model are in some conflict with those being championed by this course, it seems to me that the author has something of great value to impart, and has gone to pains to ensure that this is done so with a thoroughness clearly aimed at results-oriented praxis. The behaviorist underpinning of the model, particularly in the area of assessment, might actually make it particularly valuable to academic librarians who so frequently these days find themselves the direct and immediate necessity of providing quantitative data to back up any claims to continued relevance against a rapidly shifting backdrop of upsets in scholarly publishing and information retrieval.