The Child as Being and Becoming

Name: Bansen, Helen

Main Topic: ET

APA Citation: Quennerstedt, A, & Quennerstedt, M. (2013). Researching children’s rights in education: Sociology of childhood encountering educational theory. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 35(1), 115-132.

Summary: This paper takes a theoretical approach to understanding how children exist in terms of education and educational theory. By studying several texts on the subject, the authors are able to compare and contrast the work of scholars who study the sociology of childhood and those who are experienced in educational theory. The authors straddle the line between understanding children as full-status humans, while simultaneously experiencing the process of becoming adults. Putting value in both the child’s immaturity and at the same time, honoring that learning is a lifelong process allows the authors to eliminate the false dichotomy that children are either being or becoming full-status humans. 

Evaluation: This paper functions primarily as a literature review, and is therefore a secondary text. This allows the authors a full range of discussion topics, exploring both the sociology of childhood and childhood-based educational theory. Their discussion of the general changes in the role of the child through recent decades provides a good foothold to move forward, and their discussion of formal education as a human right lends context to the later arguments. Citing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, they represent the child as being competent and therefore deserving of rights, but then make the accusation that this theory has not been challenged in research, and therefore needs more exploration. By juxtaposing later writings against John Dewey’s 1916 and 1938 writings on the topic, the authors drive home that the either/or dichotomous relationship that has previously existed, forcing children to be either already fully-formed or immature, this paper is able to recognize and legitimize that children exist in both spheres, and that this makes them more similar, rather than different from, adults, since learning and growth are a lifelong process, and no one is ever completely done learning.

When Starting at the Very Beginning

By Estrup, Erin

Topic: Educational Theory

Citation: Stevens-Fulbrook, Paul. 18 April 2019. “15 Learning Theories in Education (A Complete Summary)” from https://teacherofsci.com/learning-theories-in-education/.

Background Information: I have spent the last couple weeks reading, note taking, absorbing, forgetting, frantically trying to find the spot in that article where I read that thing, and more reading. Without putting to fine a point on it, I started this class with no previous knowledge of education. I thought I did. I went to school. Surely that should give me a basic idea of what “education” is, right? Nope. Nada. I looked through the list of questions to help me figure out what I did know and this could be summed up with the following list:

  • No Child Left Behind was a program about testing that was started under Pres. George W. Bush.
  • The current Secretary of Education is Betsy DeVos.
  • Parents hate common core math.
  • A flipped classroom is one where the lectures are online and you watch them at home and then you do your homework in class (my boyfriend’s brother is a teacher who does this).

And that was it. Everything else was a complete empty void. Theory?!? Oh jeez! Now I’ve done lots of research in lots of topics during my life, so on one hand it felt like this shouldn’t be that difficult.  I collected some peer reviewed articles and sat down to read them, and did the literary equivalent of running head first into a brick wall. I did not have enough basic knowledge to read a scholarly essay! That hurt. I had to take a few (giant) steps back and look at the problem from a lower angle. Where do you start when you need to start at the very beginning?  I thought about Wikipedia. We tend to knock Wikipedia pretty hard, but frankly, it’s a pretty good place to start when you need to start somewhere. But I also happen to know that I can get sucked down a Wikipedia vortex (or rabbit hole) pretty easily and I really just needed something simple to introduce me to terms, names, concepts that I could use to pick my way through online articles and then into more scholarly articles.

So, I Googled. I think I searched for “education theories summary” or something to that effect. I got a hit: “15 Learning Theories in Education (A Complete Summary)” from https://teacherofsci.com/learning-theories-in-education/ by Paul Stevens-Fulbrook.

Summary and Evaluation: This article covered behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. It introduced me to a number of education theorists and their theories (from Bloom to Vygotsky). It also used really simple language.  It was the very basic work that I needed as my gateway to educational theory. From here I was able to painstakingly work my way through my reading list. I still only feel like I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface (after all, a Master’s in Education isn’t awarded just for four weeks of reading), but for students like me, with no background knowledge and in need of a place to begin, I recommend this online resource.

Tags: ET

Swartzwelder, Cassandra

Topic: Educational Theory and Practice (ET)

Teachers TV/UK Department of Education (Producer). (2010). Resources: Deep Learning with Mini Whiteboards [Video file]. Retrieved from Education in Video: Volume I database. Retrieved from: https://search-alexanderstreet-com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/view/work/bibliographic_entity|video_work|1782550

In this video, a second grade history class uses whiteboards to solve a problem that is given by the classroom teacher. Students have to determine what type of material they will build a castle out of in 1081. The teacher asks several follow up questions. Students are thinking critically about several things at once while trying to solving the problem. The use of the whiteboards allows students to make mistakes and erase their mistakes. It also allows them to share their answer without being put on the spot and telling the whole class. In turn this builds the students confidence and they will feel more comfortable sharing in class.

The video does a great job of demonstrating what deep learning is and how you can create it in the classroom. Instead of having the students work on their own from a textbook, the teacher is involved and goes through the steps with the whole class. You could tell that students have a much deeper understanding and learning.