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Nikki Gilbert

March 23, 2011

Student ID: 100050337

Multifarious is the view I connect to in reference to how students learn. Specializing in behavior disorder, I often associate learning not only with learning new concepts, but learning desirable behaviors as well. I agree with various concepts of each theory: Skinners behaviorism, Piagets individual constructivism, Atkinson and Shiffrins information processing theory, Vygotskys social constructivism, and Banduras social cognitive theory. I believe insight into the ways that students learn can be found in each theory. In regard to Skinners theory of behaviorism reinforcement and punishment can be effective motivational tools to use in the classroom. Desired behaviors increase when positively reinforced while undesired behaviors decrease when punished. Learning to use reinforcement and punishment effectively is the key to obtaining desired results. Reinforcement and punishment will be used in the classroom in alignment with the theory of Skinners behaviorism. I will identify what activities students enjoy doing. Students can earn the last ten minutes of class to enjoy these activities by managing their time wisely, completing assigned tasks, and turning assignments in on time. The opportunity for students to participate in an activity of their choice at the end of class is contingent with getting their work done. Students can be active participants in regards to their own learning through incorporation of Piagets theory of individual constructivism. Childrens natural
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Nikki Gilbert

March 23, 2011

Student ID: 100050337

curiosity and motivation to learn drives them to learn about the world they live in. Students gain new understanding and construct new meaning through experimentation with a variety of everyday objects. Students command ownership of their learning through this kind of active participation. Discovery learning, associated with Piagets individual constructivism, will be a foundation of my classroom. Taking advantage of students natural curiosity in the world around them lends itself to opportunities to apply current knowledge to learn new, important skills through experimentation. This method of instruction will foster scientific skills in my students. For example, students will work individually to determine what affects the oscillation of a pendulum by manipulating various factors: mass, angle of release, length of string. This handson approach to learning will benefit students by helping them construct knowledge about the world we live in. Atkinson and Shiffrins three-component model of memory provides insight into how students learn and retain information in long-term memory. Moving information from the sensory register to long-term memory is the goal of all teachers. A key component of the model addresses how teachers can foster longterm memory by relating new information with prior knowledge and/or experiences. The more information students have stored in long-term memory the easier it will be to learn new information in the future.
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Nikki Gilbert

March 23, 2011

Student ID: 100050337

With Atkinson and Shiffrins information processing theory in mind, I will select information for the students to focus attention on. From there, I will relate new information to prior knowledge and experiences of my students in an effort to move new information from working memory into long-term memory. For example, when teaching new concepts of economics, such as advertising competition, I will ask my students to give me examples of advertisements seen on billboards, TV, or heard on the radio. I will connect advertising competition with experiences they have already encountered. As a teacher, I will strive to make connections between old and new information when applicable. In reference to Banduras social cognitive theory, I believe that behaviors can be learned by observing models. Models can guide students in learning many behaviors: academic skills, aggression, and interpersonal behaviors. Modeling is instrumental in teaching students how to advance academically and conduct themselves in the world today. Using the idea of modeling from Banduras social cognitive theory will be another tool I use to enhance learning in my students. I will model how to perform various tasks before asking students to be able to do them independently. For example, before asking students to write an essay on a particular topic I will model how to write various aspects of an essay. In an effort to teach students how to control their anger, I will conduct myself in a nonaggressive manner during
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Nikki Gilbert

March 23, 2011

Student ID: 100050337

frustrating situations. In addition, I will model good social skills in an effort to teach children behaviors that will help them succeed in the future. Modeling has several advantages inside and outside the classroom. I agree with the concept associated with Vygotskys social constructivism that society and culture play a key role in interpreting the meaning of the world around us. Adults teach children how to interact with their environment in a variety of ways; language being a most important tool. In addition, I also agree that students learn complex tasks through the guidance of someone more knowledgeable. Students are capable of reaching their zone of proximal development through collaboration with others rather than struggling to solve complex problems on their own. While modeling is a useful tool to construct meaning for students, I will also convey meaning through language, emphasized in Vygotskys social constructivism. I will teach students new words necessary in order to understand newly introduced concepts. For example, when teaching students about the physiographic regions of the United States of America I will introduce new words: plain, plateau, prairie, and steppe. On another note, I believe students need additional support when attempting to solve complex problems. Students will be relieved to know that I will provide scaffolding to assist with complex problems when necessary. For example, in Algebra I, when advancing from one-step
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Nikki Gilbert

March 23, 2011

Student ID: 100050337

equations to two-step equations, I will break down the problem, ask questions, give hints on future steps, and provide feedback about how students are progressing. By working within the students zone of proximal development they can achieve success in math and various other subjects. I believe parts of each theory are useful in teaching and learning. I intend to use concepts and techniques from each theory to teach my students necessary information and help them retain it. Having a strong knowledge base of each theory and utilizing it where appropriate will no doubt pay off in my future classroom.