All tag results for ‘childhood development’

Eliminating the Fear of the Test: Reflections on Assessments

March 26th, 2007

Evaluation and Assessment of Curriculum

Abstract

Our world is full of assessments. This seems especially true to those in the education field who conduct assessments ranging from self-designed assessments for classroom use, to nationally designed assessments to compare students from different states or districts. So caught up are we in the act of either administering or taking an assessment, that we rarely stop to ask questions like, “Why are we conducting this assessment?”, “What will be the added value of conducting this assessment?”, and “Are the assessments we use being used appropriately?” The following questions are addressed in the following first-person narrative account based on some of my experiences with assessments. In the process, I also highlight two experiences with traditional assessments which had drastically different impacts on my perception of assessments.
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Improving the Classroom Performance of Students with Emotional or Behavioral Disabilities: Proactive Interventions at an Out-of-School Time Program

September 6th, 2006


Action Research

Preface: This paper is a sample “Action-Research Proposal” in which we were required to go through the complete process of designing the research and justifying it by a review of current literature. Ideally, we would have the proposal reflect our work setting; however, since I’m not in the educational setting these days, I worked with a combination of my past experiences. The community setting I have identified is the one I worked at while in Santa Barbara. The description of the student population, however, is a little bit more hypothetical and based more on observations from my other after-school experiences and from my observations of one of the sites that the after-school program was going to be expanded to. This paper also borrows certain elements of an earlier paper on program design for out-of-school-time programs.

An Exploration of My Teaching Philosophy

June 21st, 2006

Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction

Just as there are many blends of learning styles that can be observed among students, so too can one find a range of teaching styles. Perhaps what is more significant than a teaching style—partly because it influences one’s teaching style—is a teacher’s philosophy about teaching and learning. Although I have had experience teaching, I have never formally considered what my teaching philosophy was; so, before taking an assessment that would help identify my teaching philosophy, I took a moment to reflect the experiences I felt had shaped me as a teacher.

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An Individualistic Approach to Education: A Personal Theory of Learning

April 2nd, 2006

Lifespan Development and Learning

In comparing different learning theories in detail, one ultimately gets to the point that they realize that no one theory is right or wrong, but that each theory has something to offer. Learning theories are valuable because they are often revised and reanalyzed or tested in different contexts to see how well they stand up, effectively minimizing the need for teachers to spend too much time developing research projects and testing them for accuracy. Instead, teachers are given the opportunity to test the results of theories they find interesting or solidly designed and see how well each theory works as a predictor of outcomes. This testing of theories is important for at least two main reasons: (1) theories are often developed in a very controlled environment where the limited variables used do not always accurately reflect the “real world” and (2) depending on how old the theory is, it may be out of date and not applicable to many of the problems we encounter in schools today. Thus, even if we do not fully agree with the implications of a particular theory, it may be helpful to periodically review them and carefully consider their messages about human learning and behavior.

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Albert Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory: Observational Learning and the Self-regulative Ability of Individuals

March 26th, 2006

Lifespan Development and Learning

From a very early point in the history of philosophy, philosophers have been asking questions about human nature and about how we develop. These questions have led to a range of theories about human development and have extended from the philosophical sphere into the realms of psychology and educational research. Along with this expansion into other areas of studies, the questions being asked are also changing. Earlier educational and psychological theories, for example, focused largely on behaviorism as the source of human development while recent theories have increasingly been integrating the role of cognition in the development process. Despite being only theories with flaws and without definite answers, these theories are very valuable to educators.

There are three main categories of thought distinguishing these educational theories: developmental, environmental, and crossover. While there is variation in the ideas of theorists within each group, there are a few generalizations that can be made about each. The following paragraphs will give some very basic background into each theory to help illustrate the differences between them.

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A Personal View on the Punishment Versus Rewards Debate

March 4th, 2006

Lifespan Development and Learning

In the education and parenting fields, there is often a debate whether to use punishments or rewards to motivate students and influence behavior. There are supporters of both methods and there are people who believe that neither punishments nor rewards should be used to encourage learning. As each individual holds his or her own beliefs about the appropriate use of these tools in learning, it is important to spend some time considering the debate.

As a child in Trinidad, I remember that fear of punishment in school was a great motivator for my good behavior and desire to perform better academically. I also remember, however, that not everyone else in my school had the same response to punishment. My friend, for example, seemed to love getting in trouble and often went home with welts from the bamboo cane. What irked my teachers even more was that he was also one of the top students in the class. For me, the threat of punishment was a form of aversive stimuli and was enough to cause me to behave a certain learned accepted way.

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