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Chapter 16

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  1. Chapter 16 Applications of Cognitivism II: Learning through Interactions with Others

  2. Class Discussions Reciprocal Teaching Cooperative Learning Peer Tutoring Apprenticeships Authentic Activities Community of Learners Advantages of Interactive Approaches Chapter Overview

  3. Class Discussions • Vygotsky and other social constructivists believe that people construct their representations (meaning) of the world through social negotiation • Social interaction is viewed as a mechanism for helping students learn • Classroom discussions are one form of social interaction

  4. Class Discussions • According to the research, how do discussions help students learn? • Students must organize their thoughts • Students are questioned and challenged by a classmate, which can tell the student he or she does not fully understand the information • Encourages perspective taking • A group can co-construct an understanding of a topic • Discussions work well for almost any academic discipline

  5. Class Discussions • Promoting effective discussions • Topics should lend themselves to multiple perspectives • Students must have prior knowledge – no “cold” discussions • Open debate and constructive criticism is encouraged • Get as many students involved as possible (small groups) • Structure the discussions • Give guidance about appropriate behavior • Provide a closure activity – examples?

  6. Reciprocal Teaching • Palincsar and Brown (1984, 1989) and others have argued that discussion can be effective because it promotes effecting learning strategies during reading and listening • Reciprocal teaching encourages students to use effective learning strategies • Read on…

  7. Reciprocal Teaching • Palincsar and Brown (1984) noted that good readers, unlike poor readers, do the following during reading • Summarize • Question • Clarify • Predict Students may acquire these strategies if they practice them in cooperation with other classmates – using reciprocal teaching

  8. Reciprocal Teaching • Process • Students and teachers read a passage • Teacher leads discussion of text as they proceed – asking questions about summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting • The role of the “teacher” is turned over to the students gradually • Eventually students read and discuss a text without the teacher

  9. Reciprocal Teaching • Reciprocal teaching allows the teacher and students to model effective reading and learning strategies

  10. Reciprocal Teaching • Effectiveness of reciprocal teaching • Palincsar and Brown (1984) • 7th grade students participated in 20 reciprocal teaching sessions, each lasting 30 minutes • Results • Independent summarizing and questioning increased • Better reading comprehension (30% before to 70% to 80% after) • Long-term reading comprehension gains • Students generalized their reading strategies to other classes

  11. Cooperative Learning • Building on the idea of reciprocal teaching, we now turn to group work • Cooperative learning involves students working in small groups to achieve a common goal • Groups may be formed on a short-term basis or a long-term basis • This approach is supported by behaviorism, social learning theory, and cognitive theories of development

  12. Cooperative Learning • Features of Cooperative Learning • Small teacher-assigned groups • Groups have one or more common goal • Clear guidelines for behavior are provided • Group interdependency • Structure is provided – Dansereau’s (1988) scripted cooperation • Teacher acts as resource and monitor • Individual accountability for achievement • Rewards for group success • Group evaluates its effectiveness • Examples?

  13. Cooperative Learning • How should groups be formed? • Mixed results from research regarding whether you should form heterogeneous groups (high and low achievers) • Textbook suggests • Assign roles to group members • Provide scripts for interactions • Assign projects that require a wide range of talents so that every member has something to contribute to the success of the group

  14. Cooperative Learning • Effectiveness of cooperative learning • Students of all abilities show higher achievement; particularly true of females, members of minority groups, and at risk students • Promote higher level thinking skills • Increases student self-efficacy • Students understand the perspectives of others • Relationships form between students – across racial and ethnic groups and regardless of disability

  15. Cooperative Learning • Problems with cooperative learning • Too much focus on group reward with the least possible individual effort • Students who do most of the work will learn more than others • Group may agree to use an incorrect/inappropriate strategy • Group may reinforce a misconception • Students are unable to help each other learn

  16. Peer Tutoring • Peer tutoring can be effective and lead to greater academic gains than traditional instruction (Durkin, 1995; Greenwood, Carta, & Hall, 1988) • Benefits the tutor and the student • Intrinsic motivation to learn when you are teaching someone else • Cooperation and social skills improve • Classroom problems decrease • Friendships develop

  17. Peer Tutoring • Facilitating effective tutoring • Tutors should master the material and be aware of instructional techniques • Tutoring session is limited to subjects students know well • Structure interactions: Fuchs et al. (1997) – 2nd – 6th graders were paired with a classmate for Peer-Assisted earning Strategies; engaged in partner reading with retellings, paragraph summaries, and predictions; the results showed significant gains in reading • Don’t exploit ability differences between students • Use peer tutoring for students with special academic needs • Tutoring is not limited to same-age pairs

  18. Apprenticeships • Think back to the historical meaning of an apprenticeship – a novice works closely with an expert to learn about a domain • Cognitive apprenticeship – you learn not only how to complete a task, but how to think about a task (graduate study)

  19. Apprenticeships • Apprenticeships are labor-intensive and are characterized by: • Modeling – expert models behavior or thinking • Coaching – expert provides feedback and suggestions • Scaffolding – support • Increasing complexity and diversity of tasks – learner progresses to more complex issues • Articulation – learner explains steps and why they are taken • Reflection – learner compares performance with others • Exploration – learner generates questions and problems on his/her own and expands skills

  20. Authentic Activities • Authentic activities are part of apprenticeships are gaining increasing favor as part of any educational approach • These are tasks that are identical or similar to those that students will encounter in the outside world • Authentic activities foster achievement, the generation of meaningful connections among ideas, and facilitate transfer to real-world contexts • See page 401 for examples of authentic activities • Other examples?

  21. Authentic Activities • Notes about authentic activities • Effective activities • Require background knowledge • Promote higher-level thinking • Require students to research ideas • Have high expectations for student work • Final outcome is complex (no single right answer) • Cautions • Students must master basic skills first • Don’t fill entire learning period with authentic activities • Focus on learning activities, regardless of whether they are authentic activities, that promote meaningful learning, organization, and elaboration

  22. Community of Learners • The topics discussed so far will help create a community of learners • Advantages (Brown & Campione, 1994) • Students actively and cooperatively work for mutual learning; students contribute to learning • Students are resources for others • Diversity in students’ interests and rates of progress are expected and respected • The learning process is emphasized as much as the learning product

  23. Community of Learners • Disadvantages (Brown & Campione, 1994) • What students learn is limited by the knowledge they acquire and share with others • Students may share and reinforce misconceptions

  24. Advantages of Interactive Approaches • This chapter presented several interactive instructional approaches that foster learning • Think back to how the various theoretical perspectives that have been covered relate to the ideas presented in this chapter

  25. Advantages of Interactive Approaches • As a wrap-up, the advantages of these approaches are: • Students co-construct their understanding of the world; may promote more complete understanding (constructivist view) • Students elaborate, organize, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information as they learn (cognitivist view; Bloom) • More proficient learners model effective strategies for less proficient learners (social learning theory) • Students integrate ideas about a topic (cognitivist view) • Students are motivated to learn (more about this in Chapter 17)