Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ch. 2: Conditioning Theories - Instructional Applications

Pg. 32. Sequence of Curricula
Wow, I have to say that I agree with Thorndike on this one.  Skills should be introduced to students/learners at the right time or when it best benefits the learners.  But, just thinking back to when I was in the classroom, makes me nervous.  I remember I would try so hard to create my lessons so that they addressed my students' different learning needs, but sometimes it was just not possible due to the gaps between my students.  I taught 3rd grade students Math and ESL and some of my students were recent immigrants and their reading levels were very low. I had to pull those students out and work with them individually, so it took a lot of creativity from my part to keep the rest of the students going forward while helping my beginners catch up.

I also think that the segregation of content in our schools makes it difficult to teach learners knowledge and skills in the context of different subjects.  I really really liked the suggestion made by Thorndike's view on the sequence of curricula (Application 2.1 pg. 33) that learning should be integrated across subjects.  Brilliant. I agree that this approach does indeed provide a meaningful experience for children and "real life" learning of various skills. I think that this is what schools strive for, but due to the focus on preparing learners for state examinations is not done appropriately.  What do you all think about this?

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you on this one. The kids really need to be prepared in order to learn new concepts. Especially the ones who should've been retained but for some reason were promoted to the next grade level. They have such a hard time because they have not mastered concepts from the previous year. So the following year is so difficult for them. They are not ready for more difficult concepts. I always have to pull them aside and work with them side by side.