Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ch2: Conditioning Theories - Programmed Instruction

Pg. 67 Programmed Instruction
Third paragraph describes how sometimes failure is a good thing because it makes the learner work harder at a difficult task, this then provides information as to what the learner can and cannot do.  I guess this information could then be used in the analysis of whether a student has mastered an objective or if remedial work should be given to the learner.  I wonder though, if not being able to successfully complete a task would frustrate a student that is used to constant success?

Ch. 2: Conditioning Theories - Habit Formation and Change

Pg. 42-43 Table 2.2 Guthrie's methods for breaking habits.
I found this very interesting.  Breaking a habit with the fatigue method.  Knowing this would have been very helpful with that student that liked making and playing with those paper spinners during class.  Has anyone tried/used the fatigue method in their classroom to break a habit?

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?