Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Herman (1998) - Promoting pedagogical reasoning as preservice teachers analyze case vignettes

Herman, W.E. (1998). Promoting pedagogical reasoning as preservice teachers analyze case vignettes. Journal of Teacher Education , 49, 391-397

P.H.D. = pedagogical heuristics device

The amount of class time to explore the detail of the P.H.D. dictated the need for brevity in the classroom stimulus. Written case vignettes were brief (1-2 pages) and offered critical incidents that could lead to depth of analysis and teacher interventions. Many excellent sources of case studies exist (e.g., Kowalski, Weaver, & Henson, 1990; Silverman et al., 1994).

This heuristic device is a general set of questions and tasks guiding future teachers in the process of solving educational problems. Shavelson and Stern (1981) defined heuristics as implicit rules that people are unaware of and use in complex tasks in order to select information, classify objects or persons, or revise their knowledge (p.469). Students learned to use this P.H.D. to interpret case vignettes depicting classroom situations, link theory to the educational context, and develop teacher action plans.

They began by analyzing the situation in terms of such elements as historical time period, emotional states, quality of the relationships, verbal/nonverbal messages, motivations, defenses, and social/multicultural elements.

Next, students were asked to link five theoretical constructs to the scene on the basis of their potential to add understanding to the teaching and learning aspects of the situation.

Students then were asked to describe each selected construct, then generate 10 possible teacher responses along with possible student reactions to these responses.

Finally, students generated and evaluated a five-point action plan based upon internal/external criteria, why it might work or fail, and moral/ethical/ political considerations.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Social interaction and individual understanding in a community of learners: The influence of Piaget and Vygotsky

Brown, A. L., Metz, K. M. & Campione, J. C. (1996). Social interaction and individual understanding in a community of learners: The influence of Piaget and Vygotsky. In A. Tryphon & J. Von├Ęche (Eds.), Piaget- Vygotsky: The social genesis of thought. (pp. 145-170). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Piaget and Vygotsky have more in common than is usually supposed.

Piaget's Influence

  • What can children be reasonably expected to learn and understand?
  • Piaget argued that the development of logical thought is enhanced by the need to defend one's ideas to actual or imagined audiences.

    Grade school child as a scientist (or theorist) concept:
  • children of this age are able to identify variables, determine cause, and refine theories
  • children's reasoning can be much more sophisticated in familiar situations and well developed knowledge
  • children's thinking often reflect a natural inductive logic

    Vygotsky's Influence

    Participant structures:
    1. Reciprical teaching
    2. Jigsaw
    3. Guided writing

    Main principles
    1. classrooms invoke multiple zones of proximal development
    2. a community of academic and scientific discourse is developed
    3. meaning is negotiated and refined
    4. ideas are seeded and appropriated; and
    5. common knowledge and distributed expertise are both essential
  • Treagust (2006). Conceptual change as a viable approach to understanding student learning in science

    Treagust, D. F. (2006). Conceptual change as a viable approach to understanding student learning in science. In Kenneth Tobin (Ed.), Teaching and Learning Science: A Handbook, 25-32. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.

    The best-known conceptual change model in science education, based on students' epistemologies-examining how students think about their world originated with George Posner, Kenneth Strike, Peter Hewson, and William Gertzog (1982).

    In this conceptual change model, student dissatisfaction with a prior conception was believed to initiate dramatic or revolutionary conceptual change and was embedded in constructivist epistemological views with an emphasis on the individual's conceptions and his or her conceptual development.

    If the learner was dissatisfied with his or her prior conception and an available replacement conception was intelligible, plausible, and/or fruitful, accommodation of the new conception may follow.

    An intelligible conception is sensible if it is noncontradictory and its meaning is understood by the student; plausible means that in addition to the student knowing what the conception means, he or she finds the conception believable; and the conception is fruitful if it helps the learner solve other problems or suggests new research directions.

    The extent to which the conception meets these three conditions is termed the status of a learner's conception. Resultant conceptual changes may be permanent, temporary, or too tenuous to detect.