Diverse Perspectives on Development and Learning

This week in ECS 200, we were tasked with reading two articles that focused on the main topic of our class this week, “Diverse perspectives on Development and Learning”, instead of a chapter in our textbook.  While reading through the articles, I found myself thinking about previous university classes and some of my current placements.

The first article focused on Reconceptualists. I learnt that reconceptualists are challenging the way that prior theories are Euro-American and ignore the cultural, ethnic, and linguistic factors that effect a child’s development. Many of the previous theories that we have learnt in class are centered on European values and they forget factors such as cultural and ethnic values that influence a child’s development. While reading this article, I thought about the Place-Based Education which I learnt about in my Indigenous Studies 100 class. I found that this type of education was linked to reconceptualists because it incorporates culture, environment and curriculum into the education of students of all different backgrounds.

The second article focused on Indigenous Education in Canada. While reading this article, I found that I learnt about the way that residential schools effected Indigenous people in a different way. The author of the article described the trauma and forced assimilation of Indigenous people as an “erosion of spirit”. This “erosion of the spirit” made my previous learnings about the long term effects of residential schools make more sense. The cross-generational trauma that Indigenous people are still facing today is because of the erosion of their families spirits. It had never clearly sunk in how much residential schools have effected people in today’s time so much until I read that statement. In my placement for my ECS 100 class, I was told that the schools have the goal of lessening the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. I did not realize the gap was so large, until I read in this article that it will take 28 years for Indigenous students to catch up to the Canadian average. I fully understood why the school board as well as the school that I am at are trying so hard to improve the statistics. In my ECS 110 class, we were tasked with coming to terms with our privilege and from this article I understood that realizing that my privilege was built upon a racist society will help me better understand and teach Indigenous students.

These articles were interesting to read, but I am still wondering what steps I can take to improve the education of all my students from minority backgrounds?

Thank you for reading my blog post!

Ashley Osachoff

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Social Cognitive Views of Learning and Motivation

Hello everyone!

This week in ECS 200, we were asked to read chapter eleven of our textbook. This chapter was about social cognitive views of learning and motivation. While reading this chapter, I noticed that I was reading a lot of new information and I had not previously learnt some of the concepts taught in this chapter.

One of the first things that intrigued me was the triarchic reciprocal causality system. This big, complex name for a system is really just a fancy name for how personal, environmental and behavioural influences effect a person’s behaviour and how each factor influences the other in some way (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2013, p. 370). I found this system very interesting because it showed that people are influenced by a number of things that shape behaviour.

Observational learning also stood out to me. Observational learning is watching someone or something do a task to learn how to do it. Observational learning has a few elements to it; which include attention, retention, production, motivation and reinforcement (Woolfolk, et al., 2013, p. 372). Observational learning is very important in the classroom as students must pay attention and retain information, but with technology and internet, it is changing. In the past, in order for students to learn something, they had to pay attention and remember the information given to them in the class. Now, with the assistance of technology, students are able to watch videos over and over again to learn a task. I have used technology in university as a way to learn how to solve a math problem. I watched a “how to” video online multiple times until I understood the concept I did not previously understand in class. Another great example of observational learning is the young girl in the video below that learnt how to dance from watching YouTube videos.

Volition was a term that I was not familiar with prior to this chapter. Simply put, volition is willpower. It is “planning for and protecting opportunities to reach goals” (Woolfolk, et al., 2013, p. 382). I have been using volition a lot in the past month to ensure that I am getting my homework done by going to coffee shops that have no distractions to get my work done on time. I have built this willpower through being busy in high school, but how do teachers teach students to have willpower to finish assignments?

Thank you for reading my blog post! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Ashley Osachoff

References

Woolfolk, A. & Winne, P. & Perry, N. (2013). In O’Donnell C. (Ed.), Educational psychology (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education Inc.

Self and Social and Moral Development

Hello everyone!

This week in ECS 200, I was tasked with reading the third chapter of the textbook “Self and Social and Moral Development”. Some main points in this chapter include group trends, Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model, parenting styles and theories of moral development. I enjoyed reading this chapter a lot more than the previous chapter because I did not know a lot about the topics that they introduced and I found that I learnt quite a lot from this chapter.

One of the first things that I learnt from this chapter was that parenting styles and culture can greatly influence a child’s life and the way that children act. I was surprised that “parenting that is strict and directive, with clear rules and consequences, combined with high levels of warmth and emotional support, is associated with higher academic achievement and greater emotional maturity for inner-city children” (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2013, p. 73).

Another important thing that I learnt from this chapter was that self-concept and self-esteem are two different things. Self-concept is “a belief about who you are” and self-esteem is “an overall, general feeling of self-worth that incorporates [a person’s] self-concepts in all areas of [their] life” (Woolfolk, et al., 2013, p.91). Self-concept is very important to students, especially when they are picking high school classes because it is putting them on a path towards their future (Woolfolk, et al., 2013, p.90) which I can relate to. When I was in high school, I had a high self-concept in my abilities to do math and science and I chose harder math and science classes which led me onto the path to become a math teacher.

The final shocking piece that I read about what that “80-90% of high school and college and university students cheat at some point in school” (Woolfolk, et al., 2013, p.100). I did not realize that this statistic was so high, but it made a lot of sense to me. I remember in high school a lot of my friends or classmates asking around to copy someone’s assignment in order to complete it before it was due. I know a lot of students are under so much pressure to get assignments done and stay committed to everything else in their life that cheating at some point is almost inevitable.

After reading this chapter, I am still left with the question, “How do teachers know when it is the appropriate time to step in when students are having problems with their peers?”

Thank you for reading my blog post!

Ashley Osachoff

References

Woolfolk, A. & Winne, P. & Perry, N. (2013). In O’Donnell C. (Ed.), Educational psychology (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education Inc.

Cognitive Development

This week in ECS 200, we were tasked with reading the second chapter of our textbook. This chapter focused mainly on cognitive development and the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. Due to taking AP Psychology in high school, a lot of the topics discussed in the chapter were a review for me. Even though a lot of it was a review for me, I did learn even more from this chapter.

One of the most shocking things that I learnt about in this chapter was that there are some “general principles that almost all theorists would support” (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2013, p. 25) when discussing development. These principles were not shocking to me, as they are things you would expect, such as: “people develop at different rates, development is relatively orderly and development takes place gradually” (Woolfolk, et al., 2013, p. 25). I was more surprised to read that most theorists that study development agreed particular aspects of development since many of their theories are quite different. These principles seem very common sense, but from knowing two children who are eleven, I have seen first-hand these principles at work. One child is very independent and mature in a social setting, while the other is more dependent on others and is less mature. These two children are the same age, but due to growing up in different environments and cultures, they have developed at different rates.

Another thing that stuck out to me in this chapter, was that Vygotsky viewed private speech (muttering) as something that played an important role in cognitive development, not a sign of cognitive immaturity (Woolfolk, et al., 2013, p. 53). I found this very interesting because as a child I would talk to myself to think through different tasks. Even now, when I am faced with a more complex problem, I mutter my thoughts out loud to myself. I am glad that this is a part of cognitive development and I am not the only one that talks to myself to get through difficult situations.

The final thing that I learnt from this chapter was what the zone of proximal development (ZPD) was. The zone of proximal development is a “phase at which a child can master a task if given appropriate help and support” (Woolfolk, et al., 2013, p. 54). In short, this is the time when children are almost able to solve certain problems, but they need adult guidance to reach the solution.

I enjoyed this chapter quite a lot, but I am still curious as to how teachers are supposed to find the “magic middle” that the textbook mentioned?

Thank you for reading my blog post!

Ashley Osachoff

References

Woolfolk, A. & Winne, P. & Perry, N. (2013). In O’Donnell C. (Ed.), Educational psychology (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education Inc.