Week 6: Diverse Perspectives on Development and Learning

3 things I learned

  1. Reconceptualist and 3 broad focuses

I learned that there are dominance discourses in early childhood education (or the education in general), and reconceptualists question and challenge those dominance discourses, by “recognizing that privileging any particular set of beliefs and forms of knowledge can create power for certain groups of people and oppress and disqualify others” (Cannella, Swadener & Che, 2007, p. 693). They understand the idea of ‘othering’ people, while “revealing circumstances in which power and privilege are created for some groups of people … for hope and possibility as [they] move toward a newly evolving, liberating ‘third space’, an early childhood dreamscape of social justice and equity” (Cannela, Swadener & Che, 2007, p. 693 & 696). With this idea, reconceptualists suggest three broad focuses:

  • Challenging grand narratives
  • Recognizing and embracing diversity
  • Acknowledging social and historical context (power and privilege)

I think that it is important to understand reconceptualists’ viewpoint in order to recognize who are ‘othered’ in the discourses occurred in education, as it helps move forward to achieve inclusivity and equity within the education system.

2. Grand narratives

This is a term developed by Jean-Francois Lyotard, indicating a theory “include[s] everything from Western views of logic, to the Evangelical Christian discourse of salvation, to economic interpretations of human functioning whether Marxist of capitalist, to the imposition of Piagetian structuralism on all human cognition” (Cannella, Swadener & Che, 2007, p. 693). Reconceptualists challenge this idea in a variety of fields and from diverse perspectives, and Michel Foucault and Jacques Lyotard would be great examples of “deconstruction of such dominant grand narratives” (Cannella, Swadener & Che, 2007, p. 693). We talked about what would be the examples of a grand narrative that shapes educational practice in the class, and discussed that grand narratives describe the universal child and normalize some ways of being, growing and learning, and I wonder how this narrative has impacted on the construction of curriculum?

 

3. Cannella’s Assumptions in Education Discourse

Cannella has suggested five assumptions in educational discourse:

  • A belief in the existence of notions of change, thinking, learning and mind
  • Focus on the necessity of education
  • A movement towards logic and advancement
  • Particular knowledge as more important, more sophisticated, more legitimate; and
  • The inferiority of particular people within education

My friend and I discussed about these assumptions, and we said that there are certain subjects that seemed to be valued more than others, such as Math is deemed more important course than arts, etc. I was also thinking that when considering grand narratives that entails Eurocentric views, it is often seen that Western ways of knowing is more visible in the education discourse than Indigenous ways of knowing does. Along with this thought, I would like to put a quote from the article, ‘Nourishing the Learning Spirit’: “Today, Indigenous peoples around the world continue to feel the tensions created by a Eurocentric educational system that has taught them not to trust Indigenous knowledge, but to rely on science and technology for tools for their future, although those same sciences and technologies have increasingly created the fragile environmental base that requires us to rethink how we interact with the earth and with each other” (Battiste, 2017, p. 16).

 

2 Connections:

In the class, we talked about what would be the description of being a good student. This reminded me of a discussion I had in last month through ECS 210 lecture. At that time, what came in my mind first was: being diligent, punctual, and obedient. Then I realized that I was very influenced by traditional ways of teaching and classroom, the idea of ‘common sense.’ I think that this disallows students to engage in diversity, various ways of learning, and grow creativity, critical thinking, as well as other essential skills in learning process, and succeeding their lives in the future.

 

With the readings and discussions in the class, I got to think about Indigenous peoples and their ways of knowing in the curriculum. Although SK curriculum does have treaty education, and we are being taught to braid it into the classrooms, I still think that Indigenous ways of knowing is being faded and it made me very frustrated and sad, because this reminds me of my country’s history; Korea was once colonized by Japan, and they tried assimilation policy with various ways, to kill the spirits of Korean. Although there are still some issues going on in regards to the dominium problem of Dokdo island, Comfort Women, and distorted history in Japanese history textbook, etc. – we became a completely independent nation with fully preserved exotic culture, language, and heritage. I hope to see a true mean of reconciliation being achieved with the hope of revitalization of Indigenous language, knowledge and culture, like Koreans did. I believe that there are many ways that we can contribute to it, however as educators, the best way for us to do is “to continue to address racism and Eurocentrism … to offer what Elder Albert Marshall called Two Eyed Seeing: that is to normalize Indigenous knowledge in the curriculum so that both Indigenous and conventional perspectives and knowledges will be available – not just for Aboriginal peoples, who would be enriched by that effort, but for all peoples” (Battiste, 2017, p. 17).

 

Questions to think:

How the Grand Narratives have impacted on today’s curriculum? How can we make a difference in curriculum to achieve diverse narratives?

What would be the possible ways for teachers to pursue revitalization of Indigenous culture in the classroom? How can we apply?

 


References

Battste, M. (2017). Nourishing the Learning Spirit: Living Our Way to New Thinking. In Education Canada. 50(1). Retrieved from: https://urcourses.uregina.ca/pluginfile.php/1288354/mod_resource/content/2/EdCan-2010-v50-n1-Battiste.pdf

Cannella, G. S., Swadener, B. B. & Che, Y. (2007). Reconceptualists. In Early Childhood Education: An International Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: https://urcourses.uregina.ca/pluginfile.php/1288512/mod_resource/content/1/reconceptualists.pdf

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Week 5: Culture and Diversity

3 things I learned:

  1. Five Dimensions of Multicultural Education

As a visible minority who is studying Education at a Canadian university, I was thrilled to learn about multiculturalism because it is one of my teaching philosophy, as well as a goal to adopt it into my future classroom. I used to think that understanding the diversity while encouraging students to recognize and embrace it would be the primary way of achieving multicultural education. However, I have learned more specific ways to achieve:

  • Content Integration
  • Helping students understand how knowledge is influenced by beliefs
  • Using teaching methods that reach all students
  • Creating social structures in schools that support learning and development for all students
  • Prejudice Reduction

With this understanding, I think I got a step closer to make my future classroom as a place of embracing diversity.

 

  1. Gender Schema Theory

I learned a new term: Gender schema, “organized cognitive structures that include gender-related information that influences how children think and behave” (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2015, p. 210). This schema can have a huge impact on a child, as “according to gender schema theory, children and adolescents use gender as an organizing theme to classify and understand their perceptions about the world” (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2015, p. 210). As such, I think that my role as an educator will be very critical in assisting children to build appropriate gender schemas while unlearning gender bias/stereotypes.

 

  1. Socioeconomic status (SES) and Achievement

I learned that socioeconomic status and academic achievement are moderately correlated: Students with high SES tend to show higher scores on tests than the students with low-SES. Low-SES students may suffer from inadequate health care, lowered expectations of teachers, low self-esteem, learned helplessness, etc. Also, it is said that the longer the child is in poverty, the stronger the impact is on achievement.

 

2 Connections I made:

  1. I was told that the males are more likely than females to experiment with same sex partners as adolescents. As a person who graduated from a girls’ high school, this was very interesting to me as I have not met a male adolescent who expressed this issue. Though, regardless of gender, I think that we as educators, would have to be mindful and open to diverse sexuality that can be occurring in the classroom. For example, when talking about their relationships or family structure, it is recommended to use the word ‘partner’ instead of mom, dad, girlfriend, or boyfriend, in order to avoid certain circumstances where stereotypes can be caused, as well as protecting students’ self-esteem.

 

  1. In the class, we talked about giving students food if they have not eaten in the morning or do not have lunch with them, and this is where I made another connection. When I was little, my family experienced a significant financial crisis, so until grade 3, I was a student with low SES. I remember that my school had provided lunch and milk with free of charge for me, as I was in low SES. (In most cases, Korean students do not bring lunch to school, because either the schools have Food Services, or a partnership company comes to serve food. Students are responsible for the lunch fee, but it is very affordable.) It was a nice gesture of school and government, but I was shamed because of the fact that I was a student who gets supported due to my family’s economic circumstance, and worried about what if my friends find out that I am low SES. Now my family is stable and I don’t have to worry about these things anymore, I was a bit sad in the class because it made me think back to those days. Then, this made me wonder, how should we approach students with low SES to provide support systems while protecting their self-esteem?

 

Questions:

How can we achieve inclusive classroom where all diversities are accepted?

How should we approach students with low SES to provide support systems while protecting their self-esteem?

 


Reference

Woolfolk, Winne & Perry. (2016). Chapter 6: Culture and Diversity. In Educational Psychology. (6th Ed.) (P. 210). Toronto, ON: Pearson.

Week 4: Social Cognitive Views of Learning and Motivation

3 things I learned:

  1. Self-regulation

Self-regulation is one of the goals for teachers to assist our students so that they can foster better, because this has a lot to do with learning process. This concept includes being able to use knowledge, motivation, and volition, which would result in positive outcomes and ultimately, being successful in one’s life. I believe that this can be achieved not only through schooling, but also at home, and any other social circumstances that a child faces throughout his/her life.

 

  1. Types of motivations

I learned the terms of ‘intrinsic motivation’ and ‘extrinsic motivation’. Among these two, extrinsic motivation was particularly interesting to me because this is where the environment influence is being a part of. An example of this would be the use of rewards, prizes, consequences or punishments, which all are commonly used in school, as well as at home. Also, I think that not only children are being motivated by these factors, so are adults. Because the work people do in the real world is often regulated by both intrinsic and extrinsic world.

I know that some people value intrinsic motivation over extrinsic motivation, because it would be more rewarding and offer a deeper sense of achievement than the extrinsic does. Certainly, there would be pros and cons on both sides. However, I wonder if intrinsic motivation has to be more preferred than extrinsic motivation when it comes to teaching?

 

  1. Children begin the process of learning with observation

I believe that this is one of the most important elements in terms of social cognitive theory because it includes learning from modelling as well as thoughts, beliefs, expectations, and judgments. In other words, humans start learning by observing from the moment we are born while developing the various senses, then enhance their learning processes throughout lives, which means that social cognitive theory explains adaptation, learning and motivation. It is a fundamental method of learning that can be found in all areas.

 

2 connections I made:

The connection I made is regarding self-efficacy. As mentioned in the lecture, there are multiple influences on this concept and its development, including family, teachers, peers, any other contacts that a child may experience in his/her life. I remember when I was younger, I experienced developing self-efficacy by influences from family and teacher: I was a very shy and quite child and had a low self-confidence, which had led to a low self-efficacy especially if a task needed to be accomplished in public. Then, my mother encouraged me to join in school music band to in a hope of developing self-confidence, which, needless to say, I absolutely hated at first because I did not believe that I could play an instrument in public while collaborating with others. I thought I would be terrible and cause a trouble to the team. However, both my mother and the teacher believed in me and gave encouragement, and I became able to play the marimba quite pretty well, and our band ended up winning a prize at a local contest. With this experience, I developed self-efficacy in terms of music, which got me to major in music later, when I was in my first college in Korea. As such, I believe that our job as educators is very crucial not only in academic context, but also in children’s journey of developing themselves.

 

Another connection I made has to do with social cognitive theory. As mentioned above, observation plays a significant role in this field. This fact got me to think about the importance of teacher in the classroom because students not only learn what we teach, but also learn from observing their teachers. Also, I think that this would have more influence on younger children, and as I am hoping to work with young children in the future, this makes me more passionate about becoming a better teacher who can bring positive impact on my future students.

 

1 Question to think:

I kind of threw it around the discussion about the different types of motivation, so I will rewrite again: Should intrinsic motivation be more encouraged than extrinsic motivation when it comes to learning? If yes, how should we better foster?

 


Reference

Woolfolk, Winne & Perry. (2016). Chapter 11: Social Cognitive View of Learning and Motivation. In Educational Psychology. (6th Ed.). (pp. 367-397). Toronto, ON: Pearson.

Week 3: The Self, Social, and Moral Development

  1. Potential of playing

First thing I learned this week is that playing and physical exercise play a significant role in children’s learning.

I thought that play and physical movement offer few benefits: helping children release their stress while growing an ability to self-regulate, and keeping them healthy. I didn’t realize that when I was in elementary school, I was learning not only in the classroom by listening to what the teacher says, but also by playing with peers. However, as “play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and youth” (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2016, pg. 66), those play time was contributing to my cognitive and social development, while aiding motor skills. Now that I understand the fact that play and physical exercise allow children to be creative and express themselves, as well as enhance in physical, emotional, and cognitive strength that cannot be gained during seated class time, I hope that I can incorporate more physical movement time in my future classroom.

 

  1. Various parenting styles and how it affects children

Second thing I learned is various parenting styles and how it affects children. As discussed during the lecture, there are various different parenting styles, although I remember 4 main styles: Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive and Rejecting/Neglecting. Due to spelling, I often got confused with the meanings between authoritarian and authoritative, though now I am able to distinguish them – Authoritarian features controlling parenting style where children often do not have agency; not abusive but not openly affectionate, while authoritative parenting style provides clear limitations/expectations and clearly enforced rules but also affectionate. Different parenting styles would lead children to have different personalities/temperaments. For example, children of authoritative parents tend to be confident, high self-esteem, and have a sense of empathy, while children of authoritarian parents are more likely to be depressed, and shy.  Also, depending on the culture, parenting style may appear in different ways.

 

  1. Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development

Last thing I would like to mention is Erikson. He proposed a theory of psychosocial development that describes tasks to be accomplished at different stages of life. 8 stages are introduced according to the age. Among those stages, it was quite surprising to me to learn the stage of 6: Intimacy versus isolation (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2016, pg. 83). According to Erikson, the important event of this stage is ‘love relationships’ because “the young adult must develop intimate relationships or suffer feelings of isolation”. However, I think that it would be varied by many factors, such as culture. Depending on the cultures, I have seen cases of people having intimate relationships much earlier than Erikson suggested, whereas some people have not built relationships much later than young adulthood. However, that does not necessarily mean that those people are suffering from feelings of isolation.

 

Connection

Speaking of the importance of play time, I believe that I didn’t have recess as much – or longer – as it is in don’t recall any recess time during my school years. It is possible that some schools in Korea did offer recess, or it has been changed since I graduated so that every school has once in a day now. However, as far as I remember, we did not have a concept of ‘recess’ – we just had 10 minutes of break time between the classes, lunch time, and PE class, and those are the only time when we get to be ‘free’ from the desk and chair. Hence, I did not know what ‘recess’ was until I took ECS 100, which had a practicum that allowed me to experience Grade ½ classroom once a week. Now that I understand how important it is to ensure physical activity for children, I wish I had recess when I was younger, and also hope that the next generation in Korea gets enough opportunity to physically move.

Another connection I made is in regards to peer relationship and peer cultures. When I was younger, I used to hang out with a group of girls all the time. We lived in the same neighbourhood, went to the same elementary school and middle school. We literally spent almost every single moment of our childhood together. As we entered the middle school, we had to wear school uniform, and at some point, all of us started to wear similar shoes and bags, and cut bang hair. Then somehow, these things became a ‘norm’ to us. Now that I look back, I think that the idea of peer cultures is quite common, especially among the adolescents.

 

Question to Think:

How can we more incorporate/ensure ‘playing’ time at school?

Is Erikson’s Eight stages of psychosocial development universal? Or is it overgeneralization?


Reference

Woolfolk, Winne & Perry. (2016). Chapter 3: Self and Social and Moral Development. In Educational Psychology. (6th Ed.). (pp. 66 & 83). Toronto, ON: Pearson.

Week 2: Development and Learning

This week has given me an opportunity to think about a topic of human development. As humans, we grow, improve, and move forward while aging, and this is something that does not stop and cannot be stopped unless one deceases. Of course, every moment of development is critical. However, as some stages of development throughout our lives is more essential than others, it is fundamental and significant for us as educators to achieve understanding of the principles, different types and factors, as well as related theories of human development.

 

First thing I learned from Chapter 2 of Educational Psychology is the fact that there are four different areas in human development: physical, personal, social, and cognitive. All is intertwine with each other, yet all is independently important in shaping individuals with their external and internal identities. So, is it nature or nurture that develop these areas? While I was struggling to pick one over another, the following quote from Educational Psychology (2016) has opened a new door: “Today the environment is seen as critical, but so are biological factors and individual differences. In fact, some psychologists assert that behaviours are determined 100% by biology and 100% by environment – they can’t be separated.” (p. 24)

 

Another thing I learned this week is Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. This includes Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete operational, and formal operational, which are all divided according to the age of an individual. Each stage has its own characteristics as portrayed in the video that was shown during the lecture. This has helped me understand why individuals at different ages would respond differently in the same situation (e.g.: recognizing the same amount of water in two differently shaped glasses). Although, Piaget’s theory has limitations, as not all individuals are consistent with stages, and his theory underestimated children’s cognitive abilities, as well as overlooked cultural factors in child development. (p. 60)

 

Last thing I would like to address as a learning point among other things is General Principles of Development:

  • People develop at different rates.
  • Development is relatively orderly.
  • Development takes place gradually. (p. 25)

As a future educator, I believe that knowing these principles would play a key role in understanding my future students. Also, without taking consideration of these principles, it would be difficult to create an environment where the students can benefit from.

 

With the lecture and reading, the connection I made is related to the topic of ‘nature vs nurture.’ I see valid points from both sides, and also have opinions on both. In other words, it is quite hard for me to choose one over another because I think that one benefits his/her development in various areas by allowing both nature and nurture factors to have impacts.

 

Another connection I made has to do with the idea of scaffolding, a way of supporting learners with appropriate assistances from a more competent individual. When I was younger, I hated Math class especially when learning fraction, and was always embarrassed because I thought I was left behind in Math. By then, I had a lack of understanding of basic division, which hindered me from understanding the concept of fraction. My teacher, then, took a step-by-step for me: she made sure that I fully understand division first, and then moved to fraction part. Thankfully, I was able to overcome the fear of division, as well as self-esteem has strengthened as I saw my achievement. As such, I believe that scaffolding is a powerful tool that educators can utilize to reach every student to meet their different needs, while building relationship and enabling the learners to become confident and competent in their learnings.

 

While it is undeniable that Chapter 2 has offered an in-depth knowledge of human development, one question arises in my mind and has to do with the idea of fostering resilience: What makes students be resilient learners? Is it nature or nurture that has more influence in fostering resilience? How can we, as educators, ensure to create resilient classrooms?

 


Reference

Woolfolk, Winne & Perry. (2016). Chapter 2: Cognitive Development. & Chapter 6: Culture and Diversity. In Educational Psychology. (6th ed.). (pp. 22 – 61 & 215 – 217). Toronto, ON: Pearson.