I think what really struck me most when I read the modules for EDS 103 was the Primacy–Regency Effect. This posits that “we remember best that which comes first, and remember second best that which comes last” (Sousa, n.d.). This makes the first part of each classroom encounter a crucial learning episode for students. When used correctly, this can produce the most retention of information on the part of the students.
This has caused me to consider the activities that take precedence in my Science classes. As a teacher-in-charge, I have to remind students about administrative matters and follow-up reply slips to announcements and circulars from the school. I also check the homework after any of these announcements are over. Reading about primacy-recency made me realize that homework checking can rob my students with the opportunity to learn (and I, the opportunity to teach) valuable information. I had resolved to bring up administrative reminders during the middle part of the class period.
Since I started teaching, my Coordinator has always emphasized the inclusion of critical questions in discussions that can help stimulate higher-order thinking skills (HOTs) in my students. I had improved, as a teacher, in asking thought-provoking questions and incorporating values to my lessons according to my Coordinator. Reading about how teachers play a role in students’ complex thinking skills has challenged me to think of more ways that I can bring about “equilibrium” and “disequilibrium” in my students.
I do plan discovery learning activities. These student-centered activities where they can experiment with different scenarios are helpful in honing inference-making and in developing an inquiring mind in the kids. Such skills will prove valuable in their subsequent investigatory projects.
In the course of the modules where I learned about different learning theories, I came to better understand the map metaphor. Different kinds of maps do exist that pertain to the same place. Just like maps, “there are many different theories about a subject, all useful at different times, but one might be clearly superior for a particular task” (Bauer as cited in Dewey, 2007). In this case, teaching would be the subject. Depending on the skill to be learned and mastered, certain learning theories may prove helpful at different instances, especially when planning class encounters and activities.
Our department has adopted Bloom’s Taxonomy in planning varied activities that target and promote higher-order thinking skills. With these additional perspectives that I learned from the EDS 103, I do hope that in the past three months, I have indeed become a better teacher and learner.
Sousa, D.A. (n.d.). Primacy/Recency Effect. Retrieved from http://www.lancsngfl.ac.uk/secondary/math/download/file/How%20the%20Brain%20Learns%20by%20David%20Sousa.pdf
Dewey, R.A. (2011) Psychology: An Introduction. Retrieved from http://www.intropsych.com/ch01_psychology_and_science/model_building_and_mappoing_reality.html