This week's learning for Course 1, Week 5, centered on various learning theories.
ISTE for Educators link:
Learner 1c - Stay current with research & the learning sciences to support student learning.
Having done a (fairly) recent Master's of Educational Technology from UBC (2017), I'm fortunate that I come from a place where most learning theories in the readings this week, including Bloom's Digital Taxonomy were not new to me.
Still, it was nice to review and revisit the readings. It brought me back to some UBC-MET activities in which I compared and contrasted subsects of constructivist theory along with understanding what a weird period of time we were in when Skinner's Behaviourist theory was strongly purported.
One learning theory that was introduced in the orientation of COETAIL, and more strongly this week, was that of George Siemens' Connectivist theory.
In particular, I loved the succinct breakdown by Siemens (2004) in Bell's (2011) musings on the theory. Bullets one and three are particular favourites.
A quote from the Bell reading that highly resonated with me were the thoughts on research (2011; p. 106), "Good research is not only informed by theory but also helps to build it."
I had some serious sad face emoji this week when von Glasersfeld gets honourable mentions with his deviant radical theory of constructivism (sorry, Ernst - not a believer), yet good ol' Seymour Papert doesn't even get one cricket. Especially in COETAIL, a certification build upon the advocacy of technology in education. Even more so in a week where Bloom's Digital Taxonomy is introduced with its premise of "Creating" being at the upper echelon of this theory. Tisk, tisk, COETAIL --- 😢
All bias aside, Papert, after researching with Piaget for four years, derived his own variant of Constructivism, which he called Constructionism. Aptly named, of course, because... well... he thought people learn best when "constructing" things that are personally meaningful to them. If interested, you can brush up more on Papert's theory here, and more on Papert's legacy, here.
I could quote Papert all day - but, this quote sums up what he advocated in his theory:
Thankfully Seymour Papert lives on today with his two proteges - Mitch Resnick (who also has one of the coolest job titles on the planet) and Gary Stager. "Lifelong Kindergarten" and "Invent to Learn" are two must-reads for any educator, authored by Mitch and Gary, respectively. If your school has a maker space, Fablab, or kids who love to code, you can thank Papert.
Gary created a beautiful homage to Papert in his 2014 TED talk, "Seymour Papert: Inventor of Everything".
COETAIL: This would be a good "skim" resource to add to this week's readings in future cohorts.
The readings this week, with my consolidation, introduction and connections led me to think more deeply about what Stanford math expert, Jo Boaler, posits as to the way our brains grow and change.
In fact, I elucidate this so often to my learners, that this week's readings, in true "Bloom's Digital Taxonomy" spirit, has intrinsically motivated me to "create" my own infographic on the topic.
Some pondering questions to leave you with: