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Assignment 13: “Participation in a Community of Learners” – Jodi Kiefer

source: Rogoff, B., Matsuov, E., & White, C. (1998) "Models of Teaching and Learning: Participation in a Community of Learners." In D. R. Olsen & N. Torrance (Eds.), The Handbook of Education and Human Development — New Models of Learning, Teaching and Schooling, Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 388-414

Briefly discuss the following issues:

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

I haven’t ever thought about the different types of learning environments before. It was interesting to read about the differences between the adult-run, child-run and community of learners education.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

I wish that the authors would have put in little scenarios as examples when they were describing each type of education. This would have been beneficial for visualizing/understanding the differences of each type.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

This article differentiated between the principles and styles of learning from one-sided instructional models such as the adult-run and child-run to a community of learners model.

3. analyze your own educational experience and

3.1. provide a rough estimate in percentage points for each category and

Adult-run education – approx. 90%
Child-run education experience – approx. 10% (found more at the university level)
Community of Learners – minimal (if any)

3.2. one example for each category (in case you have encountered all three approaches)

Adult-run education – Lecture-based learning where the teacher stands up front to fill up the students’ minds with information. I have experience this throughout my schooling career from elementary to high school to college.

Child-run education experience – I have experienced this on a research project that I participated (as mentioned before in past assignments) in which developed robots to be used in Urban Search and Rescue situations. As a group of undergraduates from various departments, we were left with the task of designing, developing, and testing a “tether-bot” robot which would protect the power tether of another robot. This project was based on collaborative work between us and the resources we could find.

Community of Learners – I can’t think of any particular experiences in my own education that I have had with this. However, I did participate in a K12 outreach program that was designed to bring engineering into Denver Public Middle Schools. We implemented design-based projects to portray engineering principles in a story-based, hands-on format. For example, one project was called Asteroid Impact. Kids had to design a cavern for their city to survive. With guidance from graduate students in the classroom as well as the teacher, students explored concepts such as soils, alert systems and resource issues using collaborative methods.

4. which technologies are used / can be used /should be used to support

Multimedia can be a great tool in all three types of education. The varying types of media (such as verbal, animation, etc.) allow the material to be learned to be viewed in a variety of ways.

4.1. adult-run education

I personally like the digital replication abilities of lecture notes in electronic formats. I find that with the lecture notes in front of me, I am able to absorb more and annotate key concepts from the lecture that I would not be able to if I had to also take general lecture notes.

4.2. child-run education

Technology that enables students to explore issues effectively would be very beneficial. For example, internet search capabilities, such as Google, would allow students to assess pertinent information as they desired. Organizational programs or systems that would provide structure would also be beneficial in the fact that it would allow students to organize and document efficiently the information they are exploring. This added structure would compliment child-run education as it is missing the teacher initiated organization of data.

4.3. community of learners education

Collaborative tools to enhance communication would be greatly useful. Technologies such as bulletin boards, question forums, etc. would enable communication from various parties to be involved.

5. analyze our course from the three dimensions:

5.1. adult-run education

There are a couple occasions in this class where we have experienced adult-run education – the initial lectures at the beginning of the course which introduced the subjects that would be explored as well as from the guest lecturers we have had.

5.2. child-run education

Our homework assignments are a form of child-run education in a way. Collaborative work occurs between some students to review each research paper as well as the analyzers and summarizers who explore each student’s opinions for each assignment. Our independent research and course projects are also a form of this type of education.

5.3. community of learners education

We experienced this in our role play simulation of the EDC. As a community, we played out the planning session and then discussed key features and applications of what we had learned as a group.

6. which possibilities do you see to effectively integrate adult- and child-run education?

I am a strong advocate for guided hands-on activities, especially for K12 education. This not only creates an environment of active learners, it also provides guidance and structure from the teacher.

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