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Adam Torgerson
Assignment 13

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

The general concept of the community of learners
model was interesting. My mother works in a co-op preschool, which is
similar to this model. All parents enrolling their children in the
school must commit to working at the school 2 days per month. The
parents help manage the children, and help set up and participate in
classroom activities. It is good for the children because they see
their parents taking an active role in their education. It is good for
the parents because they get direct exposure to their children in a
learning environment, and especially with such young children, my
mother and other teachers help with general child raising skills and
problem solving with regards to children (many parents lack abilities
in one or both of these areas).

1.2. not interesting about the article?

The problem with a concept such as a co-op school in
which parents are required to participate, and to a certain extent my
mother agrees with me, is that it excludes lower-class parents from
enrolling their children. In many cases both parents in a lower-class
family work, often at jobs which they may not take time off from. This
problem could be solved by turning employers on to the idea and making
exceptions for co-op learning, but even then some employers will
probably oppose the idea. Building a community of learners is not the
final solution because that community will exclude some people due to
its nature.

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

The main mesage was presenting the community of
learners model and showing its advantages. This model is quite
different from normal teaching styles in that it uses a combination of
children, adult, and parent led teaching practices in order to get
everyone more involved in the educational experience.

3. analyze your own educational experience and

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

About 20% self directed learning (child), 75% adult,
5% community of learners.

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

Pretty much all of my formal education elementary
school to college has been run by adults. There have been the
occasional humanities class which the teacher would set up an
environment similar to a community of learners (without the parent
involvement) by spending classes having students focus on critiquing
one another's work, but even then the entire class was not structured
like this. A good portion of my learning, especially the technical
learning, has been self-directed, either by reading technical books or
documentation, or just by jumping into things and trying them.

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

A general note on some of these technologies: not all technologies are
adaptable to every learning scenario. For example, using computers may
not be appropriate for early child development.

4.1. adult-run education

I see this model as having the least potential for
technology support. Since the adult is usually just disseminating
information to their class, there is little reason to use
collaborative tools. Interaction is typically minimized or discouraged
so use of technology is probably limited to watching instruction
videos, or individual/small group use of a computer program or
something similar.

4.2. child-run education

I primarily see educational software, integrated
documentation, and the Internet (as a knowledge reference) as the
technologies supporting child-run education.

4.3. community of learners education

This model has great potential to use collaborative
technology. Software such as wikis, forums, Internet conferencing,
chatting and version control all support collaboration. The trick will
be how to integrate them into a classroom environment. Ideally, the
members of a class would all have access to this collaborative
technology in the classroom, during class, in order to support class

5. analyze our course from the three dimensions:

5.1. adult-run education

Has the least amount of presence in the
class. Sometimes during lectures it can revert to this model.

5.2. child-run education

The Independent Research and Projects sections of
this class are basically child run. Each group is free to pick the
subjects they focus on and milestones are required to make sure
everyone is on task, but there has been little direction as to the
specifics of each.

5.3. community of learners education

There is no parent involvement, but I don't think it
is necessary in this situation because each student should be
knowledgeable enough to direct their own education in the same way a
parent would in the community of learners model. The Independent
Research and Projects will culminate in class presentation and
discussions, which will be a community of learners. Regular in-class
discussions and analysis of each other's homework also promotes this

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

I think in many situations it is very hard to do,
especially in the more technical classes in which discussion may not
be appropriate because of the quantity of information the teacher must
cover, and simply because a lot of technical material is simply not
open for discussion. However, one thing any class can do is
peer-review of student work. This can be helpful because it provides
another student's perspective on your work, and it simply gets
students more involved in the educational process. Instead of just
submitting an assignment and waiting for the teacher to assign a
grade, students spend time evaluating one another's work, which forces
them to think more about the subject, and lets them see how others
approach the same problem.

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