Personal Learning Theory Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2003 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

¶ … personal learning theory. The author incorporates the works of Albert Bandura to explain the elements of the learning theory and how it is incorporated into the classroom practice. There were six sources used to complete this paper.

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When I first decided to become a teacher I made the decision because I loved to learn and I loved helping others learn as well. When I entered high school I knew that my life goal was to become a teacher and be able to walk into a classroom every day and help others move ahead in their personal quest for education. I was not sure what grade level I wanted to teach but thought I would probably enjoy the elementary years the most. When I got to college I focused on elementary education and thought because it had been a life long dream that I had everything it took and that all I needed was the teaching credential. Boy did I have a lot to learn! As I made my way through the various required classes I have gained more respect than ever before for those teachers who helped educated me along the way. From my Kindergarten teacher to the lab supervisor in high school biology each of them had a belief and theory about how to teach and without making it obvious they used their personal learning theory to help me acquire knowledge. Today as I prepare to enter the world of teaching I have developed my own learning theory that will be applied to the thousands of students who pass through my classroom doors during my career as an educator. While the theory is mine and will serve as a blueprint for the way I conduct my classes the theory is derived from theories of those who came before me. The two most significant influences on my learning theory development include the ideas behind Albert Bandura and the elements of Experiential learning. Bandura is responsible for the idea that environment or modeled behavior help to shape learning and experiential elements provide the stepping stones to get it done.

Term Paper on Personal Learning Theory Assignment

In exploring my personal learning theory it is important to examine those that influenced the development of that theory and how they did so.

ALBERT BANDURA

The work and theory models of Albert Bandura most closely match my learning theory and what I believe to be important elements of educational practice in today's classroom environment.

Albert Banduras provides a clear cut design to understand the impact that modeled behavior has on individuals including students.

When Banduras was growing up he had the experience of being educated in a school that was so small that all of the elementary, middle school and high school students attended the same school. This provided him with an opportunity to see first hand what modeled behaviors could do for many grade levels as he watched the older kids who shared the halls with him.

It was during his work for his Ph.D which he received in 1952 that he became intrigued with learning processes and modeled behavior and their impact on the learning process.

He has spent his career at Stanford University continuing to perfect his theories.

Banduras is most well-known for what is called the bobo experiment. In that experiment Bandura wanted to see what would happen if small children were exposed a particular behavior (ALBERT BANDURA (http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/bandura.html)

He made a film of a female associate beating a blow up clown while she screamed aggressively at it. She kicked, hit and punched the clown. She hit it with hammers. She sat on it.

Bandura took this film and showed it to a group of young children and then had them go into a room to play. The clown was in that room and the children mimicked the same behaviors they had seen on the film. They hit the clown with hammers and kicked it and screamed the exact same aggressive phrases they heard on the film (ALBERT BANDURA (http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/bandura.html).

Critics believed the children knew it was a toy and therefore were not modeling particularly harmful behaviors.

Bandura repeated the experiment but this time used a real live clown who he had the assistant physically assault and verbally assault the clown (ALBERT BANDURA (http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/bandura.html).

When the children were again taken into the room after seeing the film they too attacked the live clown, and Banduras belief in the significance of modeled behavior was born.

He then went on in his research to conclude that not only does environment influence behavior but behavior can also influence environment (ALBERT BANDURA (http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/bandura.html).

I was keenly aware of the theories presented by Bandura and his work as I began to develop my own teaching strategy.

I believed that it would be important for me to model effective and organized behavior if I wanted my students to be effective and organized in their own learning. In addition I came to understand and believe that it was important to maintain a healthy balance of freedom and direction within the classroom as letting it get out of control could cause the behavior to change the environment of the classroom and make it less conducive to learning.

Within my personal learning theory I believe that modeled behavior has a significant impact on the students. Modeling behavior also has to have incentives. Banduras believed this was a principle element of environmental and social learning. I agree and have incorporated it into my personal learning theory. Within the classroom I have begun incentive programs designed to help motivate students to achieve their goals.

There are several token systems in place and the students have the chance to earn rewards by performing their lessons.

Of course the natural incentive for doing well in the classroom is the promotion of the student to the next grade level at the end of the year while interim incentives can include acceptable grades on report cards.

Adding imagery and language to the mix allows Bandura to theorize much more effectively than someone like, say, B.F. Skinner, about two things that many people would consider the "strong suit" of the human species: observational learning (modeling) and self-regulation (ALBERT BANDURA (http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/bandura.html)."

The three basic elements of Bandura's theory are attention, retention and motivation. I use many elements to gain and hold the attention of students when I am teching a lesson. I use music, class participation and interaction and props to make the lesson come alive so that they continue to pay attention. I also work to reduce any elements of distraction such as outside noise or distraction of other students allowing them to pay attention. For retention the use of imagery and props allows the students to process the information both visually and physically so that it will be retained and the motivation is encouraged through the use of incentives.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING THEORY

While Albert Bandura's ideas are closely related to my own personal learning theory I also incorporate many elements from the experiential learning theories as well.

In experiential learning the theory is that students learn by doing. There is a saying among educators worldwide that states:

The mediocre teacher tells.

The good teacher explains.

The superior teacher demonstrates.

The great teacher inspires.

William a. Ward (What is Experiential Education? James Neill last updated: 06 Oct 2004 (http://www.wilderdom.com/experiential/ExperientialWhatIs.html)" believe that I can inspire my students by making the lessons come alive in three dimensional form as often as possible. They will be able to read, hear about, visualize and touch as many elements as possible to be able to cement the lesson for life.

In experiential education, the student becomes more actively involved in the learning process than in traditional, didactic education. For example, going to a zoo and learning through observation and interaction with the zoo environment is experiential and in contrast to reading and talking about animals in a classroom (What is Experiential Education? James Neill last updated: 06 Oct 2004 (http://www.wilderdom.com/experiential/ExperientialWhatIs.html)."

I am a strong believer in such learning and incorporate it into every subject including mathematics and history.

For history I have the students read the stories and then choose a character that they want to dress up and portray. They are asked to write a short speech from the voice of that character and perform it for the other students.

This allows the students to evaluate the characters, which means they have to concentrate on the story to choose the one they want to portray. It allows them a chance to learn by writing, reading, and speaking as well as design a costume that depicts the era in question.

Experiential education is based on experiential learning. Experiential educators operate under the assumption that: educational goals can be effectively met by allowing the nature of learner's educational experience to influence the educational process

Experiential educators are generally aware that experiences alone are not inherently good for learning. Thus, experiential try to arrange particular sets of experiences which are conducive towards particular educational goals (What is Experiential… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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