Tag Archives: theoretical perspective

Psychological Perspectives and ICT

For my final ICT specialist module of the year I was required to research and learn about psychological perspectives and ICT. In order to do convey what I have learnt I have created a series of blogs which represent a range of topics that can be discovered within this module. These topics include insights into the psychological theories that underpin learning, the impact that ICT has in education and these topics have influenced how we teach and educate today.
I began my learning by researching “How the work of Pavlov influenced education” this was the first step into the world of how psychology has influenced education for me and very much an area of research that encouraged me to learn more. My second blog was entitles “Learning through making” and it opened my eyes to the collaborative learning and how learning theories are usually built upon the work conducted by others. As I progressed through the module I began to gain an interest in exploring how technology has become apparent in our lives and education. This encouraged me to explore the world of “Computer dependency” an area of modern life that is often overlooked. Building upon this my learning drove me toward the use of “Technology in the classroom” and how we can use technology to further the development of children and how they learn.

These initial blogs allowed me to not only increase my understanding of a range of topics but also presented me with the opportunity to gain new knowledge surrounding the issues raised in this module. But with my ever increasing desire to learn more I decided to go back and research a few more learning theories for a few reasons. Firstly I wanted to expand my current base of knowledge regarding learning theory and understand why we teach the way we do or why we did at particular times in history. For example “Bandura, the theory of social learning and education” provided me with the opportunity to understand how the behaviour can influence the actions of others along with other things. Another theory that I took a particular interest in was “Situated learning.” After posting my first blog on this topic I was encouraged by feedback that I received to post a second blog on the topic titled “Comparing situated learning,” this allowed me to research the topic further and deepen my understanding of the topic. Another interest that I gained whilst studying this module was how theorists explain how we has people behave and act. I decided to research the work of Maslow but to approach it from a teachers point of view, writing a blog thinking about “How the performance of children in the classroom relate to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.” My final blog looked into the “Presentation of self in a digital life” allowing me to think deeply about how the digital world allows us to alter our persona and how people perceive us in both a personal and professional manner.

I feel that as a learner looking to expand his knowledge approaching this module in this way has been extremely beneficial to me. I have just written an essay surrounding two or three topics but researched and understood a wide range of topics that cover a variety of aspects of this module. In turn by representing my learning in the form of a series of blogs it has provide me with the opportunity to receive feedback that helps me to think about what I have written developing me as a learner.

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Situated Learning

Emerging from sociology and cognitive science, situated learning theory represents a major shift in learning. From traditional psychological views of learning as something that is for the individual it moves toward perspectives of learning as a social concept. Greeno (1998) is often credited with the development of the situated cognition or situated learning theory. Collins (1988) defines situated learning as the notion of learning knowledge and skills in contexts that reflect the way they will be used in real life. Therefore, situated learning theory “encourages educators to immerse learners in an environment that approximates as closely as possible context in which their new ideas and behaviours will be applied.” (Schell & Black, 1997).

Collins (1988) described four benefits of situated cognition that he believed were a good theoretical basis for learning. Firstly, it is important that students learn about the conditions for applying knowledge. Secondly, students are more likely to engage in invention and problem-solving when they learn in diverse situations and settings. Thirdly, students can see the implications of knowledge and how their thoughts can be in a real life context. Finally, students are supported in structuring knowledge in ways appropriate for later use by gaining and working with that knowledge in context that is meaningful to them. Classroom practices such as project and problem based learning would qualify as consistent with the situated learning theory. Thinking about the concept of situated learning, Wilson and Myers (2000) commented that situated learning “is positioned to bring the individual and the social together in a coherent theoretical perspective.”
Affordance is an ecological concept about perception. Gibson’s “affordance” (1979) is a term to characterise the “impact of the environment on an organism’s behaviour, or how it lives in its environment.” Any theory of learning must start with the culture in which the learner resides. This is a critical pedagogical approach by Wenyi Ho (No date). “If knowledge is co-produced by the learner and the situation, the position of the learner within the culture can become an important variable.” There are such a wide range of places that learning can commence, accessible areas which will deepen childrens thinking.  I think it very important for teachers to respect where children come from and their own communities. Therefore need to ensure that their learning has a context in their own environment but also to help them to become comfortable in multiple environments.

References 

Collins, A. (1988). Cognitive Apprenticeship and Instructional technology. (Technical Report No. 6899). BBN Labs Inc., Cambridge, MA. 

Gibson, J. (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin

Greeno, J. G. (1998). The Situativity of Knowing, Learning, and Research. American Psychologist, 53(1), 5-26. 

Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Schell, J. W., & Black, R. S. (1997). Situated learning: An inductive case study of a collaborative learning experience. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 34, 5-28. 

http://www.personal.psu.edu/wxh139/Situated.htm

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