Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Learning Theories Week 2 T2P

if ...then ...because T2P (Theory 2 Practice)

If teachers want their students to be actively engaged in the classroom and motivated in their own education then the teacher should start every class with an open conversation that allows the teacher to express any personal points that he or she thinks the class might enjoy hearing and also allows the students to share their stories, questions, comments and concerns with everyone else in the room because this activity will foster a friendly and healthy social environment that will promote cooperation among students, and will make the teacher appear more accessible to the students as a source of helpful information and also as a role model that they can look to for advice.

Week 2 T2P

This morning GNA wrote on the black board behind where I sit "Beliefs, Behavior, Disposition, and Vision." She tried to explain to us that these four aspects of a teacher would have profound impact on how their classes learn. I guess I tried to go along with her on the topic but i couldn't really put it all together until she presented us with the case study, What's the big problema? The question GNA posed to us was "how does what Erik (the teacher) brings to the mix affect his students learning." To answer the questions I started to think about Erik's background; I stated that Erik felt unqualified to solve the racial segregation in his diverse classroom because he "belonged" to the white majority in America. When we broke into paired discussion, I continued down this vein of thought, but when GNA made the point that students don't necessarily learn more when they are forced to work in diverse groups I came to a revelation. I understood how teachers beliefs, behaviors, dispositions and visions will influence the learning experience of their students, and I realized that if there are flaws in those four aspect then the classroom will not be as productive as it could be. Erik's belief was that culturally diverse reading in his english class would foster a sense of cultural acceptance in his class. When he realized that this belief was not true he did not know how to respond. He had to face the fact that his disposition and his behavior in his classroom were not promoting a willingness in his students to explore other cultures in their class. So he has a big decision to make about his pedagogy. Should he abandon his vision of a classroom with students from different cultural background working cooperatively or should he work to modify his disposition and behavior in order to promote this vision that he believes in. Both options require major changes in Erik as a teacher, and through my analysis of this case study i am understanding how my own beliefs, vision, behavior and disposition need to evolve with me as I progress through my teaching career. Reflection and criticizing oneself is not easy but it is necessary if we want to effectively educate are students and continue to hold ourselves to the highest standard of teaching.


  1. Matt, UR T2P hypothesis is articulate and on point. Strong work. You've come to a more complex understanding of how the academic and socio-emotional curricula must be congruent in order for whole-person learning to occur, and the teacher's role in promoting learning along both strands. Keep pressing.

  2. Your reflection made me think about Cory's discussion of Ayers and Lemov and applying both techniques and theory to the classroom. Maybe Erik's theories didn't work because his techniques were faulty when he tried to rush the students to work with different ethnic groups.

  3. In general i feel it is the responsibility of the teacher to express his or her own personality in the class, and also to express a desire to collaborate with the students in order to make the course more meaningful for all. If a teacher can accomplish these two goals then the students will begin to emulate the teacher's disposition and a more productive, self-motivated and cooperative class will arise