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Module 4: Cognitive Explanations of Learning
• John Flavell + Lev Vygotsky + Jean Piaget
• Metacognition is the monitoring and control of thought, thinking about cognition, self reflection
• Metacognition is the process of being self-aware of one’s own personal learning strengths and weaknesses; strategy knowledge and use; and a capacity for self-reflection
Strategies to Improve Metacognitive Awareness:
- Discuss with the class the importance of metacognitive knowledge
- Model your own metacognitive processes for students
- Ensure there is time for group discussion and reflection about learning activities
- Make visible the cognitive strategies students are using
Improve regulation of cognition by checking planning, monitoring and evaluating strategy use
Examples of Reflective Questions:
- What is your goal?
What strategies are you using?
- Who can you ask for help?
- How often are you studying?
- Do you think your strategies are working?
- Do you need to make changes to your strategies?
- Did you achieve your goal?
- What strategies worked?
- What will you do differently next time?
Benefits and Limitations of Metacognition;
- Self-awareness
- More efficient use of study time by using strategies
- Taking control of learning
Not always easy to identify learning strategies
- Hard to be honest about strategies
Introspection can lead to doubt
Module 5: The Constructivist Classroom
• John Dewey + Jean Piaget + Jerome Bruner + Benjamin Bloom
Key Principles of Constructivism;
- Learners are active participants in their own learning - the leam by doing
- Learners are self-regulated - they plan, monitor and evaluate (metacognition)
- Social interaction is necessary for learning
- Individuals are encouraged to make sense of information for themselves
Classroom Strategies of Constructivism;
- Discovery learning - problem based learning
- Problem solving
- Open-ended questions
Reflection; Learning journal
- Questioning
- Collaborative learning
- Small-group learning
- Social learning - online networking Peer teaching
- Use of experts e.g. parents or community members
- Use of Bloom's taxonomy to structure a series of questions that each student can apply based on their capacity
- Cultural experiences - excursions to art galleries, museums, national parks
Benefits and Limitations of Constructivism;
- Active discovery promotes curiosity
- Active rather than passive learning
Interaction with experts
- Encouraged use of available technology
- Requires considerable time
- Students may not have group work skills
- Lack of student motivation
- Students may leam incorrectly
Module 6: Contemporary Teaching Strategies
Collaborative Inquiry and Problem Based Learning:
• John Chaffee + John Dewey + Socrates
• Scaffolds (tools, resources, and processes provided by the teacher)
• Before learning - during learning - after learning
• Based around experiencing and solving real world problems
Characteristics of Collaborative Inquiry and Problem Based Learning:
- Posing questions and investigating these using data/information
- Freedom for groups of students to define their own inquiry or problem solving process
- Development of ideas within a community of learners
- Student-centred activities in order to solve a problem
- Discovery or exploration of ideas
Elements of the Process of Inquiry/Problem Based Learning;
- Asking questions
- Planning
- Investigation
- Analysis of information
- Model creation of the solution/findings
- Conclusion
- Reflection
Scaffold Examples:
- providing some direct instruction at the start of the project - helps orient students to the topic and provides an overview of the importance of the topic
- provide a series of steps that the students have to follow, based on relevant content
- take students on an excursion
- ask the local experts to speak to class and respond to questions
- provide regular opportunities in class to discuss the strategies students are using, and their perspective on how effective these strategies were
Benefits and Limitations of Inquiry/Problem Based Learning:
- Teaches critical thinking skills
- Focuses on strategies to overcome problems
- Improve students attitudes towards learning
- Not all students comfortable with group work
- Relies on introspection and self-report
- Regular feedback can be difficult
Module 7: Personalised Learning and Data Driven Teaching
• David Miliband
• select age-equivalent content that is meaningful and respects students’ individual needs, strengths, language proficiencies and interests
• provide stimulating learning experiences that challenge, extend and develop all students
• use their knowledge of students' individual needs, strengths and interests to ensure access to the teaching and learning program.
• Emphasises student individuality
• Meaningful connection between student and curriculum
• Data driven teaching uses individual data from student assessment to tailor make future assessments and activities based on current ability level
Benefits and Limitations of Personalised Learning:
Many ways for students to present work
- Students have a choice in how they learn and what materials they choose to leam with
- Encourages autonomy, self awareness, and responsibility
- Some students are indecisive and procrastinate
- Finance restraints
- Without direct guidance curriculum components may not be fulfilled

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