Monday, September 26, 2011

Chapter 2/3- Different Ways of Learning & Teaching Your Diverse Students

1. How do cognitive, affective, and physiological factors impact learning?
Cognitive factors impact learning greatly. Students have much "different ways of perceiving, organizing, and retaining information"(p. 31). Here is where students will say they are a "visual learner", or a learner who learns through movement and participation. These cognitive factors impact learning and may shape how a teacher should present a lesson. A teacher should understand that students all have different cognitive approaches, and try to include something that will help each different learner understand the information in the best way possible. The affective domain can impact learning just as much as cognitive. If students have behavioral problems and do not respect their peers or their teacher, it will be hard for them to learn, and will also effect other students in the class. Physiological factors can vary depending on the environment and students background. If a student is from a less wealthy family and cannot afford a healthy breakfast, or warm cloths, their attention will not be as great as a student who is in class that is comfortable.

2. How can teachers respond to different learning styles?
 Teachers can respond to different learning styles by planning their lessons according to their students needs and learning ability. For example, if a teacher is presenting in a lecture, they can have visual markers in the slides, including words and pictures, as well as audio segments to go along with them speaking out loud, and even some in class activities that get students moving to help understand the concepts being taught. 

3. What are the classroom implications of Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences?
 Gardener's theory of multiple intelligences includes 8 intellegences. These intelligences are:
- Logical-Mathematical
- Linguistic
- Bodily-kinesthetic
- Musical
- Spatial
- Interpersonal
- Intrapersonal
- Naturalist 

These 8 intelligences are important to consider in education because every student learns differently and has certain things they excel at and will have greater success in learning when taught through those mediums.  Teachers should consider how they can include music in lessons, how to use movement activities in a traditionally lecture styled classroom, how to get students to interact with their peers throughout a lesson, implementing visual aids to better student learning, and include activities outside the classroom.
4. How does emotional intelligence influence teaching and learning?
As defined in the text, "Emotional intelligence is a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions, to discriminate among them, and use the information to guide one's thinking and actions" (p. 40).  Students have varying emotional intelligences, some tend to be more adventurous and confident, while other students may be more stubborn and frustrated. Teachers must take in to account that not all students will be confident in their learning and motivated to do well. 

5. How can teachers meet the diverse needs of an increasingly multicultural student population?
Teachers must first understand the needs of their students. Since there is an increasing number of multicultural students, teachers should be prepared and understand that they may learn in different ways and need alternative approaches to be successful in school.  One thing I specifically want to do in my classroom is make sure that everyone is treated equally and all students have respect for one another regardless of ability, race, religion, culture, or socioeconomic status. 

6. What are the different levels of multicultural education?
Level 1: The Contributions Approach- focuses on heroes, holidays, and discrete cultural elements.
Level 2: The Additive Approach- Content, concepts, themes and perspectives are added to the curriculum without changing its structure. 
Level 3: The Transformation Approach- The structure of the curriculum is changed to enable students to view concepts, issues, events, and themes from the perspectives of diverse ethnic and cultural groups. 
Level 4: The Social Action Approach- Students make decisions on important social issues and take actions to help solve them. 

7. What are the political and instructional issues surrounding bilingual education?
There are many views of the idea of bilingual education. Some are for it and others are against it. "Critics of bilingual education advocate an immersion model, claiming that many bilingual programs simply do not work, placing ELLs into lower academic tracks in which they may never emerge"(p.70). Those on the other end "point to studies that show first- and second-generation Hispanic students who attended bilingual programs from the 1970s to the 1990s earned considerably less money than Hispanics who attended "English-only" programs. 

8. How are the needs of special learners met in today's classrooms?
In the 1970s the courts established 5 critical principles of special education:
1. Zero Reject: This asserts that no child with disabilities may be denied a free, appropriate public education.  
2. Nondiscriminatory Education: Mandates that children with disabilities be fairly assessed, so that they can be protected from inappropriate classification and tracking. 
3. Appropriate Education: Implies that children have the right to an education involving the accurate diagnoses of individual needs, as well as responsive programs keyed to those needs.
4. Least-restrictive Environment: Protects children with disabilities from being inappropriately segregated from their age-group peers. 
5. Procedural Due Process: Upholds the rights of those with disabilities to protest a schools decision about their education. Gives parents right to challenge actions of the school using a counsel and expert witnesses.
9. Does technology exacerbate racial, class, geographic, and gender divisions?
I personally think technology can help, not hinder, those regardless of class, location or gender. Some argue technology such as spell check hinders student learning. Although this may be true, if students are using technology to research articles relevant to education and access a vast amount of information which could be beneficial to any educational program.

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