Reflection

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(Cognitive Learning – Early Childhood Cognitive Development. (n.d.))

It is hard to believe that it is already week 7 of EDU510 Cognitive Science of Teaching and Learning. Prior to this course, I had absolutely no idea that there were different areas of social contexts, an influential man named David Perkins, nor “hidden games” that I eventually learned to be so helpful to me.These areas of education affect me in each and every minute of each and every day, whether I am in my own classroom or supporting in the general education classroom.

Harvard graduate, Professor David Perkins, has changed the way I see education. His 7 principles influence my educational context because I have begun to see his ideas everywhere in my educational setting and know that I will continue to throughout my career in my professional learning enviornment. Perkins’s 7 principles affects the world of education when it comes to intrinsically motivating students. According to Perkins, teachers need to help students to feel connected to their work rather than disconnected, potentially by igniting their imaginations. I feel that there needs to be more research in this area as although I have come away with some ideas after reading Perkins’s work, I still have questions. How do you motivate a student that has severe emotional disturbance and does not care about rewards in the least? How do you  get a student who hates school to see his/her teachers as allies instead of enemies that will eventually let him/her down? This is what I will struggle with most in my professional journey, and I am currently struggling now. I do not feel, after nearing the end of my course, that I have extensive knowledge on how to motivate students through the “hard parts.”

I learned that student development is impacted by social context in so many different ways.Each one of the systems: Micro, Meso, Exo and Macro affect my students tremendously in terms of their education. In my professional learning enviornment, I work with some of the toughest students in the school. Not only do they have learning disabilities, but many of them also have very sad and troublesome lives from the time they were very young. I need to understand everything there is to know about a student’s micro, meso, exo and macrosystems, but sometimes the odds are stacked against me. I do not always have immediate access to the information that I need that would help me to understand my students better and that can be a challenge. I will forever need to understand my students’ systems because each year I will have different  students. Students may come back to school after a weekend different than they were before the weekend, too, all due to their experiences within their unique systems. Their personal lives shape who they are in my classroom. I do not think that there are many resources out there on how to help a student’s personal systems, and during meetings family advice is strictly prohibited and considered taboo. I am certain about the fact that these systems will affect me, but what I am uncertain about is how I am going to help my students. I know that I can help them through things the best I can at school, but I worry about my students’ systems affecting them in the future and someday being unable to make their school lives better than their home lives.

Hidden games  are present in my educational setting because I think that there is a lot more to our students than show up on the surface. I do not think that many teachers, administrators or counselors have the time to get to know each and every in and out of one of their students, but it is essential to try and it is apparent when it is done correctly. I also think there is a lot there my students do not show me. For example, whenever I have a PPT, I usually learn something from the parents that clue me into why a student might be looking sad lately, or might not be doing their homework. I think sometimes parents get busy and forget to tell their child’s teacher what might be going on outside of school. The worst part about this is that usually the parents dump all of this on me, but then suddenly disappear and do not return any of my phone calls or emails.  This is another roadblock that I face day to day that I will need to continue to work through. I think that the world of education needs to spend more time researching the “hidden game” phenomenon because if the games get more and more “hidden” then getting students out of it may prove to be impossible. I worry about the field of education becoming so bogged down with student behavior and emotional problems that there will be a drastic change within schools and things such as programs and academics will begin to shift or take a back seat. This worries me, and I think that researching more about hidden games can help to prevent that from happening.

By the end of my degree program, I hope to have a better sense of these areas I have identified as the most important, interesting and challenging all in the same. It will be interesting to come back at the end of my degree program and review this reflection and reflect on how things have changed  or stayed the same.

Click here to watch a video summary with relevant examples of EDU510

References

Cognitive Learning – Early Childhood Cognitive Development. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.preschools4all.com/cognitive-learning.html

Mrscantey. (2012, July 10). Cognitive Science 2 for teachers. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTFHveFCnYY

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