Learning Environment of Schools at Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Gokhale, a. (1995). Collaborative Learning Enhancing Critical Thinking. Journal of Technology Education, 7, 22 -- 31.

In the article titled, Collaborative Learning Enhances Critical Thinking, the authors are seeking to understand the true effect that technology will have on what is known as collaborative learning. This is where students will work together to increase the overall amounts of comprehension of the subject matter. In this article, researchers wanted to know if learning was more effective in those environments, where there was more of an emphasis on individual learning. To determine which methods was most effective, researchers would survey 48 students using the individual method and then having the student learn collectively. The results of the study were that both methods were effective, in helping to increase the amounts of learning comprehension. However, when collaborative learning is used, students were more prepared for a variety of situations that they could face in the real world and were more flexible. This is because, these skills were often necessary in order for the student to be able to be a productive member of the group. As a result, the total amounts of learning comprehension increased when both collaborative efforts were utilized, as students would think with increased amounts of logic. This is significant, because it shows how the traditional method of individual learning is effective. Yet, in order for learning comprehension to increase as much as possible both models must be used. Part of the reason for this, is the collaborative approach will give students more than just way to learn the material, which will cause the overall amounts of learning comprehension to increase. (Gokhale, 1995)

Lou, Y. (2001). Small Group and Individual Learning with Technology. Review of Educational Research, 449 -- 521.

In this article, the authors are seeking to determine if students learn more effectively using technology in group or individual settings. Where, researchers examined 486 different studies on a total of 11,317 people, to decide if using computer technology in a group or individual setting is more effective. The results were: small groups that were using technology would have more effective amounts of learning comprehension, in comparison with the individual approach. This is significant, because it shows how the use of technology and small group can increase the total amounts of learning that are taking place. As a result, this information can be used to corroborate the above information on the effectiveness of group learning over the individual. The way that this relates to the different learning styles is: group study and the use of technology are simultaneously addressing the various ways that students learn. (Lou, 2001)

Cappel, S. (2005). Teaching Styles. Learning to Teach in the Secondary School. (pg 276 -- 288). New York: Routledge.

In this piece of literature, the author discusses how there are two different types of learning styles that students will use in the public school system these would include: shallow and deep learning styles. According to the author, they studied why different learning styles would vary from student to student, by interviewing them. The results were that shallow learning would take place when students were trying to do just enough to meet the basic qualifications. On achievement tests, most students would learn the material for the test and then they would forget everything that the learned. This is problematic, because when you have this kind of learning taking place, the overall quality will be lower. Where, students are learning the material because they are forced to. Over the course of time, this means that most of the information that they will learn during their education will be forgotten when they become older. At which point, they could have trouble adapting to a world that is being impacted by globalization. Those individuals who have no education or who fail to use what they are taught; will have difficulty specializing and adapting to the changes that are occurring. Deep learning is when there is an understanding of the material on a level, where the person can tell you in their own words what it means. Once this takes place, is when the student will be able to remember the material that was presented several years down the road.

Next, the literature discusses the overall role that shallow and deep learning will play in an educational environment. Where, both students and the educators will use these types of learning subconsciously. For example, a student can drift between shallow and deep learning throughout the school day, based upon the way various material is presented to them. In those situations where the student is more actively involved in the course, the greater the overall understanding of the material. This is because deep learning is involved from the social interaction. Then, during another class the student engages in shallow learning, as they find it a requirement they must take. While in the case an educator, they will go through deep learning when they have interactions and discussions about those ideas that interest them. When they are forced to sit and listen to something they could find boring (such as a long staff meeting) they will have shallow learning. This is significant; because it shows how there must be a conscious effort from the teacher, to increase the overall amounts social interaction when the material is being presented. Once this take place is when both the student and teacher will engage in deep learning.

What this shows, is that the standard one size fits all approach that is used by the public school system is not working. What more than likely is occurring is: shallow learning is taking place throughout the day, with both educators and students. This is because some educators could believe that the model is not effective, at helping them reach out to students. Depending upon the school, they may not have the flexibility to adapt their teaching style, to help improve student learning. At which point, the educator becomes frustrated and will do just enough to get by. Once this takes place, is when they will show shallow learning throughout the course of the school day. The students will sense this lack of enthusiasm, as the overall interaction between the student and the educator is more rigid / formal. Once this occurs, is when the students will engage in shallow learning, as they find the teacher boring and out of touch with reality (at least from their viewpoint). This is significant, because it shows how the model that public school system is using is: similar to a cancer that is causing students, to think that learning is something they are forced to do. (Cappel, 2005)

Ornstein, a. (2008). Effective Education Internationally. Foundations of Education. (pg. 458). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Learning.

In the piece of literature tilted, Effective Education Internationally, it highlights how the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement began comparing the achievement scores of student in the developed countries, since the 1960's. In most areas, the United States remained in the middle to low end of the range. This is significant, because it shows how the current model that is employed by the school system is not working. Where, the educational achievement scores have remained well behind the developed countries since the 1960's.

This information can be corroborated with the source presented previously, that discusses deep and shallow learning. In many ways, one could infer that the current model that is being utilized is helping to promote mediocrity, as shallow learning is taking place. This is because students are only learning the material, due to the fact that they are forced to. At which point, the educational scores of the nation will remain in essentially the same range, as the students have no desire to retain the material. Once this take place, it meant that the achievement scores will flat line, if not decline. The information that was presented in Effective Education Internationally can corroborate how shallow / deep learning and the one size fits all approach, is contributing to this atmosphere of mediocrity in the public school system. (Ornstein, 2008)

Ryan, K. (2007). English Language Learners. Those Who Can Teach. (pp. 72 -- 73) Princeton NJ: Centerreach.

In this piece of literature, the author has identified alternative learning styles that are used in teaching these would include: looking for different modalities (as to how someone will learn) and examining the various learning modules (to determine what would best for the student). The literature then discusses, how this has created debate among educators, as to which method would work most effectively for teaching. At which point, the author discusses what educators thoughts are on implementing such a model at their school. These would include: understanding the different types of intelligence / learning style, determining the practicality that implementing such a system would have in the classroom, understanding the most common characteristics for each learning style and…

Sources Used in Document:


Edmonton Catholic Schools. (2010). Retrieved June 20, 2010 from ECSD website: http://www.ecsd.net/programs/alternative_education.html

Edmonton Catholic Schools. (2004). Retrieved June 22, 2010 from Microsoft website: http://www.microsoft.com/canada/casestudies/edmonton_catholic_schools.mspx

Smart Technologies. (2006). Interactive White Boards and Learning. Canada, Author. http://www2.smarttech.com/NR/rdonlyres/2C729F6E-0A8D-42B8-9B32-F90BE0A746D8/0/Int_Whiteboard_Research_Whitepaper_Update.pdf

What is Qualitative Research. (2009). Retrieved June 14, 2010 from Market Research World website: http://www.marketresearchworld.net/index.php?Itemid=64&id=10&option=com_content&task=view

Cite This Thesis:

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