Reflections on Module 2- EDS 103

Today, I sat down with my laptop after many days (feels like ages). I am lagging behind…seriously behind….so much to catch upon.

Finally, I am done with the readings of Module 2 (wow, too many theories on intelligence. I had never thought that this would be such am ambiguous topic) I am also done with writing my reflections to the questions posted.

Time for some personal reflection before I move on:

Pic credit: http://refe99.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/27490-the-measure-of-intelligence-is-the-ability-to-change.png

Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills and to interact with one’s environment. But in today’s critical times, intelligence would definitely be the ability to change and adapt.

A person who can learn from his environment, can adapt to the changes is intelligent. The definition of intelligence or the types of intelligence also changes with time. Foe eg, some time back, a new term was coined by Daniel Goldman- Emotional Intelligence (which is our ability to deal with ourselves and others around us). A colleague of mine (Jose) has coined the term-Spiritual Intelligence which I feel is extremely needed in our times.

Daniel Goldman has coined another term- Ecological Intelligence which means comprehending systems in all their complexity, as well as the interplay between the natural and man-made worlds. This ecological intelligence has come into play as this is the need of the hour where humans need to study and understand their impact on Earth and its environment.

Learning never stops. A person can go on learning in spite of his/her age, disabilities etc.  Hence, intelligence can be acquired and enhanced.

In the past, there was not much awareness about various types of intelligence or learning styles. Being smart with numbers was suppose to be the only way to be smart (this was true at least, in my part of the world ,India). Anybody who was not good with numbers/technology was considered low in terms of intelligence. And since, I was weak with numbers (I have always been word smart), I was made to feel unintelligent. This got intensified with the notion that girls are not good with Math. This narrow definition of intelligence had impact on my self-esteem. Things that I was good at were never considered to be important.

It is only later, that I was exposed to various types of intelligence and learned that Math (is essential) but not the most important thing.

I feel more confident about myself as I know myself better. I know, what my strengths are.

Present times show a better understanding on how we learn. There are various theories of intelligence, I personally feel most connected with Daniel Goldman’s Emotional Intelligence Theory and Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence.

Theory of MI is what I use with my students (9-10 yrs old). In the beginning of the academic year, I explain MI to them and each student then does a simple MI test to check their ‘smarts’. This helps me in knowing my students better.

Reflections on Module 1

Module 1 has come to an end and before I move to Module 2, it is time for me to reflect on what I have learned so far. Some parts are clear but others have left me confused.

Learning is a process more than an outcome/product. I believe that learning is used to create actions/products.

Learning is a combination of deep and surface learning. Facts need to be memorized but content should be understood. For eg, times-tables need to be memorized. It is not feasible to derive it every time you are solving multiplication sums. Same thing goes with dates. For eg, if you are studying history. Facts related to dates need to be memorized. Only then you can go deeper with the reasons for the wars, etc.

Inductive and deductive approached to learning- I believe, here again, it is more about a combination of these two approaches rather than a personal style.  Some content matter might require ne approach more than the other. But yes, as educators, we need to be aware of these two approaches and use them wisely in our teaching.

Atherton talks about hidden curriculum and implicit learning.

teachlrn

Learning

What is taught but not learned- wasted effort

What is taught and learned

What is learned but was not taught (hidden curriculum)

It is true that not everything taught is learned by the students. This could be due to various factors like lack of interest on behalf o the learner, teacher’s teaching style/manner being in conducive for the learner, etc.

An effective teacher would try that most of what is being taught is also being learned.

But students also learn from their peers, learning environment, society, etc. Students also come with prior knowledge that will have a great impact on their learning in the class.

The part which has left me confused is the meaning of unlearned phenomenon. I had an understanding that ‘unlearned’ means that we unlearn what we know, in order to relearn it in a different manner/context.  For eg, present day teaching style. When I was in school, we were taught in a different manner- learning from books, rote method used most of the times, progression based solely on test scores,etc. But when I started teaching in an IB school 8 years back, I had to ‘unlearn’ all that. I had to ‘relearn’ teaching. Now, I was expected to use books sparingly, make use of various methods like manipulatives, videos, field trips ,etc to teach.  Assessments are done year- round and tests carry a minuscule weight.

However, when I went through the various examples shared by my group members, I felt that by ‘unlearned’, they mean, something that comes naturally, without explicitly or formally learning it in a class/school.

Hope to get a better understanding on this, even if it means that I have to unlearn the definition of ‘unlearned’ and relearn the new one 🙂 🙂

Resources:

Module 1 readings