Certificate in Education
Assignment Two: Enabling and Assessing Learning
* Candidate Profiles
* Scheme of Work
* Lesson Plans
* Learning Materials
Appendix 6, 7
* Activity Assessments
Appendix 8, 9
* Feedback and Action Plans
Section 1 – Understanding Learning and Assessment
To enable and assess learning it is important to understand how individuals learn. Individuals learn in different ways and at different speeds. As a teacher it is important to understand the theories of how and why people learn so that the individual needs of the learner are addressed. Learning theories have been more influential since the early 1990’s. (Avis, 2010) There are many learning theorists who have studied how and why people learn, some examples are Pavlov, Skinner who are behaviourists. Dewey, Bruner who are Cognitivists. Maslow, Rogers who are Humanists. Kolb and Bloom who are Reflective enquiry. Behaviourism looked at learning in a scientific way, theorist of the time believed that they could teach anything as they could condition an animal to behave in a particular way, whether it was a dog to salivate by the use of food, Pavlov (Learning and Teaching [internet], or pigeons playing table tennis, by breaking the game down into a sequence of actions, Skinner (Edschool.csueastbay [internet]. The person was conditioned to their environment. However behaviourism is very limited, due to the need to repeat the process so many times. This in turn reduces how fulfilled the learner would be especially if the lesson was purely based on behavioural learning. However behaviourism is still important in today’s classroom in the systematic reinforcement of each aspect which helps build up here understanding. Also giving praise, and giving the person a sense of achievement will indicate the benefit of learning. (Avis, 2010) Cognitivists looked at learning in a different way to behaviourists basing their research on the how the individual gained and organised their knowledge. The individual did not just receive it but interpreted it in way that that meant something to them. The teacher then has to be aware that in a class of ten there could be ten slightly different understandings. Dewey stated that learning was not a task and the learner had to learn to think and then reflect on this. Bruner said that the learner needs to learn the process so that they could apply it. He felt that the facts were often forgotten. He sees the teachers role as one who facilitates the students own discovery known as “inquiry training” (Walker, 2009) The Humanist approach states that each individual takes responsibility for their own learning and development. However for the individual to become self actualise, certain other criteria need to be achieved. This is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which is based on a step process with the lower needs needing to be satisfied before moving up. These are physical, safety and shelter, love and belonging, Self-esteem and self actualisation. Rogers believed that the student needed to be at the centre of the learning process through active self-discovery as they had a desire to develop and grow. (Petty 2009) The reflective enquiry theory states that the individual develops as they challenge or question their experience thus leading to a better understanding. Kolb’s four stage learning cycle says that the individual carries out the task; it is then reviewed and reflected on. At stage three further analyses takes place to gain best practice and the final stage is to put it to the test. The model can be entered at any stage and still work in a cyclical manner. (Walker, 2009) As a teacher it is important to be aware of all of these learning theories, and not just to focus on one particular one....
References: Harry Torrance. (2007). Assessment as learning? How the use of explicit learning objectives, assessment criteria and feedback in post-secondary education and training can come to dominate learning. Assesment in Education , 14 (3), pp281-294.
James Avis, Roy Fisher, Ron Thompson. (2010). Teaching in Life Long Learning: A Guide to Theory and Practice (1st Edition ed.). Maidenhead: McGraw Hill.
Petty, G. (2009). Evidence Based Teaching: A Practical Approach (2nd Edition ed.). Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.
Tummons, J. (2007). Assessing Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Second edition ed.). Exeter: Learning Matters.
Ian Reece, Stephen Walker (2009). Teaching, Training and Learning: A practical Guide (6th Edition ed.). Tyne and Wear: Business Education Publishers.
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