Connections between Learning Theories and Assignment 1

So I’ve got back from my family’s Christmas break and its time to play catch up with some of these module responses. For my assignment, I chose to look at eduCanon (as a laptop resource) & PicCollage (as a iPad resource). The eduCanon resource allowed me to take a youtube clip & imbed focus questions into it (a bit like comprehension style questions). I thought of PicCollage as a way students could display their work & photographs, like a scrapbook or poster for others in the class.

Maddux (2001) et.al explains that many teachers will take an “eclectic approach” when it comes to taking approaches from each learning theory and this appears to be of no exception with these two software resources (pg.143). Roblyer and Doering (2013) believe that both directed instruction and constructivist strategies can be provide the most meaningful roles (p.35).

In terms of the Behaviourist theory the biggest consistency is probably the use of repetition in terms of the ideas regarding Visual arts which are repeated and referred to throughout these resources, however, the major inconsistency is there is no definite right or wrong answers, particularly in relation to the practical work with PicCollage. In Visual Arts it is imperative that students at this stage gain confidence to both discuss and create pieces of art and it is my personal belief, this can not occur when there is the risk of them getting it ‘wrong’. The laptop resource, eduCanon, does allow some right/wrong responses, similarily to any comprehension task. Another inconsistency is that students will not work on these tasks in isolation, due to my belief, which is further reiterated by Maddux (2001) et.al, as being not the most effective way to learn and can isolate students (p.130). It is highly important that students within a classroom environment learn to discuss the artworks of others and of their own so as to allow for concrete exercising of their acquired knowledge and also highlight the fact that they are part of a community. My role as a Visual Arts teacher is far from the behaviourist view of a teacher, I do not want my students to learn through rote learning methods but be able to construct their own views, opinions and more importantly, an appreciation for a range of artmaking.

In terms of the Cognitivist theory there is the consistency through the idea of a learning processes model and the ideas that learning is a journey and not an end result. This can be seen in the PicCollage activities which can become more advanced as the students continues through the activities. Consistencies can also be seen as some of the information relating to vocabulary and artworks is given to the students from the teacher, for which the student is then required to respond to. This can be seen in the eduCanon resource, where the information is chosen and set by the teacher for the students to complete.

In terms of the Constructivist Learning theory, these lessons emphasise the need to “make meaning by doing”(Harasim, (2012), p.14). As Visual Arts is a practical subject, it is inevitable that there will be opportunities for students to practically respond to the information they are being told about. In these software applications, the information that relate to the Visual Arts subject are further enhanced by the students ability to take that information and put it into practice – either through the making of their own practical work (PicCollage) or by the analysis of key art concepts (eduCanon). The teacher is the ‘facilitator’ and provides to the students appropriate modelling and guidance. This is important when completing the PicCollage tasks as I do not want students to merely copy the work of other artists, but show an understanding of how to use what they know about art by creating their own, original works. The students are required to be active participants and evaluate their progress & PicCollage allows the students to put many of their images together, side by side, to make this evaluation effective. Both these resources allow for students to gain further stimuli from their class peers by sharing the artworks and their ideas about these artworks using the Edmodo platform or through discussion with others. So, although there are elements found in these software applications from each learning theory, the way that I’d like to use them in my classroom is more grounded in Constructivist theories.

Harasim, L. (2012). Introduction to learning theory and technology. In Learning theory and online technology (pp. 1-14). New York, NY: Routledge.

Maddux, C.D., Johnson, D.L. & Willis, J. (2001). Technology and Theories of Learning. In Educational  Computing; Learning with Tomorrow’s Technologies (pp. 125-145) Allyn & Bacon: Boston.

Roblyer, M.D & Doering, A.H. (2013) Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th ed). Pearson: Boston.

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