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Current Teaching Theories For Student Centered Learning Eileene C. Tejada Napa Valley College FACCC Teaching Colloquium Spring 2008
Creating Inclusive Curricula Paying attention to who is at the academic table. Who are the students in the desks?
Areas of Student Development • Intellectual • Interpersonal • Intercultural • Their Multiple and Simultaneous Identities Adapted from Knefelkamp 2005
Intellectual Development About Dr. William Perry • Counselor and Professor of Education at Harvard 1950’s&60’s • Conducted 464 interviews with white, overwhelmingly male, upper-class students “the elite of his day” Love and Guthrie 1999
Intellectual Development Dr. Perry • Felt need to comprehend how students come to understand the modern world through multiple frames of references Love and Guthrie 1999
Intellectual Development • Motivated to study this because of the increasing relativism and diversity in society. • Diversity = geographic diversity Love and Guthrie 1999
Intellectual Development Note: Geographical diversity is distantly related to today’s concerns re: class, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation etc. Love and Guthrie 1999
Theory 1:Dr. William Perry’sCognitive Development Theory • Perry’s Scheme comprises 9 Positions • “Position expresses a central tendency in the students’ meaning making.” • The place or vantage point from which the student views the world. (Love & Guthrie p.7)
Positions 1: Basic Dualism • For students in this position, the world is divided into absolutes: • Right and Wrong • Good and Bad • Everything is known • Authorities possess “The Absolute Truth” • All problems are solved by obeying Love and Guthrie 1999
Position 2,3,4: Multiplicity In Positions 2,3, and 4 students move through several developmental stages that reveal their ability to:
Position 2 Multiplicity Position 2: • Student recognizes the existence of difference of opinion, but they stand in opposition to it. • Students are loyal to authority. Authorities are viewed as “good” and “bad • Students express fear, stress, and sadness when they realize the world may not be driven by absolutes.
Position 3 Position 3: • While student recognizes pluralism, they remain loyal to Authority and Truth • Truth is still absolute; uncertainty is temporary
Position 3 • Students will allow for uncertainties; however, uncertainty does not change the nature of truth • The limit of uncertainty students can tolerate has expanded, but uncertainty is still uncomfortable.
Position 3 • These students often ask the question, “How do you want it done?”
Position 4: Late Multiplicity “Uncertainty now is unavoidable, and the strong identification of Authorities with Absolute Truth is further loosened.”
Position 4: Late Multiplicity Students in this stage follow one of two paths: Path 1: Double dualism- “Where Authorities do not know “The Answer”, any opinion is as good as any other.”
Position 4:Late Multiplicity Path 2: • Shift from “what they want” to “they way they want us to think” • “Students try to learn to think independently and critically out of a desire to conform to authority.”
Position 5: Relational Knowing “Movement to position 5, … involves adopting a way of understanding, analyzing, and evaluating that requires a radical reperception of all knowledge and values as contextual and relativistic.” Guthrie &Love, p. 12
Position 5 “The actions required in Position 5 thinking encourage the development and practice of metacognition– the capacity to think about one’s own thinking.”
Position 5 Relativistic thinking becomes normalized and habitual.
NOTE Perry found that students commonly found themselves in a relativistic world without an explicit memory of how they arrived.
Position 6-9: Commitment in Relativism Position 6: Students see that commitments will need to be made in order to establish their bearings in a relativistic world. In Position 6 students are unable to make a decision to establish commitments.
Position 6-9 Position 7-9 Characterized as evolving commitments. Making commitments and enacting values are a life’s work.
Theory 2: Kolb converger Assimilator Diverger accommodator
Kolb’s Theory Converger Abstract conceptualization + Active experimentation = • Strong in practical applications of ideas • Can focus on hypodeductive reasoning on specific problems • Unemotional • Has narrow interests
Kolb’s Theory Diverger Concrete experience + Reflective observation = • Strong in imaginative ability • Good at generating ideas and seeing things from different perspectives • Interested in people • Broad cultural interests
Kolb’s Theory Assimilator Abstract conceptualization + Reflective observation = • Strong ability to create theoretical models • Excels in inductive reasoning • Concerned with abstract concepts rather than people
Kolb’s Theory Accommodator Concrete experience + Active experimentation = • Greatest strength is doing things • More of a risk taker • Performs well when required to react to immediate circumstances • Solves problems intuitively
Kolb • “In cognitive and humanistic research the importance of experience is emphasized.” • “Learning is about making sense of information, extracting meaning and relating information to everyday life.” Kelly p.2
Issues With Kolb’s Theory • It pays insufficient attention to the process of reflection • The claims made for the 4 different learning styles are extravagant • The model takes very little account of different cultural experiences/conditions • The idea of stages or steps does not sit well with the reality of thinking • Empirical support for the model is weak • The relationship of learning processes to knowledge is problematic
Dr. Milton Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) Tejada 2005
Stage One Denial of Difference • Through isolation or segregation • No categories for cultural difference, or simplistic ones • Superficially benign, but have tendency to dehumanize outsiders (“Live and let live,” “Don’t ask, don’t tell”)
Stage Two Defense Against Difference • Recognize cultural differences, but seen as negative or threatening • Dualistic thinking (good/bad; we/they); Absolutist thinking; preoccupied with having “The Truth”
Defense • Defensive positioning; exclusion of others; backlash actions • Reversal – Dualistic thinking in which our own culture is the bad one
Reversal In non dominant cultures this thinking can manifest itself in several ways: • Changing one’s name to sound more “Anglo”. • Moving to another/ “better” neighborhood and forgetting where we come from. • Making physical changes to look more “American.” • Believing Eurocentric traditions, values, and beliefs the standard for ‘right’, ‘sacred’, ‘best’.
Reversal • The belief that the American way is better. • A sense of shame about our history. • Denying any part of who we are ethnically.
Stage Three Minimization of Difference • Accept superficial cultural differences, but think all humans are basically the same (“Like me”) • Tendency to define commonality in ethnocentric terms
Minimization • Based on physical universalism (physiological commonality) or transcendent universalism (spiritual commonality) • Emphasis on commonality may lead person to overlook meaningful cultural differences • Can lead to acceptance of institutionalized privilege
Stage Four Acceptance of Difference • Recognition of cultural relativity • Beginning of ability to interpret behavior, values, perceptions etc. within a cultural context • Acceptance does not mean that one likes or approves of all aspects of each culture
Acceptance • Can lead to “liberal paralysis” – fear of being judgmental or taking action • Able to “Talk the talk,” but not yet “Walk the walk”
Stage Five Adaptation to Difference • Development of a mindset and skill-set necessary for intercultural communication competence • Ability to consciously shift perspective into alternative world views (empathy) • Ability to shift behaviors to act in culturally appropriate ways
Stage Six Integration of Difference • Ability to use multiple cultural frames of reference in evaluating phenomena • Internalized bi-cultural or multi-cultural frames of reference • Identity that is marginal to any particular culture; view of self as “in process” rather than fixed • Can be “Constructive” (“always at home”) or “Encapsulated” (“never at home”)
Dr. William CrossDevelopmental Identity Model of Nigrescence “Nigrescence is a resocializing experience: That is the transformation of preexisting identity (a non-Afrocentric identity) into one that is Afrocentric.” (Knefelkamp 203)
Cross’ Developmental Identity Model of Nigrescence Process can be applied to all non-dominant groups. 5 Stages to the Model: Stage 1: Pre-Encounter Stage 2: Encounter Stage 3:Immersion-Emersion Stage 4:Internalization Stage 5: Internalization-Commitment
Stage One: Pre-Encounter A lack of awareness of ethnic identity “Don’t know what I don’t know.”
Encounter An event that shatters the relevance of the person’s current identity. This creates dissonance.
Stage 3:Immersion-Emersion “The person makes a commitment to change; however, they are more familiar with the identity to be destroyed than the one to be embraced….” Cross
Stage 3: Immersion-Emersion Phase 1: The person immerses him or herself in the “new world” they have encountered. The thinking during this phase is dualistic in nature.
Stage 3: Immersion-Emersion Phase 2: The emergence from the either/or and oversimplified ideological aspects of the immersion experience.
Stage 4: Internalization Marks the point of dissonance resolution and the reconstitution of the person’s personality and cognitive style