In this unit, both motivation and a variety of types of learning were explored. For me, both areas were very engaging and helped me make some specific connections to my own teaching.
As a high school science teacher, motivating students can be a challenge. Very often, the students enter my classroom with predefined ideas about science. They either love it or hate it. Those that love it need little motivation to engage in the learning. Those that hate it, can be disengaged and distant from the start. Helping these studnets to embrace teh learning opportunity is tricky business. I was especially interested in the ARCS model of motivation because it guides the teacher to ask and answer specific questions surrounding motivation of the learner. This provides a very specific framework for me to use as I design science lessons.
The different types of learning outline in Smith and Raga were incredibly helpful for me as well. In some was, I was already very familiar with these types of learning. Clearly, my students need to learn the meanings of words they come across sin a Biology textbook or identify specific structures. Building upon this learning to develop an understanding of principles, process and beyond is one of my main objectives in my Biology class. For too long, Biology has been taught as a collection of facts. This has caused many students to be turned off. The challenge seemed to be to be able to retain vast amounts of declarative knowledge. Those that can do that well earned A’s, those than cannot earned F’s. Many students were turned off of Biology and Science in general in the process. By understanding the relationships between the different types of learning, I feel better equipped to create stages of learning for my students that help them through many of the learning types. While I cannot dismiss the declarative portion of the class, I am better able to envision how to address each form of learning as a connection to the others. (I have to admit that I have a hard time seeing how I would engage them in the psychomotor type of learning, but, luckily, I am also a golf coach:))