M4 Reflection: Cognitive Development to Assist Student Learning

H1 – Honor student diversity and development. To me, this standard means that teachers should be studying current and relevant research articles which pertain to educational development and work to apply the findings within the classroom. Modern educators have the duty to use cognitive research surrounding student learning in their classrooms. After reading “Brain Rules,” (Medina, 2008) chapters about short and long term memory, researches have clarified many tools educators can use to help student retain information. Medina states that sadly “People usually forget 90 percent of what they learn in a class within 30 days”(p. 100, 2008). Many classmates have suggested tools for helping students remember, two stands out in particular. First, using cumulative tests and quizzes encourages students to revisit old ideas. According to Medina (2008, pp.147), “The way to make long-term memories more reliable is to incorporate new information gradually and repeat it in timed intervals.” Other class suggestions for repeating information was incorporating games in class as review at the end of a unit (Benton, 2014).

Another cognitive development strategy which can foster learning in the classroom is constructivism teaching. With constructivism, teachers build upon older ideas, this too requires students to rehearse old concepts for long term memory storage. Particularly in math, where content continually builds onto itself, constructivism provides teachers the opportunity to remind students about how their old knowledge can apply to a new situation. Prompting and coaching can be assistive for this teaching strategy in which students develop critical thinking skills consistent with their own perceptions of information. This does not imply teacher provide answers, but rather give students resources to direct their learning. Students can learn to adapt their current schematic understanding of math concepts and adjust their thinking of new information when teachers construct learning to build upon itself.

Constructivism Evidence

Teaching methods assist educators in implementing these cognitive skills into the classroom. Students can review concepts through words-, quote-, person-of the day, suggested by Antje Brewer (2014) when supported by rich class discussions. Additionally, providing students with opportunities to explore, though class projects can encourage curious learners similar to that of Medina’s explorations through his childhood (2008, pp. 272). Using many strategies to encourage cognitive development helps educators teach their students through proven, research based discoveries of cognitive development.

 

Sources:

Benton, Alex. (2014, July 17). Teaching Strategies to Help Encoding & Consolidation. BlackBoard Discussion Post. Module 3. (Web)

Brewer, Antje. (2014, July 16). Teaching Strategies to Help Encoding & Consolidation. BlackBoard Discussion Post. Module 4. (Web)

Medina, J. (2008). Brain rules: 12 principles for surviving and thriving at work, home, and school. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.

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