developing learning communities

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Chapter Seven. Developing Learning Communities. Language and Learning Style. Characteristics of a Learning Community. It is organized for activity. Everyone in the school participates in this activity-oriented environment. There is a sense that everyone belongs. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Developing Learning CommunitiesLanguage and Learning StyleChapter Seven

  • Characteristics of a Learning CommunityIt is organized for activity.Everyone in the school participates in this activity-oriented environment.There is a sense that everyone belongs.

  • Rationale for Learning Community ClassroomsNeed to prepare students to be citizens of a democracyThrough learning to negotiate differences in the context of a common curriculumThrough learning citizenship by practicing democracy

  • Old methods with new names:Dialogue (Plato)Discovery learning (Abelard)Critical pedagogy, feminist pedagogy, collaborative learning (Comenius)What is new:That these should exist at the same time and be used by both children and adultsPedagogies: Old and New

  • Traditional roles of students and adults are expandedTeacher as teller is expanded to teacher as guide, coach, cheerleader.Other adults assume teaching and learning roles.Students may be teachers as well as learners.Roles: Old and New

  • Disciplinary knowledge serves a dual role:Sometimes it is learned as an end in itself.Sometimes it serves as a means to another end, e.g., problem-solving or discovering a new way to see and understand the world.Place of Content Knowledge: Old and New

  • There is still a use for paper and pencil testing, standardized or teacher-written.General use for such tests is diagnostic.Alternative forms of assessment also play a part:Peer evaluationPortfoliosGroup testsSelf-evaluationAssessment: Old and New

  • Perspectives on Language AcquisitionLanguage is what makes us human. It is the primary means for socializing us into our families and social groups, and through them, acquiring a cultural identity.

  • The Family is the First InstitutionIntroduces us to languageStructures the childs environmentGives labels to roles such as Mommy, teacher, priest, extending roles into the wider communityLanguage objectifies, interprets, and justifies reality for the child.Language brings the meanings and values of the wider community onto the small state of the immediate family.

  • Institutional Aspects of Language in the FamilyLanguage has several characteristics in common with other social institutions:It is external.It is objective.It has the power of moral authority.It is historical.

  • Perspectives on Language VariationAll language sounds have symbolic meaning.Within any language, however, the meaning of elements may differ widely:VocabularyPronunciationSyntax (grammatical structure)Semantics (the meaning of words)

  • Verbal CommunicationAccents: differ from standard language only in pronunciationDialects: differ from standard language in pronunciation, word usage, and syntaxBlack English (ebonics)Rural (or Mountain) EnglishStandard EnglishContinued

  • Black English (ebonics, African American Language [AAL])Spoken primarily (though not exclusively) by urban African AmericansDerived in part from the languages of west AfricaAbility to code switch (move back and forth from ebonics to standard English) is often a matter of social class

  • Rural (or Mountain) EnglishSpoken primarily in AppalachiaDerived from the language of early English settlers in the areaMay be the purest English spoken in the United StatesHas been preserved, in part, because of isolation of mountain people

  • Standard EnglishIs also a dialect of English, although it is the dialect usually deemed most correctIs the language of education, commerce, and the artsMay vary from community to community, and from country to country

  • Bidialectism: the abililty to speak two (or more) dialects and to switch easily between or among themSign Language: a non-verbal language of signs spoken by the deafServes instead of a spoken languageAmerican Sign Language (ASL) is considered an official language

  • Nonverbal CommunicationUsed by both hearing and hearing-impaired individualsAccounts for 50 to 90 percent of the messages we send and receiveIt has several functions:Conveys messagesCan augment verbal communicationCan contradict verbal communicationCan replace verbal communication

  • Three aspects of nonverbal communication:Proxemics: sometimes called social space; refers to the normal distance considered appropriate between two people speakingKinesics: body language, e.g., gestures, facial expressions, eye contactParalanguage: vocalizations that are not words, e.g., sighs, laughter, crying

  • Culture, Language, and Learning StyleThese three are inextricably intertwined:Language shapes and is shaped by culture.Culture shapes and is shaped by language.Learning style originates and accounts for variations in patterns of learning, and is shaped by both language and culture.

  • Relation of Language to CultureLanguage determines vocabulary, which sets the right meaning of words and of cultural ideas.Language plays a critical role in the maintenance of subgroups within a larger culture.Language reflects the thought processes of a culture.

  • Relation of Learning Style to CultureLearning style is developed in the context of what we attend to (perception) and how we attend to itculturally shaped adaptations to both the physical and the social environment.Thus, particular learning styles are often associated with particular cultural groups.

  • Components of Learning StyleField dependence: individual perceives globally or holistically; orientation is social; is good at observationField independence: individual perceives discrete parts; is good at abstract thought; tends to be individualistic; prefers working aloneContinued

  • Additional Components of Learning StylePreferred sensory mode for learning, e.g., sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, movementReponse to immediate environmentEmotionalitySocial preferencesCognitive-psychological orientation

  • Origins of Learning StyleStill a matter of conjectureAppear to be a combination ofBiological factorsPsychological factorsSociocultural factors

  • Multiple Intelligences The idea, based on brain research and proposed by Howard Gardner, that human beings not only have preferred learning styles, but also preferred ways of expressing intellectual ability, and thus, of thinkingContinued

  • Seven kinds of intelligence:Visual/spatialVerbal/linguisticLogical/mathematicalBodily/kinestheticMusical/rhythmicInterpersonalIntrapersonal

  • The Significance of Multiple Intelligences and Learning StylesThe importance of these qualities for teachers lies in their ability to identify preferred modes of learning and to adapt instruction so that all students get to practice learning in multiple ways.No one recommends that students learn only in their preferred mode or that teachers teach in only one mode.

  • Cultural Groups May Differ in Communication StylesFormal vs. Informal CommunicationEmotional vs. Subdued CommunicationDirect vs. Indirect CommunicationObjective vs. Subjective CommunicationResponses to Guilt and Accusations

  • Ethical IssuesStudents who speak a dialect of English, or whose first language is not English, are likely to be stigmatized.Debates about language in the schools are likely to be as much about issues of cultural domination as they are about language itself.The assessment of students with limited English proficiency must be done with care.

    Continued

  • The increasing prevalence of English in world-wide modes of communicationespecially television and the Internetmay mean that many languages are disappearing.Some balance needs to be achieved between protecting small languages and encouraging international exchange.Without diverse languages, diverse cultures may also disappear.The negative American attitude toward learning more than one language may get in the way of our own international understanding.

  • Something to Think AboutWhen we study human language, we are approaching what some might call the human essence, the distinctive qualities of mind that are, so far as we know, unique to man and that are inseparable from any critical phase of human existence, personal or social.--Noam Chomsky