Theory TodayWrite a 2- to 3-page paper exploring how the critical ideas of a chosen theorist are impacted by or impacting (positively or negatively) a current contextual issue in learning and schooling.Choose one of the five theorists you studied this week and a key concept of his/her work that you want to consider.Identify a topical issue that is relevant to learning today (e.g., one-to-one technology, poverty, standards such as the Common Core, anti-bullying programs). Explore how the theorist’s work does or does not align with current trends and directions in your chosen area. Be sure to think critically about whether or not the theory “holds up” to the work being done today. Perhaps the theory is out of date or perhaps educators are headed in a direction that does not make sense given what is known about learning and development. Be sure to consider how the diversity of the modern classroom may impact your thinking about your chosen topic.The focus of the paper is your analysis of the issue. It should include your insights and your critique of the topic. Make a persuasive case for your exploration and be sure to use research to support your arguments.Support your statements with evidence from the required studies and your research. Cite and reference your sources in APA style.Click here for information on course rubrics.This course will address many aspects of learning from the classic theorists to the latest updates of cognitive science. You will look closely at how this is (or is not!) influencing recent innovations in pedagogy, and you will explore how this informs, updates, and otherwise alters your philosophy of learning. During this first week, you will focus on the theorists who have provided many of the founding insights about learning and refresh your knowledge of learning theory.Mortimer Adler and John Hutchins, in designing the Great Books compendium, said reading a great author’s words was like having a conversation with him or her. This week you will be conducting great conversations with great thinkers, specifically Piaget, Vygotsky, Erikson and Kohlberg, and Gilligan.Many questions arise when reviewing early theorists. Why study them when so much information about the brain and its functions is available? While some of the theorists’ assertions cannot be supported (presently) with scientific studies, you may be wondering, How will learning these theories help me, a teacher? How can they help me in my workplace, daily interactions, or in my family?It is important to compare these theorists’ works, critically analyze them, and take from them what is meaningful and useful to create your own understanding. No one theory is comprehensive and various theories give several perspectives; some more useful than others in specific situations.Consider the old with the new when evaluating educational theories and regard theories with a critical eye, noting the pieces that theorists may have missed (due to lack of technology, for example), as well as the way the theories complement and contradict one another.This exposure to a wide variety of observations from over a century of trying to understand the learner provides valuable insights and perspectives. This will ensure that you have a common foundation for exploring and understanding current beliefs about learning as well as current classroom practice.Weekly ObjectivesThrough participation in the following activities, the candidate will:Identify the major theorists who contribute to the knowledge and application base of educational psychology and demonstrate understanding of the major tenets of their work. (1d, 1e, 2j, 8j)Contrasting TheoristsTheory TodayApply the concepts of cognitive processes (e.g. memorization, problem solving) to teaching and learning. (8j)Theory TodayExplain how students bring assets for learning to the classroom that varies by individual student. (1e, 2j, 3n)Theory TodayRequired StudiesThe following materials are required studies for this week. Complete these studies at the beginning of the week, and save these materials for future use. Full references for these materials are listed in the Required Course Materials section of the syllabus.Read/ViewPiaget (for Tuesday)Personality Theories: Jean Piaget (Boeree, 2006b) [Web page]Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development (Huitt & Hummel, 2003) [Web page]Piaget’s Developmental Theory: An Overview (Davidson Films, 2010) [Video] [Closed captioned]Vygotsky (for Tuesday)Social Development Theory (Culatta, 2013) [Web page]Comments on Vygotsky’s Critical Remarks Concerning The Language and Thought of the Child, and Judgment and Reasoning in the Child (Piaget, 1962) [Web page]Lev Vygotsky (McLeod, 2014) [Web page]Lev Vygotsky and Social Learning Theories (Neff, n.d.) [Web page]Vygotskian Approach: Lev Vygotsky (Tools of the Mind, n.d.) [Web page]Erikson (for Tuesday)Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development (McLeod, 2013) [Web page]Personality Theories: Erik Erikson (Boeree, 2006a) [Web page]Moral Development (for Thursday)The Stages of Moral Reasoning (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, n.d.) [Web page]The Cognitive-Developmental Stages of Moral Education (Kohlberg, 1988) [PDF] Note: Read section 88, pages 597-614Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development (Crain, 1985) [PDF]Carol Gilligan on Women and Moral Development (Big Think, 2012) [Video] [Closed captioned]Gilligan-Kohlberg Controversy and Preliminary Conclusion (Kakkori & Huttunen, n.d.) [Web page]Moral Development: Lawrence Kohlberg and Carol Gilligan (Maxwell, 2014) [Web page]
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