4778 Chapters
Medium 9781935542995

One What Do We Know About How the Brain Learns?

David A. Sousa Solution Tree Press ePub

What an incredible time to be a professional educator! Oh, sure, teaching students and administering schools have never been more challenging. Our student population is becoming more diverse, the number of non-English-speaking students is growing rapidly, parents are relying more on schools to raise their children, and budgets are tighter than ever. Educators are asked to do more with less. However, despite all these challenges, we need to remember that schools are institutions of learning, and in recent years, the discoveries scientists are making about the learning process suggest that teachers can be more successful with more students—and that’s a very exciting prospect.

For a long time, researchers have been trying to determine how the incredible three pounds of tissue called the human brain can learn to speak, read, write, solve, and create. Most of our notions of how these cerebral processes operate resulted from observing behavior of a considerable number of individuals as they performed certain learning tasks. This formed the basis of behavioral psychology. With the development of brain-imaging technologies over the past several decades, researchers can now see inside the brain while it is carrying out various operations. Some of the findings from these imaging studies have given neuroscientists new and deeper insights into brain development and cerebral processing.

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Medium 9781475819571

Autobiography, Disclosure, and Engaged Pedagogy: Toward a Practical Discussion on Teaching Foundations in Teacher Education Programs

Teacher Education and Practice Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: In this research reflection, we develop a portrait of our engaged pedagogy for teaching educational foundations classes in teacher education. Our engaged pedagogy—based on autobiography and self-disclosure traditions—emphasizes instructors and students’ self-disclosure of lived experiences as being central to practical curriculum in teaching educational foundations. In developing this portrait of our teaching, we use topical narrative that provides a unique fit for studying practical curriculum and students’ responses. After discussing topical narrative as research methodology, we identify narrative patterns that emerged in our study with preservice teachers: searching for and finding words, opening eyes in relation to broader issues, and reconsidering worldviews. In continuation, we discuss “disclosure on disclosure,” which identifies benefits of working through autobiography and disclosure traditions alongside limits that emerge in practice. We conclude by emphasizing the importance of initiating a practical discussion on teaching foundations as a key area of professional activity in teacher education.

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Medium 9781935542506

One What Is Differentiation?

Gayle Gregory Solution Tree Press ePub

Differentiated instruction is “a way of thinking about the classroom with the dual goals of honoring each student’s learning needs and maximizing each student’s learning capacity” (Tomlinson & Eidson, 2003, p. 3). As a concept, differentiated instruction is based on what we know about the students in our classrooms, how their brains operate (similarly in many ways but that they are uniquely wired), and on the belief that students have different learning profiles. Differentiated instruction advocates that students should be active learners, decision makers, and problem solvers in the classroom. The goal of instruction is to help all students achieve their potential through precision and creative curriculum development toward targeted core standards.

Differentiation is not new. It is what good teachers have always done, often intuitively. If something is not working for students, most intelligent teachers stop doing it and try something else. We might say these teachers are “with-it” as they observe and respond appropriately to different situations. They consider such questions as the following:

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Medium 9781475816020


International Journal of Educational Reform Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Henry A. Giroux

Waterbury Chair Professorship in Secondary Education

College of Education

Pennsylvania State University

Chambers Builting

University Park, PA 16802

There appears to be an enormous deadlock in developing a critical debate over cinematic and media representations of violence. This is evident in the public furor that emerged when Bob Dole, the Senate Majority Leader, appearing at a fund raising event recently in Los Angeles, condemned certain Hollywood filmmakers for debasing United States culture with images of graphic violence and “the mainstreaming of deviancy.” Dole specifically condemned films such as Natural Born Killers and True Romance as “nightmares of depravity” drenched in grotesque violence and sex. Speaking for a Republican party that has increasingly moved to the extreme right, Dole issued a warning to Hollywood: “A line has been crossed—not just of taste, but of human dignity and decency. . . . It is crossed every time sexual violence is given a catchy tune. When teen suicide is set to an appealing beat. When Hollywood’s dream factories turn out nightmares of depravity.” Dole’s remarks were less an insightful indictment of the culture of violence than a shrewd attempt to win the hearts and minds of Christian conservatives and those in the general public who are fed up with the culture of violence but feel helpless in the face of its looming pervasiveness. While it is commendable that Dole has taken a stand regarding the relationship between Hollywood representations of violence and its impact in society, he fails to address a number of issues necessary to engage critically the culture of violence in this country.

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Medium 9781945349539

Chapter 2

Sousa, David A.; Tomlinson, Carol Ann Solution Tree Press PDF



Mindset, Learning

Environment, and


If children recognize that we have seen their genius, who they really are, they will have the confidence and resilience to take risks in learning. I am convinced that many learning and social difficulties would disappear if we learned to see the genius in each child and then created a learning environment that encourages it to develop.

—Steven Levy

Hopefully, most teachers have had those days or moments of sheer professional joy when something clicks in the classroom or for a particular student and it is, at least for a time, undeniable that teaching can possess and be possessed by magic. No doubt most teachers have also had their share of moments during which the mountain that is teaching seems too high to climb. Both of these are outlier moments—the former leading us to conclude that all our students are brilliant, and the latter, that they are all beyond our reach.

In less manic or depressive moments, our attitudes (which evolve unconsciously and over time) shape our reactions to students. Some of us, for instance, are drawn to students who are quiet and compliant, while others gravitate to students who are full of surprises and challenges. Some of us may work more easily with boys, while others find it easier to work with girls. Sometimes teachers have difficulty seeing the world through the eyes of students who have economic backgrounds or cultures that differ markedly from their own. These sorts of preferences or limitations can certainly bear on teaching effectiveness. The more aware we are of such feelings, the more

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