Week Four Reading Reflection

I found the readings for this week to be a little too school-driven and dry for my tastes. The Sadler 1989 article was particular dry and hard to read, including such jargon homerun phrases as “salient to a particular appraisal” and “in many complex systems, feeback loops of sensors, comparators and affectors”. There were several other things I did not like about this article:

  • It did not take into account the motives of students. For example, I would not, under any circumstances, want to be evaluated by my peers. The groupthink which happens in large groups of 10th-graders would probably lead to murder or disease or something.
  • Teachers should never ask students to evaluate themselves for a grade. Because it is conflict of motives. I, as a student, want to do good in your class but need to get a good grade. So I’m never going to evaluate myself fully and with true seriousness. Ignoring this motives makes the whole thing a sort of ridiculous experiment.
  • It assumes students want to learn. In the case of library instruction, I am not really sure that is true. Learning requires time and energy. If they can do a tenth of the work and only get a grade lower on the project in the end, that could be seen as a profit for the students.

I love the idea of tracking student progress. At the moment, I really don’t think academic libraries have the capability to do that. Perhaps in the future we might. Therefore this for me was a sort of “if we had a million dollars how would we write our emails” type of conversations. We don’t have the pre-requisite, so we can’t really answer or discuss with any authority.

In terms of the Chapter 6 of How People Learn, I found the whole chapter to be very wishing-washy. We should take into account the knowledge base of the students, but at the same time all examples were homogenous classrooms of students, such as the classroom in Hawaii. Somehow we should take into account students knowledge bases, but we should also treat them as individuals. And if we are to treat them as individuals, what is salient about them as individuals? Public schools are not tutorial services. They can’t afford to really treat every student as a unique snowflake, right? That doesn’t make economic sense. And going back to growth, how can we as librarians measure that? It seems pretty clear how teachers can do that. Unsure how we can do that as librarians.

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About Ilana the Librarian

I am an aspiring librarian at the University of Michigan.
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One Response to Week Four Reading Reflection

  1. adamsliz says:

    I really appreciate your critique of Chapter 6 from How We Learn. When reading it, I didn’t really consider the homogeneity found within the examples, and I enjoyed reading your thoughtful questions and comments about the matter. As far as the book itself, last week, I had a discussion with someone (with a teaching background) in our class about my frustration with the material. My complaints centered around the lack of practical examples and the problems with the ones that were included. She brought up a a really interesting point: every classroom, every student, and every situation will be different; it is impossible for a textbook to account for every situation that might arise; as such, pedagogical classes can only offer broad suggestions, not specific examples.

    I hadn’t really thought of it in those terms. I am a really concrete learner; I want examples, and I want them right away. Maybe teaching just isn’t like that. Has anyone in our group ever taken a teaching class? Can they chime in on this?

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