Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chapter 2: Please post your responses to your most favorite STUDY QUESTIONS in the chapter here.


  1. Chapter 2 Study Question:

    The use of behaviorism is so popular in American society. Why do you think it is the case? What aspect of its values, history, and culture makes it popular? What is “American” about it?

    To me, having been born and raised in America, it makes quite a lot of sense that Behaviorism is so popular in American society. The generations preceding ours (our parents and grandparents) have been conditioned not to express feelings or discuss personal details of mental health. To these generations, personal matters are supposed to be personal matters and the complexities of feelings should never show. I think this because those generations are hesitant to seek counseling services and are always concerned about what people around them think of them (and their families). I also think that in America we are have been taught that there is a reason for everything, and usually those reasons are observable and measurable, and exclude internal factors.

    However, I also believe that behaviorism is becoming less and less popular in American society and will continue to do so in the future. I believe this is the case because in my generation and in the generation of students I am teaching, we often are asked to consider how what we do makes others feel. This differs from before as it considers internal factors that are not directly observable. To me, I attribute this to the influx and popularity of East Asian culture into Western culture (for example practicing yoga and finding your “zen”) as well as the education reforms I am beginning to notice in my student teaching.

  2. "Should teaching be a science? If there is anything that should not be a "science" in education, what is it? Why can't science capture it?

    No, I don't believe teaching is or should be a science. To me, teaching is all about relationships. In the words of St. John Bosco, "Get them to love you and they'll follow you anywhere." Now, clearly that sentiment could be used for good or evil, but I believe he was talking about using it for the good, as I am.

    I would add, "Show students you care and are trustworthy -- trustworthy from the standpoint of both integrity and competence -- and they will exceed your expectations."

    The teachers I had who treated their role like a science left me feeling cold and uninspired. The teachers I remember most (in a good way) are the ones who showed their humanity and drew out mine.

    Science can't capture the relationship aspect of teaching, because human beings are far too beautiful and complex.

  3. STUDY QUESTION: How could you approach your students to learn about how they perceive their homework and learning activities? What holds the key to making it successful?

    According to Dr. Inoue (2012), “The way the consequence regulates a person’s action must depend on the meaningfulness sensed or constructed by the person” (p. 26). In order to better understand the meanings that students give their homework and learning activities, teachers need to actually interact with and observe them. Because I plan on working with adult English language learners in the future, I can relate to my students as fellow adults. I can talk to them about why they are learning English and what they hope to learn in my class. At the start of the semester, I can pass out an easy-to-understand survey in which students can explicitly state their reasons for enrolling in my course, and I could use that to help guide my practice.

    In order to develop successful learning activities and assignments, I need to have a basic understanding of “what kinds of meanings students see in their lives” (Inoue, 2012, p. 27). Knowing that, I can help them to see and construct meanings in their learning in my classroom. I also need to ensure that my students find meaning in the consequences of doing – or not doing – their work. Because there is often a disconnect in the meanings that students see in their schoolwork and the meanings that teachers see in the same work, I’ll have to try to close that gap. Overall, I think that the key to successful learning is the construction of meaning.

  4. STUDY QUESTION: What do you think is the best way to make your omoi visible? Is it possible to capture it objectively?

    According to Dr. Inoue, "Omoi is an integrated form of feeling, thinking, and passion developed by going through challenges and collective experiences that create jikkan or a gut feeling" (Inoue 20). I think the best way to make someone's omoi visible is through the persons actions. A persons actions usually convey a lot about their feelings, passions, and thinking. The type or course of action people take are usually stem from prior experiences or prior knowledge. Through ones actions, others can see the type of omoi they possess. For example, if another person saw me reflecting on a lesson that I taught and making improvements/ adjustments to the lesson for the next time I teach it, the person may look at this action i took and say that I have an omoi that shows I care about my students learning. Actions convey a lot about a person. A persons actions usually tell others about their intentions and their personality which displays their omoi.

    However, I dont think it is possible to capture an omoi objectively because an omoi is not physically available for us to see, touch, hear, and smell. Omoi is a idea. It is a concept that can be interpreted in different ways. Omoi is personal so it can not be regulated. Omoi is kind of like the concept of "love". It cant be measured objectively because for everyone it is different.

  5. Study Question: What do you think is the best way to make your omoi visible? Is it possible to capture it objectively?

    I think it’s possible to make one’s omoi visible through one’s actions and behaviors, but I think how it’s observed is purely subjective. Someone’s omoi will most likely be filtered and perceived based on our own omoi, values, beliefs, or experiences. For example, if someone arrived to a meeting late it might appear that she was lazy or didn’t care about the meeting enough to arrive on time. But conversely, the woman may have arrived late because let’s say she got a flat tire or received wrong directions to the meeting. Whereas in actuality, coming to the meeting late showed that she was determined, thus, she has a high level of integrity and commitment to attending the scheduled meeting. Therefore, I believe observing someone’s omoi would require multiple observations or encounters with that person. Just like first impressions aren’t always accurate depictions of a person’s true character and personality, one event can’t show the depth of passion or values someone might have. After many encounters the observer will have a better understanding of the other person’s omoi and be less likely to make assumptions or judgments based on their own personal omoi.

  6. How could you approach your students to learn about how they perceive their homework and learning activities? What holds the key to making it successful?

    Aside from getting to know your students individually. I think offering a variety of opportunities for students to demonstrate their strengths with different types of homework assignments. I wonder if it might be beneficial to ask students on a survey about what types of homework assignments or learning activities they like the best and why. Also, what homework assignments/learning activities in the past have they felt they would use again or related to a real life experience. This might prompt a conversation as a whole class to discuss if they think homework is beneficial to them not just as students, but relevant to outside of the classroom. I think with Common Core Standards being implemented teachers are going to need to be really innovative in their teaching or learning activities and homework. Simply because the way we taught before Common Core is not going to work to teach these new standards. Common Core really focuses on critical thinking and how students are going to be asked to write in different ways. Common Core will push us to make curriculum relate to students outside of the classroom. In doing this we will need to think about our students perceptions of learning activities and homework.

  7. Chapter 2 Study Question

    How could you approach your students to learn about how they perceive their homework and learning activities? What holds the key to making it successful?

    I love talking to my students as people/friends. I love learning about things they are involved with, people who influence them, things in which they are interested. I want to try the use of a survey to get to know the subjects my students like the best and their preferred ways of learning about them. Students are so often given exams that a nice, friendly “About Me” survey is a good mind break for them. I will use their feedback in helping me design my lessons. Also, just sitting down with them at lunch or different times during the day to learn more about them are great ways to find out how they perceive school and homework. Students are so willing to share their opinions about everything so it’s very easy to get information from them.
    The key(s) in making learning activities successful are for them to stimulating, meaningful, purposeful, and creative. Often, educators get into a habit of doing the same thing everyday of the year. They teach the same lesson year after year without ever updating it. Times are changing so quickly and to keep students excited about learning, we have to continually change up, add or remove parts, and improve lessons. I do believe students (especially the younger ones) need structure but not working from the same math video series, or Daily Literacy Review journal, etc. The use of current music, popular figures, and current events really help engage students. We have to be inventive and stay current because we are in competition with so many other devices that demand the student’s attention.