Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chapter 5 Cognitive Learning Processes

   I remember a teach in high school having us write down the steps to making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When I was finished the teacher asked, "What do I spread the jelly with? "A knife of course," and his response.... "What does a knife do?"
   The teaching of concepts is something that I think as a teacher I try to not take for granted and do my best to constantly check for understanding in the class room. The steps of teaching using objects and breaking down their use and characteristics to their basic form.


  1. I guess checking for understanding is always a good thing, because sometimes students derive at their own understanding and sometimes the way they understood something is not exactly what we were trying to convey. Can you explain or give an example of what you mean by "The steps of teaching using objects and breaking down their use and characteristics to their basic form."?

  2. Response: In my teenage years I grew up in Bible Baptist Church with a pastor who was a “teacher” first as opposed to a “preacher” or proclaimer. He would utilize an easy to follow outline that one could take notes from. Each scripture he used was backed up and interpreted by another scripture. We called this running the Word. He had major points, sub points and scriptural backing for each. His recall of the scripture and his continual refrain that, “scripture interprets scripture” and the biblical injunction that “no scripture is of private interpretation of men but is given so that the Man of God” can be found rooted in the faith. I later learned this type of scriptural teaching is called Homiletics.
    His method of teaching taught me how to learn and to think. It gave me the tools needed to become a better educated person not only in the Word of God but in all activities of my life.
    Breaking down difficult subjects into smaller pieces or chunks, mastering them and piecing them together to get the full picture has allowed me to have a educated foundation for my life and given me the ability to pass that on to others.
    This same process of chunking was used by my band director and that is how I became a musician and music educator. This method is how my history teacher taught and I became a historian. This is how my speech and debate teacher taught and I became a persuader.
    Skills and knowledge broken down into chunks and steps and mastered one piece at time is a very traditional method of teaching but also a very effective and timeless method of teaching.

  3. This is a concept that most teachers do need to learn to think about. I remember my first year teaching, and having trouble with students not knowing why things happen. I also made the rookie error of not understanding why the students did not know the steps to a problem that they had learned the previous year. It taught me to slow down my instruction, and quickly reteach concepts the students need to know before I can continue with the lesson.