Bridgette Fincher- Masters in Educational Technology and Leadership. 2006

 

BFincher.net

Terms and Classes

Summer '05

Fall Term '05

 Winter Term '06

Spring/Summer Term '06

Action Research Project

 

Reflection on the Learning Theorist Assignment

This stage was to " read at least one original book by a learning theorist written since 1900. Construct your knowledge together by creating a SWIKI archive of information about what you learned from the book and about your theorist and then be be prepared to role play your theorist at a Tapped In session" but it ended being so much more than the base required.

This whole series of tasks marked a key watershed in integration of things both past and present. First of all, I don’t know if it was by some sort of psychic uberplan but Carl Rogers really struck a chord- educationally and academically for me. Did my thinking about learning shift from what it had been originally in regards to is learning social or individual? Not really, it just confirmed the stance I had in that individually you get the base knowledge and inner connections for the present place/time. However, in interacting with others, the transcending overarching connections become apparent which add depth and nuance to the surface understanding of before. Given that no one did Rogers, I was in an individualized situation and could collaborate only at the second stage.  

While I couldn’t completely go the “whole chuck school and form free moving radicals of educational groupings” route pioneered by Rogers, I was quite attuned to the being fully receptive and present as a teacher and letting the students duke out their understandings. The concept of teacher as facilitator was just glorious. Interestingly, there is a strong alignment between the way Rogers espoused/ taught and our current Pepperdine experience…discomfort, gray areas, scrabbling for materials, and the ebb and flow of understandings lead by questions, questions and more questions. I really dug the Theorist Conference. That was a nifty way to get us to really consider things from the viewpoint of our theorist. It would be neat to see what adaptations that Doc Sue ended up making as she lead it along.

When the product stage of the project came up, with the construction of the SWIKI,  made used  the TI system to set things up. Lulu and I did the visuals showing how the various theorist were connected for the group. The nice thing about that was that we were able to work towards our strengths, which were foils for each other, to produce an end product that folks seemed happy about. Our style of relating with others was similar and we have grown comfortable and easy with each even when we don’t share the same opinion on a topic. We really couldn't have done it without each other. The nifty thing was that I was sitting at my kitchen table, talking on the phone with her after a series of IMs, as she made synchronous changes in a web, that we both were looking at to be put in a collaborate SWIKI. When finished, the project visual was sent out to the group for modification, input and editing. One of the things I need to remember to do on the next open project is not to be so concerned about the timing issue structured by those leading the project and be more inclusive of others and their skills even when offered at a later time.  

Regards to group process, there were some interactions in the whole group that triggered further dialoging about organizational and managerial structures. All the major players worked hard. There is no doubt in my mind about that and I honor the energy and drive. However, on the affective side of things there would be a few tweaks here and there. Some of the other more timid folks in the group who were trying to get a handle on just what was going on and who were trying to propose options didn’t have their voices heard. They did not speak up again and that was a loss in regards to their group process and ours. Those small TI sessions proved to be a blessing. More intimate and real in the conversational tone.  But I do wonder about the voices that are always present, some that check in and watch more so and then those that one rarely hears. What drive or social dynamic determines what happens? Interesting.

In summation,  we got ‘her done and in fact, I think, we all learned quite a bit not only about our theorists but also how they are starting to mesh together. I believe my understanding is more like the outline of the bare bones, but I have faith that throughout the rest of the year, flesh will be added.   

   

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