In this week’s assigned readings, we covered Martinez and Driscoll chapters describing developmental theories and philosophies. It was interesting to see how significant Piaget has been to this field. I was somewhat aware of these stages, and the hierarchical structuring of the schemas, without identifying them as a Piagetian understanding of development. I also had no idea that these ideas were now considered out of style due to cognitive research demonstrating the stages occurring out of order, a lack of understanding about processes, and more. Both Martinez and Driscoll seemed pretty determined that this research had disproven Piaget’s contribution, without eliminating his influence on the field. Are there no longer practicing Piagetian educators, apart from neo-Piagetian scholars like Case who built on his research? Have any of you run across Piagetian instructional design in practice? As I teach in a community college setting (and also do not have any children), I do not often consider developmental stages when planning instruction.
I found the Bransford chapter to be of great interest to me, as I had already run into some articles citing some of this material in my research for the literature review. I think it comes as no surprise to most that experts and novices have different cognitive approaches to content in certain domains. I have looked at this research from the perspective that most studies in this area show a significant increase in metacognitive skills in experts versus novices. I have not come across many articles explaining why—I thought it might have something to do with cognitive load and experts’ abilities to chunk essential background material. This would allow experts to learn while freeing up working memory to assimilate additional information or critically engage with the content through self-regulation or self-reflection.
I am continuing to find the assigned readings extremely helpful to my literature review process. When I originally submitted my preliminary citations, I found roughly 30—it was a lot! Working on the data analysis spreadsheet, I have whittled that number down to 10 usable articles. Now I have to go back to the research stage and search again, but with the added benefit now of having a better idea of the direction I am headed in.
It is also perfect timing as I start planning my Week 10 discussion lead. I really liked the Google Doc-guided discussion questions that Dr. Luo used recently in class. I felt like it was a great way for us to get our thoughts organized around all the philosophies and approaches we have been discussing so far in class. At the same time, it also makes it easier for Dr. Luo to ensure we are not just on autopilot in class and actually engaging in the material. On top of it all, it allowed us to feel more comfortable speaking up without talking over one another, which I find to be one of the most difficult and frustrating elements of attending class in the online environment. I liked it so much, I hope Dr. Luo does not mind if I steal it for my teaching presentation!