Teachers are Instructional Designers

Instructive concepts and ideas. Two silhouettes of people surrou

Instructional Design Concept

The ideas and information presented throughout this course CONNECTS me to the belief all learning theorists, in some sense of the word, use scaffolding to bridge the missing gaps between theories.  The focus through the readings has been to provide opportunities for deepening students learning.  Each learning theorist has opened new philosophies on the most effective methods of instructional strategies.  My observations throughout my studies (especially this course) is that each and every learning theorist exemplifies the characteristics of a constructivist way of learning.  We can debate on which learning theory is the best, but in the end our focus must be on that of the learner.  We have to answer, what is best for the learner?

Teaching strategies are adapting to today’s students.  Teaching and learning for years was thought to be a one-way process of transferring information/knowledge from the educator to the learner.  We are seeing this might not be the most effective method to teach today’s students.  The learning environment is transforming and so are student needs.  There will probably always be a debate on which learning theory connects the learner to the content and acquisition of content knowledge.  Debates will continue just as we witnessed in Week 1 between Clark and Kozma.  Disagreements like the Clark/Kozma debate are good for education to continually adapt to the needs of the learner.

The new idea that EXTENDS my thinking is there may not be one single learning theory that is the best fit for each and every student.  The notion each student learns differently (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, or a mix of these) is an indication I need to be able to adapt my own teaching style to connect with different learners.  My goal is not to isolate my students with my own segregated teaching style but rather connect the students and engage them in the learning process.

The different learning styles are CHALLENGING me to identify the best fit for my classroom and be able to adapt to my students’ needs.  Once my studies are completed in a few weeks, I want to take some time to reflect upon my classroom and teaching style to create an environment which motivates students.  The “real learning” approach has me thinking how can I relate the learning to students’ prior knowledge with an authentic learning environment.

If you would have asked me a about a month ago I would have definitely identified with that of a constructivist approach.  Yes, I am still mostly constructivist, but I now see the need for a social and individual mixed approach throughout the learning process.

I believe teachers are LEARNING DESIGNERS.  The teacher has to identify how students learn and be able to connect with the student during the instruction/learning process.  When necessary, the teacher must be able to adapt to the learning style of each student.  The teacher is a learning designer in the process of developing innovative instructional strategies and activities.

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