Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Learners with Exceptionalities

Unlock the terms:

Disability is a measurable impairment or limitation that "interferes with a person's abililty, for example to walk, lift hear or learn. It may refer to a physical, sensory or total condition(Schiefelbusch Institute, 1996).

Handicap is a disadvantage that occurs as a result of disability or impairment.

Categories of Exceptionalities

Specific cognitive or academic difficulties:
  • Learning Disabilities. Involve difficulties in specific cognitive processes like perception, language, memory or metacognition that are not due to other disabilities like retardation, emotional or behavioral disorders or sensory impairments. 
  • Attention - Deficit Hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is manifested in either or both of these: a) diffculty in focusing and maintaining attention and b) recureent hyperactive and impulsive behavior.
  • Speech and communication Disorders. There is difficulty in spoken language including voice disorders =, inabiltiy to poroduce the sound correctly, stuttering, difficulty in spoken language comprehension that significantly hamper classroom performance. 
  • Emotional/Conduct Disorders. Involves the presence of emotional states like depression and aggression over a considerable amount of time that they notably disturb learning and performance in school.
  • Autism. A condition manifested by different levels of impaired social interaction and communication, repetitive behaviors and limited interests.
  • Mental Retardation.  Refers to significant sub average intelligence and deficits in adaptive behavior.
Physical Disabilities and Health Impairments

Physical and health impairments. This involves physical or medical conditions (usually long-term) including one or more of these: 1) limited energy and strength, 2) reduced mental alertness, and/or 3) little muscle control.
Severe and Multiple Disabilities. This refers to the presence of two or more different types of disability, at times at a profound level.
Visual Impairments. These are conditions when there is malfunction of the eyes or optoc nerves that prevent normal vision even with corrective lenses.
Hearing Impairments. Thses involves malfunction of the ear or auditory nerves that hinder perception of sounds within the frequency range of normal speech.


Giftedness. This involves a significantly high level of cognitive development. There is usually high ability or aptitude in one or more of these aspects: intellectual abiltiy, aptitude in academic subjects, creativity, visual or performing arts or leadership.

Learning/Thinking Styles and Multiple Intelligences

Learning/Thinking Styles

Learning/Thinking Styles refer to the preferred way an individual processes information. They describe a person's typical mode of thinking, remembering or problem solving.There are several perspectives about learning-thinking styles, two of these are sensory preferences and global analytic continuum.

Sensory Preferences. Individuals tend to gravitate toward one or two types of sensory input and maintain a dominace in one of the following types:

  • Visual Learners. These learners must see their teacher's actions and facial expressions to fully understand the content of the lesson. Ri Charde further breaks down visul learners into: a) Visual Iconic refers to those who are more interested in visual imagery such as film, graphic displays inorder to solidify learning; b) Visual Symbolic refers to those who feel comfortable with abstract symbolism such as mathematical formulae or the written word.
  • Auditory Learners. They learn best through verbal lectures, discussion, talking things through and listening to what others have to say. They can attend aurally to details, tramslate the spoken word easily into written words and are not easily distracted in their listening ability. Auditory learners also fall into two categories: a) The listeners are those who prefer to listen; b) The Talkers are those who prefer talking.
  • Tactile/kinesthetic Learners benefit much from a hands-on approach, actively exploring the world around them.

Glaobal - Analytic Continuum
  • Analytic. Analytic thinkers tend toward the linear, step-by-step process of learning.
  • Global. Glabal thinkers lean towards non-linear thoughts and tend to see the whole patter rather than particle elements.

LEFT BRAIN (Analytic)
Successive Hemispheric Style
Simultaneous Hemispheric Style
1. Verbal
1. Visual
2. Responds to word meaning
2. Responds to tone of voice
3. Sequential
3. Random
4. Processes information linearly
4. Processes information in varied order
5. Responds to logic
5. Responds to emotion
6. Recalls people’s names
6. Recalls people’s faces
7. Plans ahead
7. Impulsive
8. Speaks with few gestures
8. Gestures when speaking
9. Punctual
9. Less Punctual
10. Prefers formal study design
10. Prefers sound/music background while studying
11. Prefers bright lights while studying
11. Prefers frequent mobility while studying

Multiple Intelligences

 The theory of multiple inteeligences (MI) was first described by Howard Gardner in Frames of Mind (1983). Gardner defines intelligences as "an ability or set of abilities tha allows a person to solve a problem or fashion a product that is valued in or more cultures". His most current research inndicates that there are nine distinct forms of intelligences, they are :

  • Visual/Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart). Learns visually and organizing ideas spatially, must see concepts in actions to fully understand them.
  • Verbal/Linguistic (Word Smart). Learns through the spoken words.
  • Mathematical/Logical (Number Smart/logic Smart). Learns through reasoning and problem solving.
  • Bodily/Kinesthetic (Body Smart). Learns through interaction with one's environment.
  • Musical (Music Smart). Learns through patterns, rhythms, and music.
  • Intrapersonal (Self Smart). Learning through feelings, values and attitudes.
  • Interpersonal (People Smart). Learning through interaction with others.
  • Naturalist (Nature Smart). Learns through classification, categories and hierarchies.
  • Existential (Spirit Smart). learns through seeing the "big picture"  and asks "why are we here?", "what is my role in this world?" and the like.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Individual differences

Factors that Bring about Student Diversity

1. Socioeconomic Status - The millionaire's lifestyle differs fromtha of the middle income or lower income group.
2. Thinking/Learning Style - All of us differ in learmingstyles, some learn by seeing, others by listening and still others in manipulating objects.
3. Exceptionalities - In a class there maybe one who has difficulty in spoken language comprehension or seeing, hearing etc.

How Student Diversity Enriches the Learning Environment

1. Student's self awareness is enhanced by diversity. Exposing students to others with diverse backgrounds and experiences also serves to help students focus on their awareness of themselves.

2. Student diversity contributes to cognitive development. The opportunity to gain access to the perspectives of peers and to learn from other students, rather than the instructor only, may be especially important fro promoting the cognitive development of the learners.

3. Student diversity prepares learners for their role as responsible members of the society. 

4. Student diversity can promote harmony. When the student diversity is integrated into the classroom teacvhing and learning process, it can become a vehicle fro promoting harmonious race relations.

Some Tips on Student Diversity

1. Encourage learners to share their personal history and experiences.
2. Integrate learning experiences and activities which promote students'  multicultural and cross-cultural awareness.
3. Aside from highlighting diversity, identify patterns of unity that transcend group differences.
4. Communicate high expectations to students from all sub-groups.
5. Use varied instructional methods to accommodate student diversity in learning styles.
6. Vary the examples you use to illustrate concepts in order to provide multiple contexts that are relevant to students from diverse backgrounds.
7. Adapt to the students' diverse backgrounds and learning styles by allowing them personal choice and decision-making opportunities concerning what they will learn and how they will learn it.
8. Diversify your methods of assessing and evaluating student learning.
9. Purposely, form small-discussion from diverse backgrounds. You can form groups of students with different learning styles, different cultural background and etc. 


Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development


1. Lawrence Kohlberg adopted and built on Piaget's work, and set the grounddwotk for the present debbate within psychology on moral development.
2. If Piagetdesigned specific taks (Piagetian Tasks) to learn about the cognitive development of children, Kohlberg utilized moral dilemma (Kohlberg Dilemma).
From his research, Kohlberg identified six stages of moral reasoning grouped into three major levels. Each level represents a significant change in the social - moral reasoning or perspective of the person.

Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development

Pre-conventional Level – Moral reasoning is based on the consequence/result of the act, not on the act itself is good or bad
Punishment/obedience. One is motivated by fear of punishment. He will act in order to avoid punishment.
Mutual Benefit. One is motivated t ct by the benefit that one may obtain later.
Conventional – Moral reasoning is based on the conventions or “norms” of society. These may include approval of others, law and order.
Social Approval. One is motivated by what others expect in behavior.
Law and Order.  One is motivated to act in order to uphold law and order.
Post-Conventional - Moral reasoning is based on enduring or consistent principles.
Social Contract. Laws that are wrong can be changed. One will act based on social justice and the common good.
Universal Principles. This is associated with the development of one’s conscience.

Vygotsky's Socio-cultural Theory

Lev Vygotsky is the proponent of this theory. He recognized social interaction and language as two central factors in cognitive development.

Social Interaction. Vygostxky empahsized that effective learning happens through participation in social activities, making the social context of learning cruial. Parents, teachers and other adults in the learners' environment contribute to the process.

Language. Language opens the door for learners to acquire knowledge that others already have. Learners can use language to know and understand the world and solve problems. 

Vygotsky believed in the essence of activities learning.

The zone of actual development is the zone wherein the child attempts to perform a skill alone, s/he may not be immediately proficient at it. Thus, s/he perform at a certain level of competencey. And the difference between what the child can accomplish aone and what s/he can accomplish with the guidace of others is what Vygostky refers to as zone of proximal development.

Another term which highlights this theory of Vygotsky is scaffolding. This term means the support or assistance that lets the child accompish tasks s/he cannot accomplish independently. It is not doing the task while the child watches, it's about assisting the child to accoomplish tasks. As the learner develops, one must put scaffold and fade away technique  into use. Scaffold and fade away techniqueis the act of withdrawing the guidance and letting the learner accomplish the task.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

Basic Cognitive Concepts
  • Schema. This refers to the cognitive structures by which individuals intellectually adapt and  organize their environment.
  • Assimilation. The process of fitting a new experience into an existing or previously created cognitive structire or schema.
  • Accommodation. The process of creating new schema.
  • Equilibration. This is achieving proper balance between assimilation and accommodation.

Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

Stage 1. Sensori-motor Stage. This is the stage  when a child who is initially reflexive in grasping, sucking and reaching becomes more organized in his movement.
               Object Permanence. The ability of the child to know that objects still exists even when out of sight.

Stage2. Pre - Operational Stage. At this stage, the child can now make mental representations and is able to pretend, the child is now even closer to the use of symbols. And this stage is highlighted by the following:
  • Symbolic Function. This is the ability to represent objects and events.
  •  Egocentrism. This is the tendency of the child to only see his point of view and to assume that     everyone also has his same point of view.
  • Centration. This is the tendency of the child to only focus on one aspect of a thing or event and exclude other aspects.
  • Reversibility. Pre-operational children still has the inability to reverse their thinking. They can understand that 2+3 is 5 but cannot undesrtand that 5-3=2.
  • Animism. This is the tendency of children to attribute human like traits or characteristics to inanimate objects.
  • Transductive Reasoning. This refers to the pre-operational child's type of reasoning that is neither inductive nor deductive.

Stage 3. Concrete Operational Stage. This stage is characterized by the ability of the child to think logically but only in terms of concrete objects. This stage is marked by the following.

  • Decentering. This refers to the ability of the child to perceive the different features of objects and situations.
  • Reversibility. This is the stage that the child is able to follow that certain operations can be done in reverse.
  • Conservation. This is the ability to know that certain properties of objects like number, mass, volume or area do not change even if there is a change in appearance.
  • Seriation. This refers to the ability to order or arrange things in series based on one dimension such as weight, volume or size.
Stage 4. Formal Operational Stage. This is the stage where a child can now solve abstract problems and can now hypothesize. This covers ages between 12 and 15 years. This stage is characterized by the following:
  • Hypothetical Reasoning. This is the ability to come up with different hypothesis about a problem and to gather and weigh data in order to make final decision or judgment.
  • Analogical Reasoning. This is the ability to perceive the relationship in one instance and then use that relationship to narrow down possibile answers in another similar situation or problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning. This is the ability to think logically by applying a general rule to a particular instance or situation.

Learner-centered Psychological Principles

The "Learner-centered Psychological Principles" is being divided into four sub categories: Cognitive and Metacognitive factors; Motivational and Affective factors; Developmental and Social Factors; and Individual Differences factors.

Cognitive and Metacognitive factors

1. Nature of the Learning Process
          The learning of complex subject matter is most effective when it is an intentional process of constructing meaning from information and experience.

2. Goals of the Learning Process
          The successful learner, over time and with support and istructional guidance, can create meaningful, coherent representations of knowledge.

3. Construction of Knowledge
          The successful learner can link new information with existing knowledge in meaningful ways.

4. Strategic Thinking
          The successful learner can create and use a repertoire of thinking and reasoning strategies to achieve complex learning goals.

5. Thinking about Thinking
          Higher order strategies for selecting and monitoring mental operations facilitate creative and critical thinking.

6. Context of Learning
          Learning is influenced by environmental factors, including culture, technology, and instructional practices.

Motivational and Affective Factors

7. Motivational and emotional influences in learning
         What and how much is learned is influenced by the learner's motivation. Motivation to learn, in turn,  is influenced by the individual's emotional states, beliefs, interests and goals, and habits of 

8. Intrinsic Motivation to Learn
            The learner's creativity, higher order thinking, and natural curiosity all contribute to motivation to learn. Intrinsic motivation is stimulated by the tasks of optimal novelty and difficulty, relevant to personal interests, and providing for personal choice and control.

9. Effects of Motivation on Effort
          Acquisition of complex knowledge and skills requires extended learner effort and guided practice. Without learner's motivation to learn, the willingness to exert this effort is unlikely without 

Development and Social Factors

10. Developmental Influences in learning
         As individuals develop, there are different opportunities and constraints for learning. Learning is most effective when differential development within and across physical, intellectual, emotional and social domains is taken into account.

11. Social Influences on Learning
         Learning is influenced by social interactions, interpersonal relations and communication with others.

Individual Differences factors

12. Individual Differences in Learning
        Learners have different strategies, approaches, and capabilities for learning that are a function of prior experience and heredity.

13. Learning and Diversity
      Learning is most effective when differences in learners' linguistic, cultural, and social backgrounds are taken into account.

14. Standards and Assessment
       Setting appropriately high and challenging standards and assessing the learner as well as the learning progress - including diagnostic, process, and outcome assessment - are integral parts of the learning process.