Class Section 11 Theories





Theories of DE

reflection:  There is a lot to reflect about in this class session

OVERVIEW
Short youtube and short articles are needed to help online teachers, using the "single phrase" to define what each theory says is the purpose, needs and administrative goals of distance education.

The goal of this "reflection" is to define those phrases so I can help my friends who are professors and who teach online.

1.  need for a simple article for teacher training (not using the names of the theories)

2.  need for a simple article for student training -- the orientation of Nova students could include a short video that defines the differences of DE compared to face to face, and the challenges of bridging the gaps.  Welles Singleton's repeated use of the phrase "our family" and "welcome to the Fischler School" are clear attempts (under the Keegan theory) of reintegration of teaching and learning acts and also reduction of Moore's transactional distance.


3.  Now I get why you use the phrase "even better, by telephone" in your class sessions.  
The efficient presentation that you make in the class sessions are supplemented with reflections and questions posed by telephone -- better than emailed responses.



Reflections are given below as responses to points in the class section

==========  

Peters
Key Phrase:  Industrialization
Key question:  What can we learn from division of labor and specialization?  How can we serve a wide range of people, moving away from the craft of teaching?  


Moore
Key Phrase:  Transactional Distance
Key question:  how do we bridge the distance between teacher and student?   What procedures will help in this pursuit?




Holmberg
Key Phrase:  Guided Didactic -- or focus on the individual
use pre-packed products, an industrialized (division of labor), but add a layer of one-on-one advising.
Meta-cognition is connected to Holmberg.
Key Question:  how can we use advisors to help personalize the learning?  How can we make students aware of the process of learning?


Keegan
Key phrase:  reintegration or pulling together the teaching and learning acts
Key points:  what is natural in face to face learning can be artificially created for distance learning...and needs to be introduced in some way.
Key Question:  What happens in a face to face lecture?   How can we reproduce the teaching and learnig in a distance course?
The teaching act is presenting information on a board and giving information by voice.  People who learn by reading or hearing or visual can be accommodated in the classroom and the learning act happens instantly (if the presentation is clear).  
When the learning is separated from the presentation, something has to happen to "integrate" the separated acts.



POINT OF CLARITY:  privatization of institutional learning.  Not "purchase of a public need by a private company" -- taking a government agency private.   I think it is "personalizing" or "shaping the learning to the individual" or individualizing the course.


Knowles
Andragogy
Key Phrase:  create a climate for adult learning (different from the "command and control" model of many K-12 schools)
Key Questions:  how do we meet the needs of the individual?
What do we want to achieve?  how will we get there?  What milestones do we need to hit to know that we are on the right path?

Reflection:  These are procedures of good teaching.  



Reflection
I can see how a presentation of these 5 theories would be helpful to teachers.  I created an online course about Visual and Active Teacher Training and I can see something in each theory that would help predict what my course's procedures might produce.   

Each theory has a set of core questions.

Peters:  How can we specialize?  How can we divide the work of online teaching so we can distribute the workload and allow people to become good (as they do on an assembly line)?  How can we make this online course EFFICIENT, EFFECTIVE while at the same time personalizing the course for the individual?  What sort of interaction with the student will take place?

Moore:  There is a gap between teacher and student:  How do we bridge that gap?  How do we encourage more autonomy in the learner (moving from face to face to distance learning)?  What level of hybrid between teacher-determined content in the course and student-determined goals? 

Holmberg:  How can we guide students most effectively?    Have we included the student in the theory of learning (meta-cognition) so that the learner is participating in the method of instruction?  "Ah, this is why the teacher has asked me to follow this procedure."  

Keegan -- how do I integrate the separate acts of teaching (presentation of information) and learning (absorption and re-expression)?

Knowles -  Has our course identified the perceived needs of the student (what does the student say are her needs)?   How is the course different from K-12 procedures?  Have we clearly stated the objectives of the course, the procedures for achieving those objectives, and the milestones that will indicate that we are on the right track?

REFLECTION:
I THINK THE key to a course for online teachers is to NOT use the names of Peters, Holmberg, Moore, Keegan and .  The names of their theories are also a source of distancing the theories from practical application.  (Who uses the term andragogy?)  The most mileage will be gained if university professors and online high school teachers can ask questions that are based in the theories (without having to know the differences between the theories).  

Learning about these theories has consequences:  Anyone wanting to get the best from taxpayer-supported efforts like Florida Virtual Schools has to wonder, "Have all of these questions been asked?"  and "Have the teachers themselves been included in the asking of those questions?"

The most immediate impact of this presentation (this class session) has been to highlight the need for training of online teachers.   if they don't know the theories, then they can't be guided to create hypotheses to test "what works" and how to improve their teaching.  Without theories, we can't research the effectiveness of our efforts as teachers.

"You have to know the literature to be effective."  As a policy planner, I think, "Not going to happen in the real world."   I ask, "How can we efficiently present the literature without the teachers knowing?"  There is ample evidence that teachers go through training and then don't use what was presented to them.   So the question comes:  how do we get teachers to ask the key questions that each theory represents?


The answer might be in Holmberg's point of meta-cognition:  post the questions in every classroom so that some student asks the questions.


Thanks for giving room for reflections.  I will follow up with a question to clarify the "privatization" definition for Keegan. (p. 54).

This session would have been better viewed earlier in the course to give me time to investigate the readings suggested at the end of the presentation.




  I have been thinking about the statement that "theory is needed to be effective."

I was trained as a teacher to use "techniques."  It was an effective way to get me ready for the classroom (it was not K-12, but rather English as a second language).  The instructor specifically said, "We don't want to waste your time with philosophy of education.  Let's give you techniques that work."

Good:  I left the training course with a bag full of tricks, having role played in a number of situations.
Needs improvement:  I exited the program without a general outlook to evaluate new techniques.


I have had a bias against building a solid foundation of theory because it seems that so much attention is spent on distinguishing between the 10-20% that separates several theories.  We could be focusing on the 80-90% that most theories share and developing procedures for effective classrooms based on that common, shared theoretical base.  

I now see the value in keeping 5 theories in the mind at the same time.  "This is using Moore, while this other procedure can be justified by looking at Keegan."  Having a problem, I can say, "If I intervene to fix this problem, Moore would predict that xxx will happen, while Peters will say yyy."  I have found that if I quote authors by name (instead of "research shows..." or "I read somewhere that..."), many teachers and principals will back away, usually respectfully, and let me do what I was doing in the classroom.  Or they say, "Well, that might be true, but Broward County policy states that..." and so my procedures are changed.

My bias against theories is derived in part because of this bullying behavior that I've used, throwing references to show that "What I'm talking about is based in current research."  In fact, having a grounding in theories can help me weigh the value of various reports in light of the various theories.  


The challenge now seems to be "how to get teachers to use theories to guide their procedures and innovate."  I have seen how some teachers' eyes get glassy when I start quoting an expert, so I wonder if the "Key question" poster might lead students to start asking questions.  I raise this point in a separate course message because  I want to focus on this point.  Have you seen any good student-cemnered lists of questions?   The only list  of questions to guide teaching I found on classroom walls was by Littky's schools in Providence RI and other places (such as Frida Kahlo high school in Los Angeles.

I saw how students pointed to the questions when they were confused or when they wanted to analyze a question or situation that the teacher had proposed.  have you seen any lists like the "key quesionts" that i posted in the Theory message ?  here's the list again...

Each theory has a set of core questions.

1.  How can we specialize?  How can we divide the work of online teaching so we can distribute the workload and allow people to become good (as they do on an assembly line)?  How can we make this online course EFFICIENT, EFFECTIVE while at the same time personalizing the course for the individual?  What sort of interaction with the student will take place?

2.  There is a gap between teacher and student:  How do we bridge that gap?  How do we encourage more autonomy in the learner (moving from face to face to distance learning)?  What level of hybrid between teacher-determined content in the course and student-determined goals? 

3. How can we guide students most effectively?    Have we included the student in the theory of learning (meta-cognition) so that the learner is participating in the method of instruction?  "Ah, this is why the teacher has asked me to follow this procedure."  

4. how do I integrate the separate acts of teaching (presentation of information) and learning (absorption and re-expression)?

5.  Has our course identified the perceived needs of the student (what does the student say are her needs)?   How is the course different from K-12 procedures?  Have we clearly stated the objectives of the course, the procedures for achieving those objectives, and the milestones that will indicate that we are on the right track?


Final comment:
I realize that the purpose of EDD 7007 is to provide a foundtation of theory to base our doctoral work on.  The side benefit is that I'm becoming a more-aware teacher with these discussions.  It is interesting to see how my practice improves with study

RETURN TO HOME

Comments