Aracelie_Reading Log_30 Mar

Posted by on March 29, 2010 
Filed under Reading logs

There are so many options available for implementing SoTL.  It still boggles me that it is not more widespread.  I understand the many challenges that we read about in our articles and talk about in our class sessions, but I still have a difficult time comprehending how it is taking so long to catch on in our education systems.  The fact that there are so many definitions of SoTL seems like it would be even easier to implement one or two of the items McKinney mentions in her eighth chapter.  Holding campus conversations, promoting SoTL with new faculty, giving away SoTL literature – all seem like they would be the smaller steps necessary to institute a full practice of SoTL.  I suggest we send Tiger Teams armed with copies of McKinney’s book to give to select faculty members (i.e. those who have impact within a school) who will commit to selecting one item to try on his campus within a period of three years.  I know.  There is much more involved than what I am glazing over here.  It is just so frustrating to know it does not have to be quite so hard; and this is coming from someone on the outside looking in.  I can only imagine what it is like to actually be in the field trying to encourage these changes.

But have no fear because once again my hope is restored by Classroom Research.   We are now on Chapter 2 trying to save future Leslies from drowning, or at least feeling like they are drowning, in their future economics classes.  The chapter goes through a more layman’s explanation of metacognition and cognition as applied to students’ learning than did How People Learn. Reading about these concepts a third time (Marchese’s article being the first), I used DeGroot’s chess example as my frame of reference. (That study actually then showed up as an example later in the chapter.)  Reading through the three steps (review the literature, classroom assessment, and classroom research) for three possible hypotheses highlighted in the instructor’s conversation with Leslie brings the concepts to life in my mind.  I feel like anyone who was suddenly put in front of a classroom to teach could obtain a copy of this book and immediately have tools available to begin using in the classroom, such as the Focused Autobiographical Sketches and Building Bridges.  As a visual learner, I would appreciate tasks such as those being interspersed into lectures or seminars were I a student.  Fear of being chastised in class for participating would dissipate if they were to be regular activities in the classroom, as the authors suggest.  Another plus of this text is how in discussing traditional research, they specifically say it is not easy to advise new classroom teachers whether to trust their instincts regarding their field or to listen to research results that may or may not address the true question.  It is comforting to know even though you may understand what and how your students are learning, the test results may not always agree with your assessments of the situation.

I suppose my point is that even though this book covers education theories, they are told in such a way that a new teacher can apply them directly to his classroom practice and immediately begin to expand and search for signs of improvement.


One Response to “Aracelie_Reading Log_30 Mar”

  • Darren Cambridge on March 30th, 2010 1:15 pm    

    I’m intrigued by the idea of deploying “Tiger Teams.” Can you say something about where this term comes from and what it means?

Leave a Reply