Customized Learning Theory
For a teacher working with a group of students within the same age group, adolescents or just children, realizes very fast that all individuals are unique based on their personalities, personal interests, the abilities to learn and in their skills. it is by understanding these differences that the teacher takes the extra mile of understanding the similarities that exist amongst the students and uses them for student grouping. In such groupings, the teacher understands the learning and development of different students and looks to for the best opportunities of learning that support intellectual, personal, and social development.
Despite these differences and shared similarities amongst children and adolescents it is easy to predict patterns and sequences for their development. Having to understand these different patterns and sequences in different age groups is essential for teachers as they can easily and wisely make decisions concerning the content and educating methods for suitable and best fit for each and every group of individuals. This way the education system will be effective on the basis of having a firm foundation in rapid and advanced research as well as deep roots in the human development and learning theory.
Although this theory is hard to achieve direct translation into the practice of teaching, the broad understanding and knowledge of the differences and similarities in learning and development by a teacher plays the role of assisting him or her on the establishment of logical hypothesis. This is in itself an essential step in best understanding and responding to the individual needs of each and every student or a group of them. The discussion in this paper focuses on the learning theory and its importance to middle school children with; description of an effective teacher learning environment; learning characteristics and a personal reflection.
Learning theory and its importance
The theory of learning in education and psychology has commonly been defined as the process by which cognitive, emotional, and influences and experiences of the environment are brought together (slavin, 2008). This is usually with the aim of acquisition, enhancement and introduction of changes in the way a person perceives the world, their skills as well as their values and knowledge. Since learning is a process, most of the concerned in mainly on the effects education brings to an individual especially those middle school students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.
Such explanations to the aftermath of learning are provided by the different learning theories that affect both the development and the acquisition of knowledge in any student (slavin, 2008). Both people and animals are subject to learning and the way that happens is described through a learning theory which attempts to help us in understanding the complexity of the learning process.
The major classifications of the learning theory are constructivism, behaviorism and cognitivism. With behaviorism, only the observable elements of learning are observed in an individual (slavin, 2008). This is because of the assumptions that learning affects the learner’s behavior, the environment moulds the learner’s behavior and lastly the contiguity and reinforcement provide explanations for the learning process. Cognitivism learning is explained in the way the brain responds to learning.
This implies that other than looking at discrete events in individuals, better way to explain learning process is through the observable patterns resulting from learning where both the memory and prior information of learning plays an important role. This implies that in cognitivism learning focuses in defining the role of human memory in the learning process (slavin, 2008). And lastly in constructivism learning theory, the main focus is on the way learning and development affects the ability of students to build or create new concepts or ideas.
The learning process has two main values to learning and development first is the provision of directions and guidelines on where to obtain solutions to practical problems since the learning theory is meant to capture our attention to the variables crucial in solutions finding (slavin, 2008). Secondly, learning theory is essential in the provision of conceptual framework and the vocabulary necessary to in the interpretation of the observed forms of learning.
Description of an effective teacher and effective learning environment
Description of an effective teacher
In the course of education provision or learning, the educator or the teacher has very important role to play depending on the method of orientation used (Allison, 2000). For instance, in the behaviorist orientation, the educator must ensure the learning environment is arranged in such way that the desired reaction is elicited. Again, in the humanist orientation to learning, the educator or teacher must ensure the learning environment encourages the development of the entire person. A good educator must therefore have clears understanding of the individual student’s response behavior so as to classify them in the group where they share similar traits (Allison, 2000). Again the teacher must know what to include in the curriculum or not in order to maintain the efficiency of the teaching process.
Good and great teacher therefore must have the relevant masterly for their subject matter by being a holder of a graduate or comparable degree or course (Allison, 2000). In this paper, a good teacher must have the right qualifications, knowledge and understanding of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children so that this way it will be easy to decide on the right choice customization for the learning theory in order to make it effective in promoting the learning of such students (slavin, 2008). Again, the teacher with the right knowledge always focuses on the most productive form of instructions presentation so us to ensure that the student do not lose on the intended purpose of any given study (Allison, 2000).
Again, a good teacher for the ADHD middle school students must ensure that the parents’ remains informed about the progress of their children so that they too will follow up on the areas of concerned even when the child is at home (Allison, 2000). Such communications could be through report forms, conferences, parents’ day at school with their children or through telephone calls or visits at home. Since the ADHD students may tend to feel out of place, a good teacher is one who forms the best of relationship with their students as a way of showing them how much they matter and how much teacher cares about them.
This could be through expression of warmness, accessibility and concern to the student’s wellbeing. Again, such teachers make known the necessary and additional care needed for such students to enable the school to organize itself and include the needs of such students in the operating costs (Allison, 2000). Great teachers also go to the extent of making time off the normal work schedule in order to be with the students and their parents whenever possible. Due to their strong relationships with the students, great ADHD student teachers must encourage the participation of each and every student in the class by encouraging different ways of viewing issues.
This means that good teachers will always question events or situations so that by answering them, the students will become aware of the different ways in which they can view or predict the future (Allison, 2000). There should also be an equal opportunity for students to ask questions as a way of indicating their genuine follow up of the subject matter (Van Brummelen, 2009). Again, a good teacher must ensure that students remain motivated through varied and lively approaches.
Such motivation is only possible from teachers who have high expectations for their students and hence write out clear objectives and remain prepared and organized such that any need for them to modify their teaching to suit student’s needs is made easily and very effectively (Van Brummelen, 2009). Again, a good teacher is one who is a Christian and whose service to ADHD students is driven by the need to serve God all the qualities of such a teacher must go beyond reproach such that they will be good role models who is faithful to oneself and teach this to the students (Roman 2:21).
Such a teacher will teach the principles of the subject matter without apologies or compromise (1 Thess2: 2-4). This teacher must also ensure that at any given time, they are emotionally stable to demand and receive respect from their students while to them (Van Brummelen, 2009). They are viewed as kind and compassionate hence regarding the needs of others before those of self (Phil. 2:3-4). An effective teacher is always a good source of motivation for his or her students.
Description of an effective learning environment
Basically, a good learning environment is characterized by structured learning in which the learner, mentor, knowledge and the environment simplify the complexity of the instructions complexity (Boettcher, 2005). Each of these elements in the learning environment is distinguished from the others. Additionally, an effective learning environment facilitates the learner’s interaction with the content of the subject matter, knowledge, expertise and skill. The learning environment can promote interaction one learner one resource for them to use or multiple learners with many resources like the classroom library, café, media center and a library (Boettcher, 2005). The last form of interactivity in effective learning environment is through online collaboration of students or teacher with students through email, chats or social networking groups. Thirdly, an effective learning environment must offer students with a tools and technologies all aimed at the improvement of learning like using laptops or palm computers to take notes or even surf online for research (Boettcher, 2005).
Other technological tools for the effective learning environment are wires and internet enabled cell phones, mobile phones as well as other digital devices that are hand held (Boettcher, 2005). Using these tools, the students can be in a position to join discussion boards, discursion boards, wikis, messaging and blogs among others. in any learning environment, the role of a mentor must not be ignored or paid less attention to. This is because they offer the student with the course structure which provides students with motivation through instructional events and learner progress assessment.
Since each learner has their own personalized knowledge, attitude and skills, it is expected that the learning environment is customized in such a way that not student is left out in the way the course is handled (Boettcher, 2005). A good teaching environment is one which allows the educator to manage the classroom in such a way that the students are presented with the best opportunity to learn new concepts and understand them.
ADHD is mostly apparent in some of the preschool students and the behavior of children resulting from the disease is hard to control. ADHD is about 3-5 % of in the US which implies that about one in thirty students are diagnosed with ADHD (Sebastian & Ahmed, 2011) . Students with ADHD require multi-disciplinary treatment groups using three multimodalities to address the problems observed from patients’ behavior in order to provide treatment (CADHD, 2004). The first modality is the applied behavior analysis in which the ADHD students are provided with procedures meant to accelerate the behaviors that are specific by offering them with contingent rewards.
Again, in the case where a behavior is compatible with the problem behavior students are provided with incompatible behavior decelerating techniques, which entails provision of rewards in a period within which none of the incompatible behavior patterns were experienced for instance the during extinction, overcorrection time-out and others. the last of multimodal approaches to this customized learning (Sebastian & Ahmed, 2011). Lastly, the multimodal used is one where both the teacher and the parent are provided with training so as they act as co therapists. This way the ADHD children are safe as they have to their disposal professionals who can always provide them with the best of services for them to avoid instances where such a bad behavior would result to a reinforced.
In ability grouping for ADHD students, the physical and social conditions that seem to affect then are rearranged and such are noise reduced, temperatures within classes controlled, the lighting is improved and overcrowding prohibited as this may foster a climate in which the problem behavior may be made possible (Sebastian & Ahmed, 2011). Again, the classroom environment and other places, the student stay in must be managed in such a way that there are no instances of promoting the problem behavior (CADHD, 2004).
In my learning style profile, the student the teacher and the parent are the major persons involved. This is because any problem to the child is reported to the parent by the teacher or vise verse (CADHD, 2004). Training all these persons is essential in ensuring that at all times, the problem behavior is identified and the right measures taken to avoid further increase of rise in the degree of the disease in the students. Additionally, the learning by students must be in such a way that the good relationship is fostered between them and a professional teacher who then ensures that only the best of all teaching strategies is applied in student teaching since the attention of such students is low, the learning must be in such a way that students are engaged in movement or play activities as a way of ensuring the concentration is altered (CADHD, 2004).
In order to come up with a good learning theory, it is essential that one understands the necessary concepts in their own learning. For instance, one may be unable to concentrate in noisy environments due to disruptions knowing such a thing will play an important role in choosing the customizing one’s learning theory. Again, the one must first understand where they are and know where they want to be before starting on a journey. That same thing applies when developing a learning theory.
Allison, S. (2000). Qualities of good teacher. World education. Boston: MA. Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/2244138/What-Makes-a-Good-Teacher.
This information resource is a considerable secondary source of information in which the for the research as it provides detailed, effective and accurate descriptions on just how a great teacher must conduct themselves in the classroom to make learning possible, effective, enjoyable and detailed. From the source, an educator is an essential part of the student’s learning because the way the information is delivered determines by far how much of a given content the students absorbs or understands.
Boettcher, J., (2005). Effective learning environments. Innovate. Retrieved from http://www.innovateonline.infoindex.php?view=article&id=54.
The source provides necessary information to describe an effective learning environment. That is why it is relevant secondary resource for my research paper.
Children Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder, (2004). Treatment for ADHD children and adult patients. Retrieved on 18 Oct 2011 from http://help4adhd.org/en/treatment/behavioral/WWK7. last updated 2004.
this source is crucial in this research project as it will facilitate my personal reflection on my customized learning theory by explaining the behavior modification program, intervention and combination of the medication with the behavior modifications hence the results. This makes it qualify as an important secondary source of research paper content
Sebastian, S & Ahmed, I. (2011). Ppsychosocial treatment modalities. Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/289117-overview#aw2aab6b7. Web.
The site is about the modalities present in handling the problem of incompatible behavior. To this research, the source is useful secondary source which provides the best solution to ADHD students to make them remain compatible with the present form of class environment.
Slavin, R. (2008). Educational psychology: Theory and practice. Pearson, New York: NY.
The book is an important primary source for my research paper as it provides essential information necessary of both the practice and theory in learning theory. This gives a detailed understanding of the teacher, parent and student role in learning theory as well as how important the theory is.
Van Brummelen, H. (2009). Walking with God in the classroom. Purposeful Design. Colorado Springs.
As a Christian in the service of God, the book provides the research with the Christianity view of the roles of each and every stakeholder in ensuring that the life of students is guaranteed with hope in the future. Everyone is called upon to serve God in all they do and more with the small children whom God liked the ownership of the kingdom of heaven to.