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Reading Critique: How People Learn - Chapter 6


                This chapter was very interesting in tackling four concepts which I will explain in moderate detail to tackle the idea of learning and the effect the environment can have on that. The first type of environment (and it is often noted that none of these environments is exclusive of the others) is learner centered. In this environment it is important to recognize where the student is coming from. This is not strictly cultural, but also involves previous learned knowledge from past grades, and any other factors outside of the classroom which contribute to his/her experiences. This idea has been proven to be significant with experiments asking students to relate home experiences to their current work, and it thereby improving test performance on reading. While focusing on the environment may be essential, it is very difficult to determine what is stored as experiences. To narrow that down, knowledge – centered environments (the second concept) focuses on the knowledge that you have previously learned that is specific to what you are going to learn. This methodology allows the learner to engage in assimilation and connect his preconceived thoughts with what he desires to learn. The presented analogy of learning the landscape reminds me a lot about the general field of Computer Science. I would argue that given the existing technology, CS is becoming a lot more about learning how to access sources and install different libraries than the theoretical knowledge behind CS concepts. So, how can you measure this? This leads us to the well known problem of standardized tests in the United States which I will refrain from covering extensively. In short, we should not teach to memorization and assessment of exams, but rather to the learning and understanding of the concepts that are being taught.
                The concept of feedback and its implications on education are, to say the least, complex to understand. Researchers have indicative scientific evidence that demonstrates that feedback does in fact positively influence learning (Nicol & Macfarlane-Dick, 2006). However, this knowledge in education is applied much less than one would think. On a personal level, I feel that my education has taught me that throughout the years feedback will be important, but that as you go from Middle to High school to college, this feedback will diminish as you become more independent. However, approximately 17 years ago researchers Robert Barr and John Tagg published an article on the future of undergraduate education, and the movement from instruction to learning (Barr & Tagg, 1995). This comes to me as a shock because many of the courses at Georgia Tech strikingly resemble instruction, and not learning. The main idea that comes to mind with Georgia Tech’s education for better or worse seems to be survival. Students may joke about it, but can subtle details in our own learning environment truly impact the learning, or lack thereof, of others? The idea of failing students and subsequently curving classes simply highlights some of the flaws in feedback that many professors infamously do. This suggests that the general teaching scheme which all Georgia Tech professors use should be more uniform and tailored to learning, to enhance the quality of education in the institution. Maybe then will we go from instruction, to learning? I hope so.


Works Cited

Barr, R. B., & Tagg, J. (1995). A new paradigm for undergraduate education. Change, 27(6), 13-25.
Nicol, D. J., & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006, April). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 199-218.

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Learning to float

First my apologies.
Perhaps I gave y'all the idea that
it was all spit without the gears
We aint about that shit

Words can leave you salivating
But sweat builds the fucking mountains
So don't ever forget that in a heartbeat
I could carry your dreams and forget I even did

You're swimming in it, but you can't even float
The irony of words is that they hold the strength of plans
Without the gunshot
You'll never be grand.

We can all aim high but precision does the talking
It's all too simple these days
With the chatter and spread of information
We're suddenly heroes and activists

But we haven't even blinked, the AC,
It's still running. It's near silence
but its not. The inaction,
It's deafening.

Heck I've gone mute,
I can't even rhyme shit
that could emphasize the prolonged
dream of a typeface, the letters were blank.

It was always that way,
It was always silent because at some point
We stop pinching ourselves and assume
that it was deserved…

Click

"Click".

It switched.
Unequivocally different.
Through those hardships
We finally turned around.

Perhaps reflections and glimmers
Gave us sight when we could not claim
But the panoramic put the shimmer
To shame.

Thank you.
In this brilliance we rose
Hoping to understand why the routine
drifts away in prose

For every detail and every insight
The neurons kept firing in question,
Let us speak for it is time
To mark this audacity in rhyme.

Although subtle
The cues went noticed
The portrait tact
And yet somehow,
Obtruded.

But lets digress from these colors
Let the light paint our shadow
For the steps keep calling
with a subtle vibration

We know its time.

Let me get hurt.

Let me sit here,
Let me feel the drops,
As my heart shatters,
and your shadow drifts away.

Let us get confounded,
Let us mix emotions,
Pour them all into a melting pot,
Pour them all into a blurry past.

I want to look back,
and know that I have felt,
I want to look back and know,
That I have loved.

Because from the pain,
and from the tears,
and from the painful nights,
that I shivered through,

There were the nights,
that you held my hand,
and gave me warmth,

There were the nights,
where it was only us awake,
in the whole wide world,
It was only us who felt love.
Let me believe that it was all true,

Let my tears be for the moments that I miss,
and not for the moments that I did not live.

Let me get hurt, because only then,
will I have lived.

Let me get hurt, because only then,
will I have loved.