I was asked by my graduate course to mind map my professional learning network, the numerous sources from which teachers draw inspiration, new material, and fresh ideas. In my mind map, font size indicates which sources I rely on most. The larger the font, the greater the reliance. Sitting down to reflect on where my teaching ideas have come from, I was not surprised at all to see colleagues and education blogs as my top resources. However, I am excited to add Twitter to the mix, as it has already given me an easy way to keep up to date with resources which I had not come across.
Bransford, Brown, and Cocking’s (2000) How People Learn is a seminal work for anyone involved in education. As I read and reflected on the question of what learning really is, it became clear that what students need from any school today is not just information, which the education system can no longer monopolise thanks to the internet, but the cognitive tools to deal with information. Focusing on the first three chapters, I have drawn a number of parallels between the guidance in the readings and the functioning of the many EFL classrooms I’ve seen over the last ten years, including my own.
Learning, Understanding and Conceptual Change (essay, 800 words)