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Developing Learning Communities

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Presentation on theme: "Developing Learning Communities"— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing Learning Communities
Chapter Seven Developing Learning Communities Language and Learning Style

2 Characteristics of a Learning Community
It is organized for activity. Everyone in the school participates in this activity-oriented environment. There is a sense that everyone belongs.

3 Rationale for Learning Community Classrooms
Need to prepare students to be citizens of a democracy Through learning to negotiate differences in the context of a common curriculum Through learning citizenship by practicing democracy

4 Pedagogies: Old and New
Old methods with new names: Dialogue (Plato) Discovery learning (Abelard) Critical pedagogy, feminist pedagogy, collaborative learning (Comenius) What is new: That these should exist at the same time and be used by both children and adults

5 Roles: Old and New Traditional roles of students and adults are expanded Teacher as “teller” is expanded to teacher as guide, coach, cheerleader. Other adults assume teaching and learning roles. Students may be “teachers” as well as learners.

6 Place of Content Knowledge: Old and New
Disciplinary knowledge serves a dual role: Sometimes it is learned as an end in itself. Sometimes it serves as a means to another end, e.g., problem-solving or discovering a new way to see and understand the world.

7 Assessment: Old and New
There is still a use for paper and pencil testing, standardized or teacher-written. General use for such tests is diagnostic. Alternative forms of assessment also play a part: Peer evaluation Portfolios Group tests Self-evaluation

8 Perspectives on Language Acquisition
Language is what makes us human. It is the primary means for socializing us into our families and social groups, and through them, acquiring a cultural identity.

9 The Family is the First Institution
Introduces us to language Structures the child’s environment Gives labels to roles such as Mommy, teacher, priest, extending roles into the wider community Language objectifies, interprets, and justifies reality for the child. Language brings the meanings and values of the wider community onto the small state of the immediate family.

10 Institutional Aspects of Language in the Family
Language has several characteristics in common with other social institutions: It is external. It is objective. It has the power of moral authority. It is historical.

11 Perspectives on Language Variation
All language sounds have symbolic meaning. Within any language, however, the meaning of elements may differ widely: Vocabulary Pronunciation Syntax (grammatical structure) Semantics (the meaning of words)

12 Verbal Communication Accents: differ from standard language only in pronunciation Dialects: differ from standard language in pronunciation, word usage, and syntax Black English (ebonics) Rural (or Mountain) English Standard English Continued…

13 Black English (ebonics, African American Language [AAL])
Spoken primarily (though not exclusively) by urban African Americans Derived in part from the languages of west Africa Ability to code switch (move back and forth from ebonics to standard English) is often a matter of social class

14 Rural (or Mountain) English
Spoken primarily in Appalachia Derived from the language of early English settlers in the area May be the “purest” English spoken in the United States Has been preserved, in part, because of isolation of mountain people

15 Standard English Is also a dialect of English, although it is the dialect usually deemed most “correct” Is the language of education, commerce, and the arts May vary from community to community, and from country to country

16 Bidialectism: the abililty to speak two (or more) dialects and to switch easily between or among them Sign Language: a non-verbal language of signs spoken by the deaf Serves instead of a spoken language American Sign Language (ASL) is considered an “official” language

17 Nonverbal Communication
Used by both hearing and hearing-impaired individuals Accounts for 50 to 90 percent of the messages we send and receive It has several functions: Conveys messages Can augment verbal communication Can contradict verbal communication Can replace verbal communication

18 Three aspects of nonverbal communication:
Proxemics: sometimes called “social space”; refers to the “normal” distance considered appropriate between two people speaking Kinesics: body language, e.g., gestures, facial expressions, eye contact Paralanguage: vocalizations that are not words, e.g., sighs, laughter, crying

19 Culture, Language, and Learning Style
These three are inextricably intertwined: Language shapes and is shaped by culture. Culture shapes and is shaped by language. Learning style originates and accounts for variations in patterns of learning, and is shaped by both language and culture.

20 Relation of Language to Culture
Language determines vocabulary, which sets the “right” meaning of words and of cultural ideas. Language plays a critical role in the maintenance of subgroups within a larger culture. Language reflects the thought processes of a culture.

21 Relation of Learning Style to Culture
Learning style is developed in the context of what we attend to (perception) and how we attend to it—culturally shaped adaptations to both the physical and the social environment. Thus, particular learning styles are often associated with particular cultural groups.

22 Components of Learning Style
Field dependence: individual perceives globally or holistically; orientation is social; is good at observation Field independence: individual perceives discrete parts; is good at abstract thought; tends to be individualistic; prefers working alone Continued…

23 Additional Components of Learning Style
Preferred sensory mode for learning, e.g., sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, movement Reponse to immediate environment Emotionality Social preferences Cognitive-psychological orientation

24 Origins of Learning Style
Still a matter of conjecture Appear to be a combination of Biological factors Psychological factors Sociocultural factors

25 Multiple Intelligences
The idea, based on brain research and proposed by Howard Gardner, that human beings not only have preferred learning styles, but also preferred ways of expressing intellectual ability, and thus, of thinking Continued…

26 Seven kinds of intelligence:
Visual/spatial Verbal/linguistic Logical/mathematical Bodily/kinesthetic Musical/rhythmic Interpersonal Intrapersonal

27 The Significance of Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles
The importance of these qualities for teachers lies in their ability to identify preferred modes of learning and to adapt instruction so that all students get to practice learning in multiple ways. No one recommends that students learn only in their preferred mode or that teachers teach in only one mode.

28 Cultural Groups May Differ in Communication Styles
Formal vs. Informal Communication Emotional vs. Subdued Communication Direct vs. Indirect Communication Objective vs. Subjective Communication Responses to Guilt and Accusations

29 Ethical Issues Students who speak a dialect of English, or whose first language is not English, are likely to be stigmatized. Debates about language in the schools are likely to be as much about issues of cultural domination as they are about language itself. The assessment of students with limited English proficiency must be done with care. Continued…

30 The increasing prevalence of English in world-wide modes of communication—especially television and the Internet—may mean that many languages are disappearing. Some balance needs to be achieved between protecting “small” languages and encouraging international exchange. Without diverse languages, diverse cultures may also disappear. The negative American attitude toward learning more than one language may get in the way of our own international understanding.

31 Something to Think About
When we study human language, we are approaching what some might call the “human essence,” the distinctive qualities of mind that are, so far as we know, unique to man and that are inseparable from any critical phase of human existence, personal or social. --Noam Chomsky

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