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A (possible) story: individual differences, learning, & education Or, TEP115-inspired research hypotheses.

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Presentation on theme: "A (possible) story: individual differences, learning, & education Or, TEP115-inspired research hypotheses."— Presentation transcript:

1 a (possible) story: individual differences, learning, & education Or, TEP115-inspired research hypotheses

2 Achievement gaps: a starting point No child left behind: black/white, rich/poor gap  Want all students scoring proficiency by 2014 What factors contribute to how a child is doing at school? What does this tell us about the way we learn ; about how our minds work ? Also..  The role of the school– is it the only thing?  What does this mean for us as teachers?

3 Individual differences thoughts How does ch. 12 approach individual differences?  Gender diffs, Ethnic diffs : are these the best ways to approach individual differences? Are there *really* differences between two populations? Are our chosen populations (e.g. “ethnicity”) really (relevantly?) (causally?) related to the differences we see?  Cognitive deficit views  Contextual views  Cultural “how could how much money a family has, or the colour of their skin influence how well that child learns to read?”  Social class vs. income & race

4 Rothstein Class and schools: using social, economic, and educational reform to close the black-white achievement gap (2004). Some SES-related factors  Personality & Childrearing**  Health care  Housing (in)stability  Cultural factors Values ; parent participation Historical biases: culture of underachievement My interest: child-care factors which might lead to more or less confident/exploratory children, and how this relates to school performance Which of these factors does ch. 12 bring up?

5 A family of concepts Secure/anxious attachment relationships  Who’s learned about these before ? Exploration Pro-activity Confidence (?) Do you see any relationship between these? How about, a possible connection to learning, to success in school?

6 Bowlby: attachment Focused on “long term affects of different patterns of attachment of infants and young children to their caregivers”  How does the child approach its local environment? Is it interested? Is it frightened? Is it approaching or retreating?  Secure vs. anxious attachment  Supportive responsiveness of caregiver Again, what could this have to do with learning?  Does attachment relate to school performance…  WHY?  Exploration  Pro-activity  Confidence (?)

7 Individual differences in EA & individual differences at school: links Predictive value of early attachment ratings  “Strange situation” test : measuring EA  Arend, Gove & Sroufe (1979): in/secure attachment predicts how yr olds will tackle (detail) (another slide? )  Predicts school performance (controlling for IQ)  Predicts curiosity and exploratory-ness as rated by teachers

8 Why do we see these correlations? What are possible links? What is going on?  “[links] indirect”: “Having a secure attachment relationship.. likely does not change your “math brain” ” (Sroufe et. al, 2005, p. 187)  Sroufe et al. “the central outcomes.. Are a basic sense of social connection, positive expectations concerning self and others, and the capacity for self-regulation” (p.164) Can we make any stronger hypotheses?

9 Stronger hypotheses The role of curiosity, exploration, pro- activity in doing well in school :  pro-active learning Maybe this is the relevant link between secure early attachment and later success

10 Aside: But what could curiosity, exploration & pro-activity have to do with school performance ?? Japanese-US differences in teaching  Japanese kids have higher scores: before they learn about a concept, teachers want kids to struggle through problems Schwartz & Moore  Kids score highest in “compare -> lecture” conditions What are the similarities in these approaches? What does this have to do with (something like) pro-active learning ?

11 Pro-activity & school : hypotheses In situations where students are active/engaged with material: they perform better when tested. So, exploratory children, ones who are interested in alternative-testing; kids who, try out different ways of looking at a problem kids who “explore”-- do they have a better chance of general school-success? (a hypothesis) Maybe this kind of confidence is a factor in why certain students are not doing well in school.

12 Why are we talking about this again? Data show that SES is the highest predictor for early attachment ratings.  Second highest is.. So, this is an individual difference that SES plays a role in constructing.

13 Other (non-attachment) factors affecting individual pro-activity Rothstein: how parents talk to their kids  Low SES parents: “we’re getting off here”  High SES parents: embed directives in questions: “oh, look, is this our stop? “ Again, how might this be related to what we’ve just said about the importance of pro-activity?

14 Directives vs. open-ended instructions Ball-game study (find reference)  Part one: Two groups of college students, both taught how to play a novel game First group was given instructions as follows: “This is how you throw the ball” Second group heard “This is one way you might throw the ball”  Part two: Change rules a little bit – what happens? Second group much better at playing the second game

15 Extensions What about things like, learning language (growing vocabulary)? Learning how to read??  We see SES differences here, quite early Are there any possible links to pro- active learning in these kind of learning tasks?

16 Summing up The role of the school– is it the only thing?  What do effects of SES mean?  Rothstein: we need social, economic, & educational reform to close the gap What does this mean for us as teachers?  Involvement in reforms ! Awareness of the issues !  Teaching for exploration

17 Some books I’m drawing from Rothstein, R. (2004). Class and schools: using social, economic, and educational reform to close the black-white acheivement gap. Economic policy institute. Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: parent- child attachment and healthy human development. Basic Books. Sroufe et al. (2005). The development of the person: The Minnesota story of risk and adaptation from birth to adulthood. Guilford Press.


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