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Affective Instructional Approach Dr W. A. M. Alwis School of Engineering.

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1 Affective Instructional Approach Dr W. A. M. Alwis School of Engineering

2 Affective ??? The word “affect” originates from the Latin affectus, meaning “feelings” Bloom’s taxonomy (1956 document) identified three domains of education. –C–Cognitive:- focus is on mental actions –A–Affective:- focus is on attitudes, motivation, biases etc. –P–Psychomotor:- focus is on physical (bodily) actions Academic education is focussed mostly on cognitive domain whereas vocational education on psychomotor domain. What gets mostly overlooked in both is the affective domain.

3 The answer is … Student centred education does not mean that students will get to set any of the curriculum; get to set the examination papers or mark any of them; or gain control over what happens in any of the classrooms. All of the above would remain in the control of the teachers, administrators and whoever in-charge, just as in the past. Student centred education means that each student’s personal history, feelings, biases etc., are attended to as much as possible in the teaching and testing processes. Student centred education

4 Teaching / Instruction Teaching / instruction makes sense only when learners learn the intended knowledge; and develop at least some understanding of that knowledge. Knowledge and understanding are bound together but not the same. Students learn what they process, but they take the shortest path to complete any assigned task.

5 Things to take note of … Knowledge is listed in the cognitive domain in Bloom’s taxonomy, as a lower order item in the hierarchy; knowledge is thought of in there as the same as information that can be remembered. If we take knowledge as what we know, then knowledge would be diverse, most of which is tacit. Knowledge cannot be just information. (Knowledge being limited to cognitive domain looks wrong too). One shows that one has understanding when one responds sensibly to a happening using the relevant knowledge. Here, we need those ‘higher order thinking skills’ to develop that understanding. Knowledge exists outside individuals too. Some devices and tools contain knowledge, embedded in them. Situated knowledge (Lave, 1988) is located at situations. They all are vital in the industry.

6 A perspective: World 1: The physical world containing objects which function in some orderly manner. Plans, schemes, strategies, jokes, theories, ideas etc. shared among people. World 3: The space of conceptual artefacts Automate a procedure World 2: Each individual’s personal world of thoughts, emotions and expressions. Personal learning happens here. World 2: Each individual’s personal world of thoughts, emotions and expressions. Personal learning happens here. IP Affect interferes with the World 2 (Popper 1972; Bereiter 2002) Mysteries of human mind lay here

7 Understanding is closely linked to knowledge When we say understanding, who understand and what is understood are necessarily meant in there. This “who” is normally a person but can be an animal too. This “what” can be any object in World-1 or World-3. It is possible to refer to World-2 also, e.g. when it is implicit understanding. Understanding refers to an ability or disposition that is ‘enough’ to support intelligent/wise action or behaviour with respect to some issue/aspect of the reference object. Affective domain interferes here.

8 Complex versus Complicated There are simple things, complicated things made by putting together many simple things, and complex wholes. ORGANISED COMPLEXITY  Complexity arises in collections of autonomous adaptive agents each of which acts on its own behalf while interacting with each other. (Kauffman, 2000) Such ‘wholes’ thrive on diversity, allow for alternatives, and produce unexpected interesting/creative outcomes, as the participants coevolve. Order –emergence and self-organisation– arises out of chaos. Change gives meaning to permanency; recurrence makes novelty possible; constraints do liberate. Ambiguity & uncertainty are regular features. Education is one of those complex things.

9 Education is a complex whole means … Once we take education as a case of organised complexity, we see things in there differently, and interpret them in a new light. Curriculum and pedagogy are not just two separate things, but are simultaneous and distinct, i.e. separate and bound together. So are subject expertise and teaching ability. Mind is not a container of knowledge items. Learning is not accumulative; learning is a process of organic change. Education is capable of (and is meant for) shaping individuals. Teaching does not cause learning, but teaching can influence learning. What gets learned is a result of how the learner responds to experiences. Some of these are closely connected to the affective domain.

10 An important observation Diverse entities participate in education. Beliefs & expectations of human participants (students, teachers, administrators, stakeholders) manifest in – curriculum documents, – how subject boundaries get drawn, – how students study, – how teachers teach/assess/grade, – how the results get interpreted by the society, economy, industry, etc. Components in affect

11 “ There can be little doubt that affect is the most important yet least understood influence on the way people think and behave in social situations. ” Joseph P. Forgas, Affect and Social Cognition (2001)

12 Our thinking has been shaped by history Modernist thinking (starting from Newton’s time) is based on reasoning. Mind is considered superior to body. Mind is associated with reason whereas body is associated with various kinds of things inclusive of what is looked at suspiciously in many traditional cultures (pleasure, greed etc.) Classical philosophers viewed affect as a primitive, animalistic mode of responding that is incompatible with reason. (Elser, 1985) A fundamental assumption in empirical psychology is that feeling, knowing, and willing can be studied in separation. (Hilgard, 1980). This thinking had made us believe that one should be able to suppress whatever negative feelings on the basis of reason.

13 In technology education Reasons for imbalanced attention to affective domain include: Archetypal image of science/technology, where reason is separated from feeling, originating from mind-body separation suggested by Descartes in the 17 th century. Long-standing cognitive tradition in teaching practice. Confusing definitions of available affective constructs. Underdeveloped affective assessment practices.

14 Paradigm shift in psychology 1960s Emergence of a cognitive paradigm as the mainstream orientation accepted by most psychologists. Affect was considered a disruptive influence on thinking (Hilgard 1980). 1980s Research began to link affect and social cognition: situated cognition (Lave and Wenger 1991) feeling and thinking (Forgas, 2001).

15 Affect in contemporary psychology Affect encompasses the broad range of experiences referred to as emotions and moods. (Forgas, 1991; Petty, DeSteno, Rucker, 2001) Emotions – specific and short-lived internal feeling states Moods – global and enduring feeling states (Schwarz &Clore, 1996)

16 The affective domain includes numerous constructs, such as attitudes, values (includes moral values, professional values, greed, loyalty to community & country), beliefs (scientific, religious), opinions, interests, motivation, etc. Affect is not just a simple catalyst, but a necessary condition for learning to occur. Learning objectives for affect shall emphasize a feeling tone, an emotion, or a degree of acceptance or rejection.

17 Stages of Affective Domain in Bloom’s Taxonomy (Krathwohl, Bloom & Masia 1965) Receiving: Student passively pays attention, registers in memory. Responding: Participates in learning process, attends to stimulus and reacts in some way. Valuing: Values a piece of information, the object or the phenomenon addressed & links some values with the knowledge acquired. Organising: Puts information, ideas and values in to own schema by comparing, relating & elaborating. Characterizing: Holds a value/belief that influences & that becomes a personal characteristic.

18 Why affective instruction is important? We like students to get interested and go beyond what we teach or just do what we tell them to do. We would like them to respond to what they learn, to value those, to organize those in their own mental framework. We want students to like the subject areas they study. We want to find teaching methods that encourage students and draw them in to our programmes. Students may experience affective roadblocks to learning that have a little chance of getting addressed when using a purely cognitive or a purely psychomotor approach.

19 Writing Learning objectives: Cognitive & psychomotor skills Cognitive objectives are to increase the knowledge (mostly information) content a student has. Psychomotor objectives are to develop physical skills. Examples of learning objectives: Cognitive: The student will be able to evaluate different kinds of aircraft engines and demonstrate his/her ability to compare and discuss verbally the strengths and weaknesses of each kind. Psychomotor: Given all required components the student will be able to assemble a three-phase motor completely in a laboratory without assistance. audience behaviour condition degree

20 Affective objectives are to change an individual’s attitude, appreciations, preferences etc. This kind objectives is the most difficult to formulate, execute and assess because Affect is not in the horizon of traditional courses so we are not familiar and comfortable enough with it; and Assessment of affect would inevitably be subjective, and has to be by observation by teacher and/or peers. Example: Given the opportunity to solve an engine problem as a team, the student will demonstrate an improvement in attitude towards cooperating with team members to identify the causes of the problem and finding a solution. Writing Learning objectives: Affective objectives

21 Students need care and attention There are many things that vie for each student’s attention, time and energy. It is crucial to understand what may increase or decrease a student’s motivation to pursue learning seriously. If a student does not see the content interesting and relevant, he/she may see little value in mastering it. If the student does not see does not expect to be successful in a course, he/she may disengage from it. If a student has a financial or relationship problem, that may cause a distraction. There are things that need to be addressed at the classroom level and others at the individual level. The teacher needs to be aware of this difference.

22 Attitude Attitude is a settled way of thinking/feeling about someone or something or some event. Attitude refers to reactions to specific attitude objects and does not represent a global affective experience on the part of the individual. Attitude may help an individual to establish tendencies, organise/interpret information, protect self-esteem & express values/beliefs. Attitude is changeable (through persuasion) & measurable. Attitude can affect emotions and behaviour. A person can possess both positive and negative attitudes, regardless of mood being happy or sad (i.e. attitude is distinct from mood).

23 Evaluative bases in attitude change Cognitive: thoughts or ideas, expressed as beliefs Behavioral: intentions to act or observable behaviours Affective: emotions related to the attitude object In reality these may not be so distinct. Affective changes may cause cognitive and behavioral changes. Underlying beliefs may have an effect on affect & behaviour.

24 Motivation Motivation is an internal state that arouses, directs, and sustains behavior. The study of motivation attempts to -explain why students strive for particular goals when learning science, -how intensively they strive, -how long they strive, and -what moods and emotions characterize them in the process.

25 Students get motivated when … They find a positive value in a learning goal/activity. Expect to successfully achieve a desired learning outcome (self-efficacy). Perceive support from their environment.

26 Important motivation constructs Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation Goal Orientation Self-determination Self-efficacy Assessment Anxiety

27 Issues of the subject matter These issues are subject dependent. Telling the class that ‘this subject is difficult’ even as a genuine warning of a truth, may not be helpful. This can lead to early demotivation. How each student sees the subject content is different from that of the teacher. Primarily they do not have expertise and experience as yet. The history that shapes the thinking of each student is different and that leads to distinct problems which need to be addressed by ‘facilitation’.

28 Issues in the subject matter (continued) Students are more worried about getting a good grade or avoid failing than learning for understanding. They may want only to temporarily memorise. Wanting to look good in front of others is another issue. Teachers need to at least to be aware of these and act with due sensitivity. Students learn better when they are engrossed in a problem. It will be useful to start with illustrations of core procedures involved (so that they can copy them) and then get students to solve a relatively smaller problem that can be addressed using those core procedures. Giving them opportunities to discuss among themselves and share what they know will help students to learn.

29 IV. Controversial issues and problems Issue - an idea about which people hold different beliefs mandatory recycling strip mining Evolution Problem - a situation that places a population at risk Fishing industry and people’s health placed in jeopardy due to industrial waste

30 Instructional approaches for dealing with controversy Issue and Problem Awareness Four-corners Example stories on social issues & problems. Issue and Problem Investigation Analytical decision-making (Oliver & Newman, 1967) Structured controversy (Johnson & Johnson, 1988)

31 Concluding Remarks Affect influences learning. Ability of a learner to regulate affect may depend on particular learning strategies adopted by the student. Attitude and motivation are important constructs of the affective domain in science/technology education. Yet one should not overlook the other elements of affect like opinions and beliefs that has an effect on learning.

32 www.facebook.com/pblsymposium www.rp.edu.sg/symposium Date: 18 – 20 March 2015 Venue: Republic Polytechnic, Singapore


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