Students are active agents of their own learning

Mar 2, ArticlesEssential Reading comments I want to start this article by doing a little thought experiment. Imagine for a moment that you are in a group of twenty people. In that twenty people there is a defined leader and that leader is responsible for motivating you, teaching you, and otherwise organizing group activities.

Students are active agents of their own learning

In this chapter we provide some insights into children as learners. A study of young children fulfills two purposes: In studying the development of children, an observer gets a dynamic picture of learning unfolding over time.

A fresh understanding of infant cognition and of how young children from 2 to 5 years old build on that early start also sheds new light on how to ease their transition into formal school settings. It was further thought that language is an obvious prerequisite for abstract thought and that, in its absence, a baby could not have knowledge.

Since babies are born with a limited repertoire of behaviors and spend most of their early months asleep, they certainly appear passive and unknowing. Until recently, there was no obvious way for them to demonstrate otherwise.

But challenges to this view arose. It became clear that with carefully designed methods, one could find ways to pose rather complex questions about what infants and young children know and can do.

Armed with new methodologies, psychologists began to accumulate a substantial body of data about the remarkable abilities that young children possess that stands in stark contrast to the older emphases on what they lacked.

It is now known that very young children are competent, active agents of their own Page 80 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: The National Academies Press.

Turing Reviews and Student Outcomes | Course Report

In short, the mind of the young child has come to life Bruner,a, b; Carey and Gelman, ; Gardner, ; Gelman and Brown, ; Wellman and Gelman, A major move away from the tabula rasa view of the infant mind was taken by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget.

Beginning in the s, Piaget argued that the young human mind can best be described in terms of complex cognitive structures. From close observations of infants and careful questioning of children, he concluded that cognitive development proceeds through certain stages, each involving radically different cognitive schemes.

While Piaget observed that infants actually seek environmental stimulation that promotes their intellectual development, he thought that their initial representations of objects, space, time, causality, and self are constructed only gradually during the first 2 years.

He concluded that the world of young infants is an egocentric fusion of the internal and external worlds and that the development of an accurate representation of physical reality depends on the gradual coordination of schemes of looking, listening, and touching. After Piaget, others studied how newborns begin to integrate sight and sound and explore their perceptual worlds.

For perceptual learning theorists, learning was considered to proceed rapidly due to the initial availability of exploration patterns that infants use to obtain information about the objects and events of their perceptual worlds Gibson, As information processing theories began to emerge, the metaphor of mind as computer, information processor, and problem solver came into wide usage Newell et al.

Although these theories differed in important ways, they shared an emphasis on considering children as active learners who are able to set goals, plan, and revise.

Children are seen as learners who assemble and organize material. As such, cognitive development involves the acquisition of organized knowledge structures including, for example, biological concepts, early number sense, and early understanding of basic physics.

The Teaching Commons | Active Learning

In addition, cognitive development involves the gradual acquisition of strategies for remembering, understanding, and solving problems.

The active role of learners was also emphasized by Vygotskywho pointed to other supports for learning.

Students are active agents of their own learning

Vygotsky was deeply interested in the role of the social environment, included tools and cultural objects, as well as people, as agents in developing thinking. Perhaps the most powerful idea from Vygotsky to influence developmental psychology was that of a zone of proximal development Vygotsky,described in Box 4.

It refers to a bandwidth of competence Brown and Reeve, that learners can navigate with aid from a supportive context, including the assistance of others. For modern treatments of this concept, see Newman et al. What children can do with the assistance of others is even more indicative of their mental development than what they can do alone Vygotsky, The zone of proximal development embodies a concept of readiness to learn that emphasizes upper levels of competence.

What a child can perform today with assistance she will be able to perform tomorrow independently, thus preparing her for entry into a new and more demanding collaboration. The actual developmental level characterizes mental development retrospectively, while the zone of proximal development characterizes mental development prospectively Vygotsky, Moll and Whitmore, ; Rogoff and Wertsch, ; from a different theoretical perspective, see Bidell and Fischer, Turing School of Software & Design is a 7-month, full-time training program in Denver, CO turning driven students into professional developers.

The New York Community Learning Partnership is a local initiative that prepares low-income women, first generation college students, young men of color and others in need of opportunity, for jobs and leadership in organizing, advocacy, community development and allied fields. Machine Learning (ML) is a fascinating field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and practice where we investigate how computer agents can improve their perception, cognition, and action with experience.

The authors look specifically at the roles that people and experiences - at home, in schools and in the wider community - have played in the learning life-courses of these children; how these factors have affected their achievement; and explanations and meanings given by respondents to the unique characteristics, experiences and events .

The authors look specifically at the roles that people and experiences - at home, in schools and in the wider community - have played in the learning life-courses of these children; how these factors have affected their achievement; and explanations and meanings given by respondents to the unique characteristics, experiences and events in their.

feedback from their teacher, peers, and their own self-evaluations students are able to make necessary changes (Black and Wiliam ; Heritage ). Students are typically active agents throughout the learning process when.

year-round school calendar home page