Thursday, April 9, 2009

Personal Learning Theory

While taking the flexibility class and learning how to stretch I was able to learn a lot about my own learning theory. It was interesting to see all of the different learning strategies I used to learn how to stretch properly. I feel that I use a combination of all the different learning theories when I learn.

The key aspect to me learning how to stretch was through modeling. The teacher modeled everything we were supposed to do and that is a main way how I learned. It was through Cognitive Apprenticeship that the teacher taught. I was the less experienced learner and the teacher was the more knowledgeable other. I was able to acquire my knowledge and skills through practice and guidance of the expert, my teacher. I noticed that social persuasion helped me learn how to stretch. The “pep talk” would always make me give a better effort and work harder to learn. Self-regulation was an important part of my learning. I had set goals and so in order to reach those goals I stayed focused, worked hard, gave my all, and challenged my learning. I had the skill and the will to learn. A key part of my self-regulation was volition. It was through my self discipline that I kept striving to learn and work hard. While learning how to stretch I was intrinsically motivated. I wanted to stretch for the pure satisfaction of stretching; nobody was forcing me to learn how to stretch. My Locus of Causality was internal. A form of the motivation I had was the Expectance x Value Theory. I knew that if I tried hard enough I would be able to succeed; succeeding was of high value to me. Because both of these factors were high my motivation was high as well. What I loved so much about learning how to stretch was the autonomy. It was my personal desire to learn how to stretch that kept me learning throughout the class. I would define myself as a mastery goal learner. My main goal was to learn and improve my flexibility, it didn’t matter to me how awkward I appeared. While learning it was all my personal improvement, I didn’t try and compare myself to others around me. When we would do partner stretches we used cooperation. My partner and I would work together to reach our shared goal-improving our flexibility. Another key concept that help me learn was engaged time/time on task. I spent a lot of time pondering and practicing what I learned, that is how I was able to retain what I learned. While learning I used accommodation. I altered my existing schemes and created new ones in order to store what I was learning. I experienced disequilibrium often while I was learning. I realized that my ways of thinking were not correct and that I needed to find equilibrium. The teacher used scaffolding when she taught us how to stretch. She started off with the basics, then as we improved she gave us more challenging things to learn. She tried to keep the material within our Zone of Proximal Development.

Examining how I learn has been very insightful to me. It helps me to better understand what we have learned throughout the semester by making connections to my personal experiences.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great way of using social cognitivism to describe your own learning experience. Now that you've learned a little more about yourself as a learner, do you find that you tend to teach in these ways to your students?