John Dewey, weighing-in on the relationship between theory and practice stated, "Education that takes as its standard the improvement of the intellectual attitude and method of students demands more serious preparatory training, for it exacts sympathetic and intelligent insight into the workings of individual minds, and a very wide and flexible command of subject-matter--so as to be able to select and apply just what is needed when it is needed" (1910, p.54).


Week 5 | How are learning theories relevant to students and teachers, and to the content and contexts of schooling today?


Scholarly Tasks


1. READ: P. Kolencik (2008) "Affective and Motivational Factors for Learning and Achievement" (p. 163-183).

2. WATCH: Dan Pink's 2009 TED Talk on "The surprising science of motivation" [Note: In Pink's talk on motivation, the business environment is analogous to a learning environment.]



3. READ: I recently received a letter from a high school teacher in Oaxaca, Mexico, Sra. Mondragon. She has a North American, English as a first language, exchange student in her class. She believes he is no longer motivated to learn Spanish. Sra. Mondragon asked for our advice. Here is her letter.

4. WRITE: Craft a letter responding to Sra. Mondragon's request for assistance. Your correspondence should take the form and function of a letter to a colleague. It should weave together your individual take on the scenario she's presented and what you have gathered from your scholarly investigations on motivation and its role in learning. Be sure to consider Ronnie's possible emotional state, as well as what he brings to the mix (e.g., high school aged child, boy, second language learner, exchange student, student with exceptionalities, etc.). For the purposes of this task, your letter must include the attributes listed below. Bring a printed copy of your letter to class with you. [Note: Keep your letter to less than two pages.]
  • A summary of your understanding of how motivation relates to teaching and student learning with at least three references to key points from this week's reading and video.
  • One online resource you believe could assist Sra. Mondragon to learn about motivating Ronnie. Include the website and a brief description.
  • One piece of advice that you speculate would result in Ronnie's optimal learning. Offer your advice in the form of a robust Level-7 T2P statement that references the learning theory of Siemens, Noddings, and/or MItra as supporting evidence.

[in class resources]


What the bleep do we know?
Synaptic Density (image)
Adolescent Brain
Child Virtuoso Akiane Kramarik
Born to Learn