WEEK 6 | Applying Theory to Practice (aka T2P SUPER-SIZED)

Dear TCPCG Class of 2012,

Its time to ask yourself the essential question, "How can theories and models of learning inform my everday practice as a teacher?"

You will soon be educators working with young people in our schools. You want to understand how they view the world and themselves in it. You want to plan relevant teaching and learning encounters that stimulate their intellectual, social, and emotional development as learners within your content area and in general. You want to be able to put learning theory into practice. Its now time to demonstrate your ability to do so within the context of our course.


Your task is to present at least two data-driven Level-7 T2P hypotheses relating the subject(s) in videos you select from the "Voices of Youth Today" YouTube playlist to a developmental or learning theory, or key concept we covered in Learning Theories.

"Voices of Youth Today" [a collection of YouTube videos made by and/or for 40 young people (or groups of youth)]


The overall purpose of your final artifact is for you to demonstrate your Learning Theories content knowledge, including your ability to apply content knowledge in practical ways. A great way to think about your final artifact is as a couple of super-sized T2P hypotheses sandwiched between an introduction and conclusion. The format and content of your essay should be familiar to you. In other words, the format is similar to the Reflective Pedagogical Thinking Taxonomy, and you will be able to harvest content from your weekly T2P essays and other scholarly artifacts you have created over the last five weeks (although you may spend some time evolving and polishing-up). Overall you should not have to create a ton of new content. Your final essay should have three main sections: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. It should also
  • be six and ten pages (no longer than ten, not including a reference list),
  • have a title and your name on the first page, be double-spaced, have page numbers and section titles,
  • be saved as a Word file (.doc or .docx) as YourGroup(Monday or Tuesday)_LastName_Final.doc,
  • be uploaded into your Task Stream portfolio by 11:59PM, Sunday, July 10th, and
  • include citations and a reference list using APA format.


Introduction [about one page]
  • To get your reader's attention consider using a metaphor, analogy, quote, or brief story which summarizes your perspective on the enterprise of teaching and learning. This section could also include a portion of your Philosophy of Education. Alternatively, you could find inspiration in Jeffery R. M. Duncan-Andrade's essay, "Note to Educators: Hope Required When Growing Roses in Concrete" or high school student, Sinnea Douglas' poem "When I become a teacher."
  • Include a thesis statement that forecasts the main themes, constructs, or theories you intend to present in your essay. Your introduction should tell your reader, in brief, what she can expect in your essay.

Body [about four-five pages]
  • The body of your essay will have two super-sized T2P hypotheses. Each of your super-sized T2P hypotheses will centered on one of the essential elements that make-up teaching and learning: TEACHER, LEARNERS, CONTENT, OR CONTEXT.
  • Each of your two super-sized T2Ps should include

1. Introductory paragraph
  • Responds to the question, "How does the essential element (i.e., either teacher, learners, content, or context) influence optimal whole-person student learning?"
  • Incorporates your overarching hypothesis about the role of the essential element in teaching and learning
  • Forecasts the three key theories, models, or concepts you will use to support your hypothesis
  • Lists the four pieces of evidence you will use to support your hypothesis (use concrete evidence i.e., quotes and/or paraphrases from the children in the videos and/or conceptual evidence like a relevant concept or idea you define and analyze so that your reader clearly understands the way(s) you believe the concept supports your hypothesis)
  • Responds to the question, "What are the moral/ethical/political implications of my hypothesis?"

2. The bulk of the section will be you "super-sizing" the overarching hypothesis you made in your intro by describing in more detail how the three key theories and four pieces of concrete evidence relate to one another and support your hypothesis. This is the most important part of your entire essay. It is where you demonstrate your content knowledge. You should define in your own words the key concepts, draw connections between them, use your evidence to support them, etc. Here is where you show your readers what you know about learning theories. Here is where you shine!

3. Conclusion paragraph of the section should parsimoniously respond to the question, "What is one content area-specific activity, assessment, classroom management technique, etc. I plan to use that exemplifies my ability to put my knowledge and beliefs about this element into practice in my future classroom, with my future learners?"

4. Repeat steps 1-3 by selecting a second essential element, formulating an overarching T2P hypothesis and super-sizing it.

Conclusion [about one page]

The conclusion of your essay should respond to the question, "How will (or has) the study of learning theories inform my beliefs, behaviors, dispositions, and aspirations as a teacher?" While the two super-sized T2Ps depend upon your critical analysis of content knowledge, the conclusion depends upon your critical reflection of how you have, and will in the future, make-meaning of your study of learning theories.

Creating a stellar artifact for your portfolio, one that demonstrates the passion and intellectual vigor with which you have approached the content of learning theories, is our collective goal. I am committed to working with you, providing direct and timely content-specific and editorial feedback, until you are wholly satisfied that your Taskstream learning theories artifact represents your best scholarly work. To that end I will remain available until our work together is done. If you have general questions about the essay, please post them on the discussion board of this pages so your colleagues can benefit from the discussion.
Godspeed future teachers. ¡Que viva la revolucción!