The Psychological Domain: Enhancing Traditional Practice in K-12 Education

The Psychological Domain: Enhancing Traditional Practice in K-12 Education

Adrian O'Connor (University of Limerick, Ireland), Niall Seery (University of Limerick, Ireland) and Donal Canty (University of Limerick, Ireland)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0507-5.ch006
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Abstract

This chapter will attempt to frame the potential of a flexible approach to teaching and learning that provides diagnostic and formative evidence to enhance traditional practice in K-12 education. Commencing with a brief account of the Community of Inquiry model (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000) as a potential framework for online and blended learning, this chapter investigates what is it about traditional classroom practice that researchers wish to enhance, the challenges facing contemporary systems of online and blended learning, and how new ubiquitous configurations for teaching and learning have become possible. With an emphasis on supporting discourse through the development of social and cognitive behavior, this chapter will endeavor to qualify the processes that evidence psychological development in a ubiquitous learning environment and provide data to inform the relative efficacy of utilizing such processes in the design of a new pedagogical approach.
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Introduction

Eisner (2004) insists that educational advancement requires a shift in perspective regarding our pedagogical approach to teaching and learning, a change in the kind of tasks we invite pupils to undertake, the kind of thinking we ask them to do, and the kind of criteria we apply to appraise both their work and ours. Changes or proposed changes affecting educational advancement are, however, contingent on the availability of adequate resources to manage and implement effective and “real” change. Although before making any changes regarding our pedagogical approach to teaching and learning, it is helpful to first examine the underlying epistemological, philosophical, and, theoretical assumptions that such changes reflect. This process is useful because it helps us to understand the likely outcome of educational practices in new environments and allows us to communicate these expectations before the practices are inflicted upon teachers and pupils. This applies equally to traditional classroom settings and in new online and blended settings in which there remains a sense of uncertainty about “what works” and why. For example, (Abrami, Bernard, Bures, Borokhovski, & Tamim, 2011) argue that our lack of understanding about effective pedagogical approaches in online and blended learning stems from deficient research investigating the processes and conditions under which teaching and learning is best supported. In recent years, there has been a growing interest (Hiltz, 1998; Palloff & Pratt, 1999; Sergiovanni, 1999; Swan & Shea, 2005) in the development of learning communities for the purpose of investigating the processes and conditions under which teaching and learning is best supported in online and blended settings. Ludwig-Hardman and Dunlap (2003) describe these kinds of communities as groups of people, connected via computer-mediated communication, who actively engage one another in collaborative learner-centred activities to intentionally foster the creation of knowledge, while sharing a number of values and practices, and supporting progressive discourse.

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