Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chapter 5- Cognitive Learning Processes

In chapter 4 we were introduced to Cognitive Information Processing, how our minds or brains process, store, and filter acquired information. Chapter 5 discusses various cognitive learning processes that exist. The underlying them of this chapter, for me, is that in order to reach goals, one must be able to problem solve. In order to efficiently problem solve, one must be aware of one's cognitive process. Self regulation is key to the problem solving process. One must be able to identify a goal, monitor progress towards that goal, and if necessary make changes to meet said goal.
As a teacher, I feel that one of the most important tasks that I must do on a daily basis is problem solve. For example, in planning my lessons, I constantly backward plan. The book mentions that "backward planning" is a problem solving method typical of the novice,as a novice, this statement does not surprise me. I have been teaching for almost two years now, so naturally I find backward planning to be a vital tool. In planning backwards, I am able to avoid leaving out pertinent steps and/or information, that may be necessary for my students to meet and accomplish their goals for my lessons.

Questions for my peers:
Do any of you use backward planning in their classrooms? If so, what are some examples?

Did anyone recognize any strategies that they already incorporate, either in their personal education and/or classrooms? If so, which one(s)?

In reading the section on "Concept Learning", I could not help but wonder, Did the "concept map" develop out of this learning process? What are your thoughts?


Juan Miguel Garcia said...

As I am reading your blog about backward planning it brings to mind some of the classes that I have been taking for my masters where we have to develop a lesson. When I was developing the lesson I felt like I was planning backwards. I was always thinking about the end goal of my lesson. What did I want the learner to master when he or she went through my entire lesson. I was think how am I going to check if the learner had accomplished the objective I had set out to teach. I felt it was beneficial to plan an entire lesson thinking of the goal in mind. The pieces of the lesson just fell into place.

Catherine said...

Jennifer, is planning backwards something you feel that you want to continue with or are you hoping to begin planning in a working forward strategy? I mean whatever you feel more comfortable using is what is best for you but from what I gathered in this chapter, it did not really recommend backward planning. I understood the section on experts and novices to imply that backward planning as an ineffective strategy unless you are aware of the substeps required. I am curious if you ever find yourself too worried about the end product and paying little attention to the details in between or does is all just fall into place like Juan mentioned?

Sheri Higgs said...

We use backward planning in our lives every day. Whether we are planning a vacation, grocery shopping or a lesson. If we don't know where we are going, how can we plan how to get there? As I became more experienced in lesson planning, I found that I would look at the goal, where my students are today and do a bit of forward and backward planning. As we grow in experience, we become better able to see the whole picture and fill in the subgoals where needed.