Saturday, July 08, 2006

student learning framework

This article (1996, from an old logo journal) has a grandiose title, Whatever happened to the revolution? But I think the framework(s) it suggest for looking at student learning is quite valuable.

Logo teachers see change. What do they see? They "see" students thinking. The following learning behaviors — there are eight — were culled from teacher observations and anecdotal reports.

Students talk to themselves and to others. The act of languaging one's thoughts is a form of verbal mediation, a way of mediating and clarifying understanding.

Students move. Heads, hands, shoulders move with the turtle. Syntonic learning appears to be firmly related to how children process their worlds.

Students draw upon mental images. Memory is grounded in words and images. Visual imagery facilitates the storage and retrieval of information and instruction.

Students regulate their work. Casual explorations with the turtle give way to conscious control. Self-correction and evaluation are related to the sense of empowerment and control that we see in mature learners.

Students look for and create patterns. Pattern recognition is a basic strategy of organization and comprehension at the meta-cognitive state of learning awareness.

Students use Logo procedures as building blocks. The process of breaking problems into meaningful pieces of deconstruction has long been associated with formal problem solving.

Students compose and create. Artists describe the process of composition as impressionistic and generative. Ideas seemingly emerge, one idea triggering or guiding the next one, the subconscious driving the conscious.

Students present. Young people enter the adult world of presenters with confidence and poise. The work they present is their own.

These behaviors tell us something. Collectively, they give us an extraordinary new way of looking at learning. It may not be a revolution, but a new culture is emerging.

We call it a Logo culture. We are too close to it to fully understand it. The impact on learners and learning environments involves complex relationships. We have yet to tease out the nuances and subtleties. This is what I see:

Stronger Learners… stronger in the sense of learners who use their intuition, who claim ownership of their learning, and are thus free to risk in order to learn more. I see students using learning modalities that are not tapped by the present curriculum.

Real Work…a work intensity that is satisfying and worthwhile; a work ethic that encourages co-learning. Gender roles and age differences are blurred.

Expanded Vision…in the shape of new visual forms that expand our vision and guide us toward a clearer understanding of our changing world. Throughout history, artists have operated at the edge of social and cultural change. The fluid rhythms and transformations of Logo images are visual expressions of a new aesthetic.

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