How The Activity Learning Theory Works. How The Activity Learning Theory Works by Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor, Plymouth Institute of Education This is number 8 in my series on learning theories.
My intention is to work through the alphabet of psychologists and provide a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In the last post we examined the various educational theories of John Dewey including experiential learning. In this post, we explore the work of Yrjö Engeström on Activity Theory. Vygotsky’s earlier concept of mediation, which encompassed learning alongside others (Zone of Proximal Development) and through interaction with artifacts, was the basis for Engeström’s version of Activity Theory (known as Scandinavian Activity Theory). In Activity Theory people (actors) use external tools (e.g. hammer, computer, car) and internal tools (e.g. plans, cognitive maps) to achieve their goals.
How It Can Be Applied In Education Reference Engeström, Y., Mietinnen, R. and Punamäki, R-L. 4 Phases of Inquiry-Based Learning: A Guide For Teachers. According to Indiana University Bloomington, Inquiry-based learning is an “instructional model that centers learning on a solving a particular problem or answering a central question.
There are several different inquiry-based learning models, but most have several general elements in common: Learning focuses around a meaningful, ill-structured problem that demands consideration of diverse perspectivesAcademic content-learning occurs as a natural part of the process as students work towards finding solutionsLearners, working collaboratively, assume an active role in the learning processTeachers provide learners with learning supports and rich multiple media sources of information to assist students in successfully finding solutionsLearners share and defend solutions publicly in some manner” The process itself can be broken down into stages, or phases, that help teachers frame instruction. 4 Phases of Inquiry-Based Learning: A Guide For Teachers 1.
Student-to-material. 2. 3. 4. 8 Steps To Design Problem-Based Learning In Your Classroom. What Is Problem-Based Learning?
By TeachThought Staff What is problem-based learning? One definition, if we want to start simple, is learning that is based around a problem. That is, the development, analysis, and thinking towards a problem drives student learning forward. We’ve been meaning to write a kind of beginner’s guide/primer to problem-based learning for, oh, about 18 months now and haven’t yet, so Mia MacMeekin’ss graphic here is going to have to do. The graphic eschews Mia’s usual squared, grid approach for something a bit more linear and comprehensive–an 8-step sequence to designing problem-based learning in your classroom. 8 Steps To Design Problem-Based Learning In Your Classroom. Galileo Educational Network.
Students learn isolated skills and knowledge, starting with the simple building blocks of a particular topic and then building to more complex ideas. While this appeals to common sense (think of the efficiency of a automobile assembly line), the problem with this approach is the removal of any context to the learning, making deep understanding of the content less likely. Perkins calls this approach elementitis, where learning is structured exclusively around disconnected skills and fragmented pieces of information. 2. Students learn about a particular topic. The solution that Perkins offers to the typical classroom experience is what he calls learning by wholes, structuring learning around opportunities to experience or engage in the topic as it would exist outside of school. An example of ‘learning by wholes’ can be found in my own Cigar Box Project, a year-long, grade 7 study where students explored 5 themes in Canadian history.
Inquiry as “Play” Moving From Theory to Practice. 2004 focusoninquiry.pdf. Educational Leadership:Giving Students Meaningful Work:Seven Essentials for Project-Based Learning. Growth Mind Set. Tate-Strategies.pdf. Spiral-of-Inquiry-Guide-to-the-six-phases-2014.pdf.