Monday, October 27, 2008

Applying information processing theory to teaching/learning

Applying information processing theory to teaching/learning

By Jason Crockett
EDI 600 Psychological Foundation of Education
School of Education
Long Island University, C. W. Post
October 20, 2008

In class today, we learned about the information processing model or theory. I learned a lot in today’s class about the theories, as well as the process of our memory and strategies on how we can assist students in relation to remembering things more effectively within the classroom setting.

By learning the information processing model, I realized that the system involves the process of encoding, retrieval, and storage, in which explains the how our sensory register, short-term, as well as long-term memory operates.

The Chinese lesson that we learned at the beginning of class was a great way to lead into how we hold, obtain, organize, encode, and retrieve information within our memory. This quick lesson on the Chinese language and memorizing a phone number demonstrated how we can only place new information into memory in limited amounts at one time. This is an extremely important feature that one can relate to teaching within the academic setting. I feel that we often present and expose students to a large amount of information, as well as expect them to recall all of this information in one period of time. It is imperative in the classroom to teach students new information in limited amounts or “chunks” over a brief period of time in order to improve their overall memory.

After tonight’s class, I began to reflect on how I can use the information processing model in order to teach students to remember things in the academic classroom setting more efficiently. Students often have difficulty remembering large amounts of information for homework, assignments, and assessments. It is important to apply this theory to the classroom in order to improve the learning success of students.

One essential thing that I learned in today’s class was how we can help students achieve a higher success rate at remembering information, as well as the teachers role and strategies we can use in assisting students to achieve this goal. I learned that it is vital that teachers grab the attention of their students in order for them to remember an idea or concept of a lesson. It is necessary in an important lesson or in teaching new information to have students focus their attention on learning by making a lesson or this new information meaningful to them.

It is also essential to use recognition, in which the teacher would show the students how to use their imagination or the process of association in order to remember new things. Teachers can also assist students to learn and remember by the process of encoding, in which we relate new information being learned to old information. This can be achieved by using images, concrete words, or visual aids within the classroom.

To emphasize, one of the most important tools in helping students remember information is by the process of organization. I think this is one of the most important strategies a teacher can use in improving memory and student learning. Remembering can be achieved through organization by teaching students a limited amount of new material over short intervals of time. It is beneficial to teach students new material in small chunks, bits, or have them categorize information in groups.

I believe that we frequently expect students to remember information at one specific time or too much subject material for one test, in which this defeats the whole purpose of memory in order to enhance learning. It would be more effective to teach students a small and limited amount of new material over a brief period of time. I think it is vital to teach new information over short periods of time and to keep building on top of that old new information in order to enhance their remembering and learning success rate.

In addition, the process of rehearsal, either by maintenance or elaborative rehearsal can also be an effective way to increase memory. The only way to improve on remembering new material is through practice, repetition, and relating new information to prior knowledge. In the field of music education, we use this aspect of the information processing model quite frequently. In teaching music at the elementary level, we often teach songs by rote or through repetition. However, this works for only a brief period of time, but not over a long period of time because many students are only exposed to the new information, but not continuously using the knowledge or material. It is much more effective to use stored information and relate new information to prior knowledge through the process of elaborative rehearsal.

I believe that it is the responsibility of the teacher to find new and interesting methods in helping students absorb, as well as remember new information in order to enhance their learning. In order to help students learn new information, it is imperative that teachers change their lesson plans, curriculum, and teaching styles in order to meet the needs of the students. It is essential to use a multiple variety of ways to teach, as well as increase learning and the success rate of using our memories. It is beneficial to use reflections, images, visual aids, word association, live models, chunking, humor, peer-teaching, discussions, practice, hands-on materials, imagination, models, reviewing, interactive learning opportunities, and many other approaches or ways to helps students with remembering new learning material.

One of the statements by Dr. Boyanton will always have an impact on my future teaching endeavors. She stated that there is always space for students to learn, no matter what the age range. It is extremely important that we realize that every student can learn new information and remember the material that we are trying to teach them. If a student is struggling within the classroom, it is our responsibility to reflect on our own teaching methods instead of purely blaming the student. Every student can learn and remember if we provide them with the proper tools, techniques, positive environment, experiences, and guidance to achieve success. It helped me realize that learning and educating is an endless process, in which we must continuously absorb new information on top of old information because learning is an endless pursuit that is filled with unique opportunities for every individual.

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