Critical Review Of A Chapter From 'teaching Children To Learn' By Fisher. Of Use For Any Trainee Teacher Doi8ng A Education Studies Module.

1866 words - 7 pages

Critically review a chapter of your choice from Fisher (1995) Teaching Children to Learn in relation to school experience:Chapter 8 - Coaching.I have chosen to critically analyse Fisher chapter 8 on cognitive coaching. When reading through the book this chapter instantly interested me, I wanted to learn more about children's unique learning styles and the strategies we can introduce to enhance their learning. I will be looking into four fields of learning styles and investigated Fisher's six strategies within cognitive coaching and evaluating these.In the beginning of this chapter Fisher explains how 'thinking and learning is an idiosyncratic process'. We all have individual learning styles unique to us. Many psychologists agree with Fisher and recognise the different learning methods:'In many of his works, Piaget takes pains to point out that there exist individual differences in children's rate of attainment of the various cognitive structures.' (New directions in educational psychology: edited by Noel Entwistle)All these styles need to be taken into account when teaching children we therefore need to understand them. In 'Reflective teaching in the primary school: a handbook for the classroom' by Andrew Pollard and Sarah Tann who describe the different styles of learning:Holist/serialist (Pask, 1976; Kagan and Kagan, 1970): Holists get a quick grasp of information then fill in the detail. Where as serialists build up a picture bit by bit.Field-dependent/ field-independent (Witkin et al., 1977): Field dependent learners use general context or their experience to solve problems and Field-independent learners analyse a stimulus, identify an manipulate a problems components.Scanners/Focusers (Bruner et al., 1956): Scanners make an initial hypothesis and see if everything fits where as Focusers chose component variables and test each one then get a theory.Divergent/convergent (Torrance 1962): Divergent learners use their inspirational flair and imagination where as convergent learners try to find a right and wrong answer.In 'Cognitive processes in education' S.Farham-Diggory defines divergent thinking in this simple way:'Divergent thinking is expansive fluid, flexible; convergent thinking is more focussed and integrated.'Being able to classify learners like this means that we can understand the way different children work in our classes and therefore not disregard them as 'slow' or 'hasty'. Pollard adds:'Such dimenions, although far from precise, may be helpful in interpreting the results of observations and discussions with children regarding learning processes' (Pollard: Reflectve teaching in the primary school)Gender can also have an effect on the way children learn. S. Farham-Diggory explains how boys are likely to be field-independent and girls field-dependent:'in Witkin's theoretical framework. Boys are likely to be field-independent; girls are more field-dependent' (Farham-Diggory: cognitive processes in education)This explained why girls are...

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