My first C4T assignment was by Mr. Wheeler. He is a college instructor in the U.K. First of all, I find it amazing that I am talking to a person half way across the world. I made a comment on his blog about Jack Merizow's Transformative Learning theory within the classroom setting and only a few hours later he had responded back. It is so cool to think that someone in another country whom I have never met cared enough to share his feedback with me. Here is a summary his post with my response and Mr. Wheeler's response.
The Point of No Return
Mr. Wheeler starts off with a summary Merizow's theory. It states that when a person learns, it changes them forever. It may be a small change but it is still a change. Sometimes this can change our beliefs, values, and out outlook on life in general. Mr. Wheeler then tells us how it can be used for educating students. He states that it is important to constantly challenge students by placing them out of their normal comfort zones. Doing so will make them think in a different way and can change the way in which students learns. This allows them to think about things differently. Using this technique allows students to pull from personal experience when evaluating a subject and can help them breakaway from preconceived notions and beliefs. This also allows them to form a more well rounded view.
I find Merizow's Transformative Learning Theory to be interesting, but I am not sure I am entirely on board with utilizing it within a classroom setting. I understand his reasoning but at the same time I feel that this type of learning would be effective in some areas of education and with some students but not for all areas of education and definitely not all students. Some students may have real problems handling the unfamiliar and disconnect themselves from the class and learning experience entirely. I do agree with challenging students but only to a certain extent. With that said.... I think Merizow is completely correct on the psychological side of his theory. I experienced a disorienting dilemma when my parents divorced two weeks before my junior year of high school. This life altering experience changed my beliefs, attitude, and my views in a lot of ways. I am just not sure of how well this theory would work in a classroom setting.
Thank you for your thoughts Marcus. My response would be to say that there are students of all ages. Some of mine are quite mature and others very young (I'm a university lecturer), so I think the theory applies particularly well in my classrooms. I suppose it also depends on how well teachers know their students. Any level of challenge is better than passive learning, yes?
Ken Burns' The Roosevelt's Airs
This blog was a clip of the first eight minutes of a series shown on PBS about Teddy, Franklin and Elanor Roosevelt. Although the clip was only a small insight to what the series had to offer; I still learned a lot from watching it. It talked about a young lawyer named Franklin Roosevelt who at the age of 25 had a goal of day being the President. The clip also informed me the viewer that Franklin was related to President Teddy Roosevelt and went on to marry his favorite niece Elanor. I had no clue that Franklin and Elanor were COUSINS. The small clip also made me want to watch the full 14 hour series that covers the accomplishments and legacy legacy left by these great leaders of our country. As a matter of fact I plan on it.
Thanks for sharing. I had no idea that Franklin and Elanor Roosevelt were related. I also think this would be a great video to show a class. Teddy, Franklin, and Elanor did so much for this country and I believe it is important to keep their achievements and memories alive.