Blog #3: Attaining Knowledge

This week we studied the Concept Attainment model, which I found to be quite interesting. This model could be very useful when teaching new concepts to students who have no previous basis to build their knowledge on. When students compare, contrast and categorize new knowledge, they can better understand the subject matter. Dell’Olio and Donk (2007) state, “The Concept Attainment model allows students to categorize items based on an analysis of their characteristics, or critical attributes” (p. 114). This approach can be an important tool in my graphic design and video production classes because there are many concepts that are very foreign to students. Most students are familiar with social media and every day technological devices, but they have no basis to understand why you would manually need to color correct a video camera or what settings your editing timeline should be in. If I could help students categorize new concepts, they would better understand how to use them and why they need to know this information in the first place.

In our small group discussion, we talked about how to plan for different types of knowledge and the many challenges that arise from that goal. My classmate Hugo Molina said that effective instruction is “…engaging, measurable, student-centered, careful to scaffold learning, relevant, rigorous, and facilitated.” We agreed that these elements are crucial to reach the many different learners who are in our classrooms. We found that it was difficult to elevate one element since it is the combination of instructional strategies that truly creates a place where learning can thrive. One of my favorites quotes from this week was from Bruner when he states, “Discovery teaching involves not so much the process of leading students to discover what is ‘out there,’ but, rather, their discovering what is in their own heads” (p. 1).  So much of teaching is not merely getting information into the students. Rather it is allowing them to soak it up through careful instruction and then teaching them to evaluate and discover through their own personal lens.



One thought on “Blog #3: Attaining Knowledge

  1. Joanna – We discussed something similar when talking about how to plan for different types of knowledge. It really does come down to knowing your students and being able to blend instructional strategies to meet their needs. They also need to discover the fact that they know it, and can use it! I like your idea of using concept attainment to help understand when to use different strategies for video editing – that world can certainly be overwhelming at first!

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