Chumly
 
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 09:49 am
There is a belief that the more senses you engage in the teaching/learning process the more likely the average retention will be better for the presented information.

However if we assume said presented information is collated with a given sensory input, it can then be argued as per B.F. Skinner / Pavlov that said information retention will only have maximum efficacy when a similar sensory engagement is present.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 01:01 am
@Chumly,
Are you referring to Classical Conditioning (the Pavlovian response connecting two seemingly unrelated items)? Because your "similar engagement" sounds more like elaboration...which sources from metacognition---not a Behavioral family of theories, like Skinner...
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 01:21 am
@Lash,
I love your vocabulary Lash. I could look it up in the dictionary, but what does metacognition mean.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 01:22 am
@Chumly,
Well, won't the use of that information be at a time of full sensory engagement?
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 01:24 am
@Chumly,
like Lash, not sure exactly what you mean by similar sensory engagement. I do happen to believe retention may improve if more than one sense is engaged, or generalizing further, if more than one learning activity is scheduled: for example, writing an essay and also having a class discussion on the same topic. note that activities needn't be simultaneous, in case you were asking if recall would only reliably take place if all the senses involved in the learning task were re-engaged.
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Lash
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 01:27 am
@Sglass,
It's a term in educational psychology that means thinking about thinking...In order to help students retain new information, there are simple things a teacher can do to remind them they are thinking--as simple as discussion after an exercise... Metacognition also covers methods of cognitive engagement that focus on getting attention and keeping it through several ploys...
Of course, this really ramps up retention.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 01:28 am
@Lash,
Lash, not to be pedantic, but Skinner's operant conditioning differed from Pavlovian classical conditioning in seeking to *shape* existing behavior gradually toward some desired new behavior through reward or punishment, whereas classical conditioning only associates an existing behavior with an unrelated stimulus. not sure which is more applicable to Chumly's question, however, since operant conditioning does encompass associating a stimulus with a response, as when an animal trainer uses a clicker to prompt a response.
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 01:34 am
@yitwail,
I realize that, yitwail. Chum mentioned Pavlov and Skinner... I was trying to narrow down his meaning... Both conditioning theories are taught in the Behavioral family...
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 01:51 am
@Chumly,
OK--I think I have it. I have experienced an instructor using music and visuals (African garb, let's say) to enhance learning a section on African- American history. The songs were spirituals reportedly sung during slavery. Immersion of senses feeds metacognition...Job #1 is getting attention...and this sensory immersion does that. It also aids elaboration, which is linking the sight of the African clothes, the music and the new information with (hopefully) other information already existing in the students' store of knowledge. Instead of putting in isolated new information, you are creating stronger bridges between existing info and the new information you are attempting to convey.

Later, of course, they won't need the presence of the African garb or spirituals to recall the new information, but they may recall the new info when they see/hear these elaborative devices...
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 08:29 pm
Sure, I think some of you kind posters are getting it:

As discussed:
There is a belief that the more senses you engage in the teaching/learning process the more likely the average retention will be better for the presented information.

If the above is true and all else aside and to further clarify:
If we assume said presented information (whatever one is teaching in its most elemental sense) is collated with a given sensory input (could be anything at all - ringing a bell, speaking in conjunction with a visual) it can then be argued as per B.F. Skinner / Pavlov that said information retention (whatever one has taught in its most elemental sense) will ONLY have MAXIMUM efficacy (retention / comprehension) when the same set of sensory engagements are again present.
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 08:54 pm
@Chumly,
that's what i thought you were getting at, and my thought is that while that *could* happen, less than maximum efficacy in this case could still be greater than or equal to the maximum efficacy of other methods. only controlled studies would resolve the question you're raising.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 09:42 pm
@yitwail,
Which brings me to an interesting question!

Since teaching/learning is such a critical endeavor (or so I would argue), where are all the spiffy third-party, unbiased, peer-reviewed, truly scientific studies indicating relative efficacies?

My (admittedly) casual observations plus (direct and daily) liaising with about 40 other teachers at my institute, suggests that teachers don't really know what works best. Teachers seem to know only what they rationalize is comfortable for them, and what appears to give results they find acceptable (or at least I assume they find acceptable!).

In fact, it seems to me that the teaching/learning process is enveloped in (what could well be considered) a cloud of mysticism / tradition / superstition / politicization not dissimilar in some senses to religion!

As such, I have not found a scientifically conclusive study that supports the contentions made in my first post as per:

"There is a belief that the more senses you engage in the teaching/learning process the more likely the average retention will be better for the presented information.

However if we assume said presented information is collated with a given sensory input, it can then be argued as per B.F. Skinner / Pavlov that said information retention will only have maximum efficacy when a similar sensory engagement is present."

So........at this time I have no great faith in any given teaching/learning theory as most (if not all) appear to be lacking third-party, unbiased, peer-reviewed, truly scientific studies indicating relative efficacy.

And the so-called "experts" that are (presumably) instructing me on how to be a better teacher don't know either!
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 09:51 pm
@Chumly,
The problem is that you are looking for one way to teach. You need to teach many ways. Multiple sensory teaching may make for better overall learning simply because you are teaching to multiple learning styles. You need to tailor the teaching to the students. And you can only do that once you've met them. So, every year your teaching will change.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 05:32 pm
@littlek,
Sorry but that's not it at all. I'm not looking for one way to teach.

I'm saying there should be less biased subjective assertion and more third-party, unbiased, peer-reviewed, truly scientific studies indicating relative efficacy vis-a vis sensory engagement reenforcement (as one example).

Pop culture catch phrases, pop physiologies, popular notions etc do not cut the cake.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 05:39 pm
@Chumly,
actual: pop physiologies
intended: pop psychologies
0 Replies
 
 

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