Problem-centered inquiry is what happens in an EAST classroom everyday. Well, it’s what we WANT to happen everyday J. Students use community-service projects that include technology and integrate other curricular areas to learn problem-solving skills, technology, collaboration and critical thinking skills. As a facilitator, I do my best to guide them to resources that will enable their success. I am going to try to film several different groups this week while they work on various problems. I believe I’ll see all the ‘steps’ listed in the text as we work.
This model takes me away from the normal atmosphere of my classroom (as did the concept attainment model). I'm sure I've said before - EAST is a student-directed learning environment so I seldom put the whole class together for a "traditional" lesson. However, I felt like using these models to teach some of the standards/material I usually teach in a small group or one-on-one manner would be beneficial and possibly even become something I would use on a more regular basis.
I will use the concept development model to facilitate learning about software. Students in EAST work with audio and video editing, GPS/GIS, CAD, webdesign and publishing software to name a few. I plan to use this model to help reinforce their knowledge of the software packages they have available in the lab and also connecting what types of projects can be accomplished using these various technologies (Environmental And Spatial Technologies is what EAST stands for - for those of you unfamiliar with this course. I belive the grouping and re-grouping of the software available will aid them in their pursuit to solve problems that are a large component of the EAST pedagogy.
Here is what happened with my concept attainment lesson...
Students were first introduced to the process of the concept attainment model and told I would be using it to teach a lesson on positive presentation skills to them. I then presented examples of positive presentation skills – and listed the attributes of these skills. The students seemed a bit reluctant to participate in the beginning, but once they caught on were fine. Next, the students (with my help) developed a definition of the concept (strong presentation skills). I then presented additional examples which I seemed to clarify the earlier part of the lesson. Finally we went over a rubric that would be used as an evaluation of their understanding of the concept they were taught.
My students seemed somewhat puzzled throughout the process of the concept attainment model instruction. Once we covered the examples and attributes, they seemed to have a better understanding of what they should have learned from the instruction. I believe the model itself worked well for the instruction, but believe I will do a better job the next time I use it and with my confidence in the method the instruction should be even better for the students.
I can definitely see the value of using this model to teach students some concepts. I believe I could have been more successful had I used this format while teaching presentation skills in a unit perhaps instead of pulling students from their projects and using it to reinforce these skills “out of the blue” like I did. I’ll try it differently next time and I’m sure will have even better success.
I'm a 46-year-old educator that loves to spend time with my family, friends and students. My husband is self-employed, which means he works all the time :-(. We have two fabulous kids - our son who is 23 and a network analyst for a local school district... and our daughter who is a 19-year-old college student. They are the absolute light of my life.