We have explored many interesting components in regards to human development throughout this course, but I was especially interested by the idea of teaching in concepts and connecting content to individual’s lives. In Child and Adolescent Development of Educators (2007), Pressley and McCormick state, “The children were creating verbal stories and constructing interactions between toys. Taking unrelated objects and placing them in a meaningful context, such as making up a story about them, facilitates memory. Such stories and pictures are elaborations” (p.98). Though this example is from a younger age group, I believe it has direct correlation to the high school students I plan on working with as well. I believe this is great strategy for teachers because it encourages students to make their own connections with content, which is the foundation to long-term learning. Students can be exposed to texts, definitions and terms extensively to create short-term memory. It’s when students can apply that content with their own individual strategies, which enables connecting concepts, and hopefully leads to the development of semantic networks. It has become evident through the discussion board that this is an effective and useful teaching strategy. Fellow classmate Kati Tremayne stated, “Therefore, by presenting them information that is all around them, accessible and familiar they are able to better grasp the nature of commands, and ultimately understand at a deeper level how and why to form them in the target language.” It is helpful and encouraging to hear fellow classmates see the effectiveness of this approach in their own experiences.
In addition, I have found the reading of John Medina’s Brain Rules (2014) especially interesting. Particularly, his exploration of how each individual’s brain develops differently. Medina compares the brain to the United States transportation system, “It’s when you get to the smaller routes-the brains equivalent of residential streets, one-laners and dirt roads-that individual patterns begin to show up. In no two people are they identical. That’s the experience-dependent wiring. Every brain has a lot of these smaller paths, which is why the very small amounts to a big deal. It’s why, for example, human intellect is so multifaceted” (p. 96). This is such an important reality for teachers to remember while organizing and implementing instruction. It was evident from the discussion board that classmates who have extensive classroom experience share this same sentiment. Brain development incorporates such a wide-variety of factors, it’s the responsibility of teachers to present information in an assortment of ways to reach students and their varied learning styles.