Identifying the Source Teacher Resource
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This page supports the Identifying the Source Lesson Plan.
Teaching theories behind this lesson
The goal of independent learning is to motivate students to want to be learning. Motivation is an internal process that prompts certain behaviours – taking students well-beyond rote memorisation. Behaviours, though, are as much a reflection of environment as of any internal factors. ‘If learners are given genuine choices, they may opt to be passive learners rather than self-directed learners.’ When the learning space is properly controlled learners understand that they can take control of their own learning – the what, when, why and how. And a properly controlled learning space will allow them to develop a concomitant understanding that they learn more through sharing the learning experience. A controlled learning space is not about seating plans and micro-managing student behaviour. Rather, a controlled learning space is one where carefully designed lessons (with real, measured outcomes, all students participating as equals,  and a script that structures the learning around interactions rather than content,  allow experiences for effective convergent knowledge experiences. Such effective convergent knowledge experiences are most likely to occur in an environment where all participants feel safe to share.
‘By sharing formative stages of their thinking and activities, the members of a [learning] group greatly accelerate the discovery of novel connections and solutions.’
Through this sharing comes understanding, but also the opportunity for creativity and production of divergent knowledge. This divergent knowledge then creates the need for sharing the new knowledge – and thus the need for someone else to learn something new. In this way the learning process becomes about community awareness and self-identity as an essential part of a community.
The iterative nature of the learning is not only about how independent learners negotiate their position within a community. The iterative approach is a fundamental of constructivism – it allows learners to play with knowledge and skills to develop a deeper understanding of what will work and what won’t. The Australian Curriculum (History) demonstrates how skills are continually developing (in the relevant learning context) throughout the learners’ experiences of historical knowledge and understanding.
Learners need also to increase their knowledge and understanding of how these skills develop – through sharing their experiences of these skills and, in return, growing their understanding of different interpretations of the same experiences. Considered as artefacts, the wiki pages become a means of knowledge building through observation. This knowledge building is most likely to lead to long-term learning benefits if students are encouraged to engage and then re-engage with the wiki page – providing opportunities for prior knowledge to be revisited, inspected and altered to include the new knowledge.' In this way, not only will the skill being practised be able to be refined to a master level, but the process for developing any skill will become a conscious and rewarding exercise – with learners able to experience more successes.
Convergence and Divergence
Typically, convergence is experienced in a learning environment as right and wrong answers. For example: solving a mathematical problem. Yet, for Australian students, “real world” experiences of convergence rely on a democratic model of communication and majority agreement – and the learning environment should attempt to recreate this “real world” experience to achieve authentic learning. Critical discussion skills are the key to an effective convergent knowledge experience for all learners. Research indicates that convergence occurs when argumentative debate is about ‘collaboratively advancing ideas’, so in this lesson the greater weight should be given to the coding activity. Having achieved a degree of consensus, the learner should then experience an opportunity for self-development – in order to work towards expression of their newly emerging divergent knowledge. Thus, the reflection on learning questions and prompts are an essential part of the learners’ building of convergent and divergent knowledge.
At Year 8 level the Australian Curriculum (History) elaborates students as creating categories to organise the information obtained from sources and distinguishing between fact and opinion or interpretation.
At Year 9 level the Australian Curriculum (History) elaborates students as explaining the contextual significance of a source and understanding that the reliability and usefulness of a source depends on the questions asked of it.
At Year 10 level the Australian Curriculum (History) elaborates students as explaining the context of a source and the significance of that context in understanding responses to the source and understanding that the reliability and usefulness of a source depends on the quesions asked of it.
Identifying key details of references underpins the ability for researchers to to evaluate the validity of historical texts. In this lesson students will explore this notion by: individually indentifying key details of references in a given text; sharing their choices; engaging in critical discussion in order to generate an agreed set of key details of references; then responding to set questions and prompts to produce their reflection on learning.
In order for students to develop their understanding of the usefulness of source material they need to develop their understanding of key details used in identifying source material. The Identifying the Source Lesson Plan utilises wiki pages as online source material being examined for the conventional use of key facts. According to the Australian Curriculum (History) at Year 8 level students create categories to organise the information obtained from sources and distinguishing between fact and opinion or interpretation. At Year 9 level students then explain the contextual significance of a source and develop their understanding that the reliability and usefulness of a source depends on the questions asked of it. At Year 10 level they continue to build on their understandings and skills regarding the usefulness of source material by explaining the context of a source and the significance of that context in understanding responses to the source and by developing their understanding that the reliability and usefulness of a source depends on the quesions asked of it.
footnotes as explanatory notes, not references to sources
- ↑ Jo Mynard and Robin Sorflaten. 'Independent Learning in Your Classroom.' Learner Independence Special Interest Group website. Accessed June 16, 2012 via http://ilearn.20m.com/research/zuinde.htm
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Brown, Alan J. (2000). ‘Social Influences on Individual Commitment to Self-directed Learning at Work.’ In Conceptions of Self-directed Learning: Theoretical and Conceptional Considerations. Munster: Waxmann, pp.23-36.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Doughty, Gordon. (1996). ‘Computers for teaching and learning.’ In The Management of Independent Learning. Edited by Jo Tait and Peter Knight . London: Kogan Page Limited, pp. 87-96.
- ↑ Heisawn Jeong and Michelence T. H. Chi. 'Knowledge convergence and collaborative learning.' Instructional Science, no. 35 (2007): 287-315.
- ↑ Armin Weinberger, Karsten Stegmann and Frank Fischer. (2005). 'Measuring knowledge convergence: Achievement similarity and shared knowledge in computer-supported collaborative learning.' 11th Biennial Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI 2005). Cyprus: Nicosia. Digital copy accessed June 12, 2012 via telearn.archives.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Dobes, Richard and Graham Rawlinson. (1993). ‘Using Synectic Processes in Education.’ In Learner Managed Learning. Edited by Norman Graves. Leeds: Higher Education for Capability, pp. 52-70.
- ↑ Ciel Language Support Network. (2000). 'Integrating independent learning with the curriculum.' Centre for Languages Linguistics & Area Studies website. Accessed June 16, 2012 via http://www.llas.ac.uk/resources/gpg/1400
- ↑ Andre Melzer, Lia Hadley, Marie Glasemann, Simon Werner, Thomas Winkler, Michael Herczeg. (2007). 'Using Iterative Design and Development for Mobile Learning Systems in School Projects.' IADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA 2007). Accessed June 16, 2012 via http://www.iadis.net/dl/final_uploads/200714L009.pdf
- ↑ Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2012.) The Australian Curriculum (History). http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Download
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Halatchliyski, I., Kimmerle, J., & Cress, U. (2011). Divergent and Convergent Knowledge Processes on Wikipedia. CSCL 2011. Digital copy accessed June 13, 2012 via reganmian.
- ↑ Robertson, J. and J. Good. (2004). Children’s Narrative Development through Computer Game Authoring. Proceedings of IDC 2004: Building a Community. Maryland, USA, pp. 57-64. [Quoted in Andre Melzer, Lia Hadley, Marie Glasemann, Simon Werner, Thomas Winkler, Michael Herczeg. (2007). 'Using Iterative Design and Development for Mobile Learning Systems in School Projects.' IADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA 2007). Accessed June 16, 2012 via http://www.iadis.net/dl/final_uploads/200714L009.pdf
Links to further resources
--Beth Kicinski 12:22, 13 June 2012 (EST)