March 25, 2017

Real Learning

My 11-year-old daughter came home from school several weeks ago all fired up about an idea she and a friend had. They noticed during lunch that the trash can was overflowing with styrofoam lunch trays — they keep piling up and they aren’t biodegradable. So Dana and Claire decided they would DO something about it! […]

Information Theory of Learning, Part 3

Applying constructivist learning theory pretty much rips apart the way we do school. Learning theory says that the learner must make meaning of new information. To do that she needs context — a way to connect new input to what she knows already. Not this-will-be-useful-later appeals, but real connection — like reaching a personal goal, […]

Information Theory of Learning, Part 2

In the preceding blogpost, I claim that constructivism is a theory of learning. So…? This means that the theory of behaviorism — the lodestar of schooling — is wrong. We do not learn in response to the application of rewards and punishments. We adapt our behavior to get the rewards and avoid the punishments. We […]

An Information Theory of Learning — Part 1

Constructivism is a dirty word in K12 education. While educators generally acknowledge constructivism as a pedagogical theory, they doubt its practicality — Too unstructured; takes too much time; OK in the arts or Gifted classes, but doesn’t work for all subjects and all learners. Here’s something to consider: Constructivism is not a theory of pedagogy. […]