Summary: The Principles of Meaningful Learning

I. Introduction

As we already know that when the learners be able to gathering information from their environment and construct the knowledge by themselves in order to understand about something deeply, then here a meaningful learning occurred. In order to reach the meaningful learning, the role of teacher as facilitator is needed. On facilitate their student, the teacher must aware that students have different preconception with the material that they will be learned. Moreover, the conceptual and factual knowledge is very important to develop students’ competence in an area of inquiry, and meta-cognitive approach is also needed to help students control their own learning.

Based on the above explanation, at least four principles must be reached to create a meaningful learning. They are new understanding begin with the prior understanding and experiences of the students, students’ preconception must be engaged in the learning, factual knowledge and conceptual frameworks are important towards meaningful learning, and students self- monitoring can be attained by a meta-cognitive approach. We will be explained these principles of meaningful learning below.

New understanding begins with the prior understanding and experiences. The existing (prior) knowledge of the learner, determined the next learning. It also leads to the development of conceptions that can acts as obstacles to learning. Moreover, the teacher should be aware that every student has different prior knowledge and experiences to begin new understanding or learning. Therefore, the teacher should be able to drawn on knowledge and experiences that students commonly bring to classroom but are generally not activated with regard to the topic of study.

Students’ preconceptions must be engaged in the learning process. The teacher must aware that every student has different preconceptions and existing knowledge about something. Consequently, as a teacher must assimilate the different preconception of students with the materials or topics that they will be learnt to their student. At least, there are three strategies which can be applied by teacher in the learning process to engage students’ preconception in order to make a meaningful or effective learning.

  1. Drawn on knowledge and experiences that students commonly bring to classroom but are generally not active with regard to the topic of study.
  2. Provide opportunities for student to experience discrepant events that allow them to come to terms with the shortcoming in their everyday models.
  3. Provide students with narrative accounts of the discovery of (targeted) knowledge or the development of (targeted) tools.

Factual knowledge (procedural fluency) and conceptual frameworks are important towards meaningful learning. The meaningful learning is similar with the learning with understanding. In this case, the word understanding refers to conceptual understanding (comprehension of concepts, operations, and relations) and procedural fluency (skill in carrying out procedures flexibility, accurately, efficiently, and properly). When the proficiency of student in procedural or conceptual understanding too little, it possible for students to understanding something not deeply. Therefore, to understand topics or materials that be learned, students are expected to have good proficiency in factual knowledge and conceptual understanding and also make a link between both of them.

We also need to know that the link between the factual knowledge and a conceptual frameworks help us to understand that both a big ideas and facts are very important to understand about certain materials or topics. Then, memory of factual knowledge is expanded by conceptual knowledge, while conceptual knowledge is clarified as it used to help organize constellations of important details. Moreover, Because of it, the distinguishing factor between the experts and novices placed on organized sets of idea. The experts have more organize sets of idea than novices.

Student self- monitoring and reflection can be attained by a meta-cognitive approach. In the psychological literature, “meta-cognition” is used to refer to people’s knowledge about themselves as information processors (Donovan & Bransford, 2005). From this definition, we obtain information that when the learners try to understand something deeply, they must develop their ability to take control of their own learning, consciously define learning goals, and monitor their progress in learning. One way that may do by teachers to introduce a meta-cognitive approach to their student is by saying “You are the owners and operators of your own brain, but it came without an instruction book. We need learn how we learn.”

Indeed, appropriate kinds of self- monitoring and reflection are needed to support learning with understanding in a variety area. In addition, teaching practices that emphasize self-assessment can help students become more meta-cognitive about their own thinking and provide opportunities for discussion in order to make a most sense from the different views between teacher and students. To be optimally effective, meta-cognitive approach need to be taught in the context of individual subject area.

There are three instructions that support meta-cognition. They are an emphasis on debugging, internal and external dialogue, and seeking and giving help. Emphasize on debugging help students to finding where their error, why their answer is an error, and correcting their answer. Then, dialogue; give the chances for students to advance their thinking and monitoring their own understanding. The last, indeed, students must have enough confidence on engage problems, try to solve them, and seek help when they are stuck, and helping can also increase the meta-cognitive awareness of the helper as he or she takes into consideration the thinking of the student being helped.

II. The similarities between video entitle Facilitating Meaningful Learning Experiences and book entitle How Student Learn: Mathematics in the Classroom about the principles of meaningful learning.

According to the video and the book as mentioned above, we can find some similarities on discussion about the principles of meaningful learning.

  1. Both in the video and in the book mentioned that a new understanding or learning begin with the existing understanding (knowledge) and experiences of the learners.
  2. Both in the video and in the book mentioned that the meaningful learning is attained when the learners can construct their own knowledge.
  3. Both in the video and in the book mentioned that in order to make a meaningful learning, teachers should be able to play their role as facilitator not as the center of learning.
  4. Both in the video and in the book mentioned that reflection is very needed to support learning with understanding in a variety of areas.
  5. Both in the video and in the book mentioned that in the meaningful learning, learner is active not passive.

III. The differences between the video entitle Facilitating Meaningful Learning Experiences and the book entitle How Student Learn: Mathematics in the Classroom about the principles of meaningful learning.

According to the video and the book as mentioned above, we can find some differences on discussion about the principles of meaningful learning.

Distinguishing aspect According to the video According to the book
The difference between the experts and novices The number of connection of synapses of an expert more abundance than a novice The experts have more organize sets of ideas than novices
When the meaningful learning occur The meaningful learning occur when the learners be able to construct their own knowledge The meaningful learning occur when the learners be able to construct their own knowledge and monitoring their progress by themselves
What must be linked to help students understand new knowledge (certain topics or materials) Students can connect among their existing knowledge and afterwards connect them with the new knowledge by assimilation or accommodation way Between factual knowledge and procedural fluency must be linked in order to help students understand new knowledge (certain topics or materials)
Learning approach or strategy to make a meaningful learning Facilitating approach Meta-cognitive approach

References

Donovan, S., Bransford, J., e.(2005).How Students Learn: Mathematics in the Classroom.  Washington, DC: The National Academic Press.

  1. Grady Roberts. (2012). Facilitating Meaningful Learning Experiences. Global Education Lab, University of Florida. Video. October 22,2012.
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