ed psych - Calhoun 1 Jacob Calhoun Educational Psychology...

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Calhoun 1 Jacob Calhoun Educational Psychology 3340, Spring 2008 Professor Lewis April 27, 2008 Field Experience Write-Up During my field experience I spent about three and a half hours at a local high school and about six hours at a local middle school. At the beginning I only intended to do my five hours and be done with it, but after spending the first day with the middle school history classes that I sat in on I decided that I wanted to go back before the semester was up. I didn’t do it for extra credit or anything like that, it was simply because I felt that the middle school teacher offered me more opportunity to learn teaching techniques and how students grow and alter in the classroom at a young age than most other places and people would allow. To be honest, the high school history classes that I sat in on were simply a run-amuck, free-for-all for several hours with hardly any structure or discipline, and I will talk about it accordingly, but if the majority of my paper seems to focus on the middle school experience then that is because I feel that I gained much more from it than I did the high school. I guess the first one to start off with should be the high school experience. When I say that it appeared to be in a little out of control it is a true understatement. With the high school classes the teacher allowed the class to pretty much figure itself out. There was not discipline or order that you would come to expect in a normal classroom. Now, I understand that you don’t have to be Hitler to have the attention of your students, but here it was slightly over the top here. Students were allowed to enter and leave the class
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Calhoun 2 almost freely, and many students came into the classroom that weren’t even in the class. They would come in because they knew that it was a goof-off class. Some students came in ten or fifteen minutes late carrying McDonalds bags because they wanted to eat in class, and there was no rule for talking aloud or disrupting the teacher. From a pretty simple perspective she would lecture aloud in front of the class while they either chose to pay attention or not, and it created much more chaos and confusion in the classroom than there needed to be, and as a result quite a bit of time and effort was wasted. This was a definite example of positive reinforcement but in the wrong way. The teacher took an unwanted behavior, talking aloud in class and not paying attention, and reinforced it by constantly repeating herself to the class despite the fact that they it was because they were talking. She was reinforcing a behavior that should have been receiving punishment by giving them the answer many times, some times up to six or seven times. This is an example of allowing self-regulating learning, which is a metacognitive process. At this age all of the students were past the level of concrete operations within
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ed psych - Calhoun 1 Jacob Calhoun Educational Psychology...

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