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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Reflections for five podcasts done by Anita Woolfolk

Reflection of Anita Woolfolk podcasts

Podcast #1 Importance of Teacher
Teachers are a significant part of every student’s life from the moment they enter the doorway as a kindergarten student to the day they graduate as a senior and receive their diploma.  Teachers matter most to a student when they become involved and show that they genuinely care about the student.  A teacher that can ensure a sense of belonging to a student  will gain that child’s attention and therefore be able to instill learning and knowledge for that child.  This vital sense of belonging that children require comes from caring teachers that take part not only in the child’s academic lives, but also their personal lives.  Teachers become a lifeline for many of the students that they encounter.  Invest in your students so that they benefit from having a vital teacher in their lives.

Podcast #3 NCLB
All teachers will one day be involved in their first faculty meeting.  If it is being held in the beginning of a new academic school year the chance are that the test results from the last year will be discussed and reviewed.  The staff will develop a plan on how to improve and any grades that did not meet the standards.  Schools are expected to meet their Annual Progress Goals each year and when that does not happen a plan must be put into place on how these goals will be achieved going forward.  The negative side to NCLB law is that a school not meeting these standards is that the school may be closed.  The positive side to NCLB law is that “ALL” children receive special attention to improve their education / test scores.  This law has increased the requirements that a teacher is now mandated to have in order to become certified to teach.  

Podcast #4 Learning
The three kinds of learning are behavioral, cognitive, and constructivist.  Behavioral learning deals with understanding consequences and practices.  Cognitive learning encompasses attention and memory.  Constructivist learning entails making sense of what you learn and how you understand information.  As educators it is important to understand the importance of each.  Constructivist and cognitive learning relate to one another since you need to understand information and remember information.  This further relates to behavioral learning because you need to practice what you understand in order to remember it.  All three relate and intertwine with one another and are equally important for teachers.  

Podcast #5 Reinforcement
Concept of reinforcer is anything that follows a behavior and causes the behavior to maintain or increase to get stronger, longer or more frequent.  It is important to understand that something is causing the behavior.  There are two types of reinforcers.  The first is when you add something after a behavior.  This is known as a positive reinforcer.  An example of a positive reinforcer would be that you carefully read a textbook on Child Development and are able to do well on an exam.  The reinforcer is that reading careful lead to a good grade.  The second reinforcer is known as a negative reinforcer.  This is when you avoid / escape an unpleasant situation.  By doing this the behavior will be repeated in the future if you liked the outcome.  The consequence of avoiding or escaping removed something unpleasant and this increases the behavior by negating the unpleasant situation.  An example could be that a student gets sick just before gym class.  Because of this they miss gym class.  If they like that consequence they may get sick before gym class again so that they can avoid it.  The repeat this behavior.   

Podcast #13 Academic Optimism
Anita Woolfolk discussed her research that she has been involved in during the past twenty-five years that entails the concept of teachers and how they are related to their students achievements.  The strongest predictor traditional for student academic optimism is associates with the economic level of wealth for that particular school district.  Wealthier communities have been know to do better on scoring than areas that are known to be in poverty areas.  So the focus of academic optimism focuses on what teachers can do to have their students achieve better and reach academic optimism.  The three characteristics that are associated with teachers in poverty areas having students that indicate academic optimism are teacher that have a high sense of efficacy, trust in their students abilities and press for academic achievement by setting high standards for their students to obtain.  A positive belief that a teacher has will assist greatly in academic optimism being obtained.  Academic optimism covers thoughts, feelings and actions.  This is achieved through cognitive means that entail beliefs a teacher has in their own efficacy.  It is achieved with effective means when a teacher has trust in their student and their parents.  Lastly, it is behavioral because it represents how a teacher manages behaviors in their classroom.  It has been observed that the more optimistic the teacher is that there is a direct correlation to their commitment to their profession, they are student centered and have exceptional classroom management.  These teacher further focus on the positive aspects of their students.  The research concluded that the three factors necessary to achieve academic optimism are talent, motivation, and learned optimism which is "hope:"  

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