Traditional Learning Environments That Emphasize
Fragmented Knowledge and Basic Skills
Some classrooms have traditional and, at times, inadequate
classroom techniques that are not successful. Teachers may
continue to use these techniques because:
- Many teachers learn autiobiographically (Lortie, 1975) and in
difficult situations may abandon their new teaching techniques
and in favor of the techniques that were used to teach them.
- Lack of professional support, a sense of professional
community, and staff development opportunities makes it more
difficult for teachers to learn and implement new techniques.
Classrooms that have focused on basic skills often present
information in a fragmented and disconnected way. New cognitive
research has shown that these approaches do not provide
environments that will help children learn complex thinking
- Fragmented skill development is less successful than skill
development within a context of solving more complex problems.
- Fragmented knowledge is more difficult to connect to broader
understandings of subject matter.
- To help students become engaged learners and increase student
understanding, teachers should provide in-depth curricula.
- Teachers should emphasize understanding rather than coverage
of factual information.
- In-depth projects that spend time looking at ideas or
concepts will be more engaging.
- Authentic instruction is one approach to providing in-depth
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