Esme Codell's Learning Theory

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Esme Codell is a fifth grade teacher at a brand new public school in Iowa. Codell is a stellar example in applying different theories to classroom practices. She applies all of the learning theories in her classroom daily. To start, Codell applies the behavioral learning theories three different principles in her classroom. The first principle is that “learning is observable and measureable” (Fetsco and McClure, BLT #1). When planning their lessons, “teachers need specific goals and objectives for their academic and behavioral interactions” (Fetsco and McClure, BLT #1). During the first couple months of being a teacher at this school, Codell made a library with all of these wonderful books for her kids. The kids could enjoy them at their leisure.…show more content…
When planning, “complicated behaviors should be broken down into component steps and instruction should be planned to teach steps in these sequences” (Fetsco and McClure, BLT #2). To reinforce this behavior, Codell has a specific sign hanging on her classroom wall. This sign is a picture of King Kong and says “Learn, think, work carefully, and check your work” (Educating Esme, pg. 24). This sign supplements that theory well because to succeed in schooling, you must do all of those things in order to apply yourself the right way. This theory connects with PST numbers 1b, 2a, and 2b. These PSTs include are indicators for how the children are doing on their work inside of the classroom and making sure there is reinforcement within the classroom to help motivate the child. The last principle in the behavioral learning theory is “learning results from the effects of stimuli on responses” (Fetsco and McClure, BLT #3). When planning a lesson, the teacher must “provide the stimuli needed to produce the desired learning” (Fetsco and McClure, BLT #3). In Codell’s classroom, there are signs and bulletins hanging up everywhere that motivate the students and make them want to learn and succeed. These…show more content…
Within this theory, there are 4 different principles. The first theory is that “meaningful learning occurs when new knowledge is connected to existing knowledge” (Fetsco and McClure, CLT #1). On page 82 of Codell’s novel, she mentions that the kids are learning about Anne Frank. To help them understand, she connects the Nazis to Klu Klux Klan, or KKK. This helps the kids understand the severity of the situation a lot better since they had already learned about the KKK. The theory relates to PST numbers 1a, 1b, and 1c. These professional standards all have to do with knowing the material well and making the appropriate connections to other things. The second principle in the cognitive learning theory is “effective instruction encourages learners to coordinate their various mental processes” (Fetsco and McClure, CLT #2). An example of this theory being used in Codell’s classroom is when they celebrate “Cajun Christmas”. This performance was very intricate and required the student’s to pay attention and encode the information or choreography that they were given and rehearse it so it can become stored in long term memory. This principle lines up with PST 1b and 1c. These standards say that students understand the material given to them and they use that material to help them grow as a learner. The third principle in the cognitive learning theory is “the limitations of students’ working memory must be accounted for in
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