Experiences in ED-LTCY 346 class at Boise State University are based on the following beliefs about learning: (adapted from Dr. Kathy Short)
Learning is an active process.
o We will immerse ourselves in reading and responding in a variety of ways.
Learning is a social process of collaboration with others.
o We will explore our thinking about our reading through dialogue in small groups. Opportunities for informal interaction and sharing about literature will also occur in both small and whole group experiences.
Learning occurs when we make connections to our own experiences.
o We will respond to literature by making personal connections to our reading and then by exploring and critically examining those responses in literature circles with other readers.
Choices allow learners to connect to their experiences and feel ownership in the curriculum.
o We will have choices in what we read, how we respond, and the specific focus of projects and small group activities.
Learning occurs in a multicultural world that honors many ways of knowing.
o We will explore literature from a multicultural perspective, expanding our understanding of the cultural pluralism in children’s lives and in literature.
Learning is reflective as well as active.
o We will have many opportunities to reflect on what we are learning through writing, art, talking, reflections and self-evaluations.
Learning is a process of inquiry.
o As learners, we search out questions we care about and we develop strategies for exploring those questions and for sharing our learning and understanding with others.
Learners bring a variety of linguistic and cognitive strengths from their families, communities and nations into the classroom; these strengths are resources to be appreciated as such by educators.
Education must expand on the linguistic and cognitive strengths that learners already possess and bring with them to the classroom, rather than ignore or try to replace them with others.
Respect and appreciation for cultural and community knowledge means that universities serve the interest of education when they allow for an exchange of views, rather than rely exclusively on a transmission model of instruction.