RE: Self regulation and perhaps joint educational activity

From: White, Phillip (
Date: Sat Apr 30 2005 - 07:28:54 PDT

Nate, you wrote:

Put another way, it is an example of learning activity running smothly
without many bumps in the road. I have always been moved more towards
examples where there are struggles and conflict with learning activity.
I do think the undergrad relating to that particular learner is very
typical. I wonder what a field note from an undergard who relates to the
learner where things do not run smoothly would look like.

          Nate, i think that the fact that the interaction moved along so effortlessly was precisely because there was no learning going on - rather the relational patterns of student, homework, tutor were maintained without any demands that the student T actually learn something. instead, the emphasis was on what's the next trick to pick up - so perhaps the new trick was the new learning, but on a deeper level, the old learning that math is a series of tricks to be reproduced was maintained. for example, most students learn to multiply by the large number written over the smaller number. what happens when a three digit number is placed as a sentence following a four digit number - in a horizontal line? what deeper understandings does the student have about what constitutes multiplication so that the numbers don't have to be first placed one on top of the other?

based on what T was doing, i'd bet that she is in fifth grade. one clue about how she didn't understand what consitutes volumn was when she run up into the different shapes than what she had been used to. then it seemed that she wasn't sure what she was looking for.

of course all this is extrapolation on my part. but as an elementary school teacher - and as a teacher who works with teacher candidates - i'm always looking for the evidence above and beyond the right answer that demonstrates understanding.


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