The Different Aspects of the Learning Environment

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2A. The context for teaching and learning incorporates and refers to the following learning environments: physical, social, personal, and content-specific. The physical contexts for teaching and learning may include things like desk arrangements, classroom temperature, room lighting, classroom design and capacity, time of day, and so on (Shulman, 2004). Palmer (1998) says, “good teaching is always essentially communal [and] that teaching cannot be reduced to technique” (pg. 115). He then goes on to say “engaging students in the community of truth does not require that we put the chairs in a circle and have a conversation. A sense of connected can also be generated—in classes large and small—through lectures, lab exercises, fieldwork,…show more content…
This is a reminder of what is occurring in teaching and learning in the larger social context.
Personal contexts of teaching and learning incorporate what is brought to the table by both the instructor and the students, which may include predispositions, experiences, and perspectives. Rose (1989), mentions that he grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of violence (pg. 17) and was not much of a shining star in school (pg. 34), so he clearly understood what the students, who came from a similar background, were going through when he began teaching. During the time that Rose worked with Veterans, he knew right off the bat the reasons these individuals came to him – his experience with the education system. Rose says, “the men wanted to change their lives, and for all their earlier failures, they still held onto an American dream: Education held the power to equalize things” (pg. 137). Rose was able to relate to the Veterans struggles because he experienced the same things they did, which is a similar case to Escalante’s experience with his students.
Shulman (2004) says that content-specific contexts of teaching and learning is what the subject itself presents to the classroom, which may include instructional material and theoretical vantage points (pg. 204). Instructors need to make sure they do not overly contextualize subject matter that is being presented to the students when incorporating content into the course (Bransford, J.D. et al., 2000; Class Discussion). Does
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