Aiou Solved Assignments code 8611 Autumn 2019 assignments 1 and 2 Critical Thinking and Reflective Practices (8611) spring 2019. aiou past papers.
AIOU Solved Assignments 1 & 2 Code 8611 Autumn 2019
Critical Thinking and Reflective Practices (8611)
B. Ed (2/5, 1/5 Years)
ASSIGNMENT No. 01
Q.1 Why to you think critically thinking is important for teachers and learning’s in twenty century?
Today, critical thinking is considered as one of the most important skills for career success and an essential component of life in the information age.
Academia, business and policy makers all concur on its importance. The USA-based Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) organization and the American Management Association list it as a key 21st century skill “expected to become even more important in the future.”
In the context of the UAE and the national agenda, it gains even more importance as ensuring students are equipped with critical thinking skills is primordial to achieving a competitive knowledge based economy.
Critical thinking has been identified as a key skill to foster innovation. Research shows that critical thinking and creativity are correlated. Critical thinking training is becoming common practice in the workplace to help develop employees’ innovation skills.
It is a required building block for a STEM education. Subjects in the STEM curriculum teach students how to think critically and how to solve problems — skills that can be used throughout life to help them get through tough times and take advantage of opportunities whenever they appear.
On both accounts, critical thinking is key to the fulfillment of the UAE’s aspiration outlined in the Vision 2021 that “science, technology and innovation become the real drivers for sustainable socio-economic development” and tangible goals outlined in the recently launched Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy. In fact, it permeates many of the strategic sectors and focus areas outlined in the policy.
In this context, critical thinking becomes more than a skill; it’s a mindset, often requiring a culture shift. For us educators, we recognize that is easier to create a culture rather than shift it. Therefore, we believe that nurturing critical thinking from a young age at school is essential for it to become a constructive, life-long habit.
One educational system that has adopted critical thinking as an essential part of its curriculum and teaching method is progressive education.
It is a system that relies on active learning methods for children, starting from a very young age. It provides a framework for the learning and teaching methods that can encourage critical and independent thinking in children and facilitates the process of learning in students. Leading educators agree that a curriculum aimed at building thinking skills would benefit not only the individual learner but also the community, and society at large.
Against this new paradigm, the role of education, teachers and students inevitably must change. Today the role of the teacher in a progressive environment is very much different to that in a traditional classroom. Teachers need to move from primarily being the information keeper and information dispenser to being an enabler of learning where knowledge is co-constructed with the student.
Teachers will become facilitators, guides, mentors, sources and resources that support children in acquiring independent thinking and ‘learning for life’, stemming from the unique blend of traditional and experiential learning that progressive education offers.
At Clarion, the only school to date offering progressive education in the UAE, our teachers have the benefit of experience with and education from the world’s leader in progressive education, the NY-based Bank Street. In recognition of the increasing importance of progressive education, Bank Street has been tasked by the US Department of Education to guide the development of the curricula of schools around the United States to equip the students with the optimal education to prepare them for STEM-based and other priority 21st century careers.
Empowered with the right education and values, children who grow up in the UAE have an opportunity to become truly global citizens and role models to children all over the world.
As educators, it is our responsibility to ignite in them a natural curiosity for the world around them, the confidence to develop their independence of thinking and harness their joy for learning. It’s a gift they will carry with them throughout their entire lives and one that will serve them well as they grow into the leaders, innovators, scientists and shapers of tomorrow.
AIOU Solved Assignments 1 Code 8611 Autumn 2019
AIOU Solved Assignments Code 8611
Q.2 How can you apply any one of the theories of critically thinking in the elementary classroom of Pakistan? Give a specific example.
Critical Theory (or “social Critical Theory”) is a school of thought that stresses the reflective assessment and critique of society and culture by applying knowledge from the social sciences and the humanities. As a term, Critical Theory has two meanings with different origins and histories: the first originated in sociology and the second originated in literary criticism, whereby it is used and applied as an umbrella term that can describe a theory founded upon critique; thus, the theorist Max Horkheimer described a theory as critical insofar as it seeks “to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them”.
In sociology and political philosophy, the term Critical Theory describes the neo-Marxist philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which was developed in Germany in the 1930s. This use of the term requires proper noun capitalization, whereas “a critical theory” or “a critical social theory” may have similar elements of thought, but not stress its intellectual lineage specifically to the Franfurt School. Frankfurt School theorists drew on the critical methods of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Critical Theory maintains that ideology is the principal obstacle to human liberation. Critical Theory was established as a school of thought primarily by the Frankfurt School theoreticians Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, and Erich Fromm. Modern Critical Theory has additionally been influenced by György Lukács and Antonio Gramsci, as well as the second generation Frankfurt School scholars, notably Jürgen Habermas. In Habermas’s work, Critical Theory transcended its theoretical roots in German idealism, and progressed closer to American pragmatism. Concern for social “base and superstructure” is one of the remaining Marxist philosophical concepts in much of contemporary Critical Theory.
While critical theorists have been frequently defined as Marxist intellectuals, their tendency to denounce some Marxist concepts and to combine Marxian analysis with other sociological and philosophical traditions has resulted in accusations of revisionism by Classical, Orthodox, and Analytical Marxists, and by Marxist-Leninist philosophers. Martin Jay has stated that the first generation of Critical Theory is best understood as not promoting a specific philosophical agenda or a specific ideology, but as “a gadfly of other systems”.
CRITICAL THEORY AND EDUCATION
Though relatively few educators–including educational technologists–appear to concern themselves directly with critical theory (McLaren, 1994a), a number of influential educators are pursuing the theory in one or more of its current manifestations. Henry Giroux and Peter McLaren are among the best known of today’s critical theorists, and we find critical theorists working across a spectrum of intellectual frames: postmodernism (Peters, 1995); critical pedagogy (Kanpol, 1994); power (Apple, 1993; Cherryholmes, 1988); teaching (Beyer, 1986; Gibson, 1986; Henricksen & Morgan, 1990; Simon, 1992; Weiler & Mitchell, 1992); curriculum (Apple, 1990; Giroux, Penna & Pinar, 1981; Beyer & Apple, 1988; Pinar, 1988; Castenell & Pinar, 1993); feminist pedagogies (Ellsworth, 1989a; Lather, 1991; Luke & Gore, 1992); teacher education (Sprague, 1992); mass media/communications studies (Hardt, 1993); vocational-technical studies (Davis, 1991); research summaries about critical theory (Ewert, 1991); and research using methods of the critical sciences (Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Grumet, 1992).
At least two publications attend in depth to Habermasian critical theory in education. Ewert (1991) has written a comprehensive analysis of the relationships of Habermasian critical theory to education, and in A Critical Theory of Education, Young (1990) tries to present a rather complete picture of Habermas’s critical theory and its relations to education. Young says that critical theorists believe that extreme rationalization has lent itself to the further development of an alienated culture of manipulation. In the science of education, this led to a view of pedagogy as manipulation, while curriculum was divided into value-free subjects and value-based subjects where values were located decisionistically. The older view of pedagogy as a moral/ethical and practical art was abandoned (p. 20).
Young (1990) further points out that Habermas and other critical theorists believe that:
We are on the threshold of a learning level characterised by the personal maturity of the decentered ego and by open, reflexive communication which fosters democratic participation and responsibility for all. We fall short of this because of the one-sided development of our rational capacity for understanding (p. 23).
Another seminal thinker who is responsible for several notions of critical theory in education is Paulo Freire. Freire’s work, especially Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire, 1969), has been very influential in critical-education circles:
Freire’s project of democratic dialogue is attuned to the concrete operations of power (in and out of the classroom) and grounded in the painful yet empowering process of conscientization. This process embraces a critical demystifying moment in which structures of domination are laid bare and political engagement is imperative. This unique fusion of social theory, moral outrage, and political praxis constitutes a kind of pedagogical politics of conversation in which objects of history constitute themselves as active subjects of history* ready to make a fundamental difference in the quality of the lives they individually and collectively live. Freire’s genius is to explicate … and exemplify … the dynamics of this process of how ordinary people can and do make history in how they think, feel, act, and love (West, 1993, p. xiii).
AIOU Solved Assignments 2 Code 8611 Autumn 2019
AIOU Solved Assignments Code 8611
Q.3 Elaborate any three strategies of developing critical classroom interaction, which is the best among these in your opinion
Teaching critical thinking skills is a necessity with our students because they’re crucial for living life. As such, every teacher is looking for exciting ways to integrate it into classrooms. However, what exactly are these skills, and what are some of the best strategies teachers can use for teaching them?
Thinking critically is more than just thinking clearly or rationally; it’s about thinking independently. It means formulating your own opinions and drawing your conclusions regardless of outside influence. It’s about the discipline of analysis and seeing the connections between ideas, and being wide open to other viewpoints and opinions.
You can use these techniques for teaching critical thinking skills in every lesson and subject. Get creative and find different ways to incorporate them into your teaching practices.
1. BEGIN WITH A QUESTION
Starting with a question is the most straightforward foray into the subject. What do you want to explore and discuss? It shouldn’t be a question you can answer with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ You want to develop essential questions here, ones that inspire a quest for knowledge and problem-solving. They’ll support the development of critical thinking skills beautifully.
When you pose your question to students, encourage brainstorming. Write down possible answers on a chalkboard or oversized pad as a student reference. Having open discussions with students is a big part of defining the problem in Solution Fluency.
2. CREATE A FOUNDATION
Students cannot think critically if they do not have the information they need. Begin any exercise with a review of related data which ensures they can recall facts pertinent to the topic. These may stem from things like:
- reading assignments and other homework
- previous lessons or exercises
- a video or text
3. CONSULT THE CLASSICS
Classical literary works are a perfect launch pad for exploring great thinking. Use them for specific lessons on character motivation, plot predictions, and theme. Here are some links to explore for resources:
- Skeptic North
- Shakespeare and Critical Thinking
- The Critical Thinking Community
4. CREATING A COUNTRY
This could be a tremendous project-based learning scenario about learning what makes a country. In the process, students learn history, geography, politics, and more. Here are some resources to help you:
- The Geography Site
- Could You Start Your Own Country?
- How to Start Your Own Micro-nation
5. USE INFORMATION FLUENCY
Mastering the proper use of information is crucial to our students’ success in school and life. It’s about learning how to dig through knowledge to find the most useful and appropriate facts for solving a problem. Students must learn to amass the proper expertise to inform their thinking. Teaching critical thinking skills can be supported by an understanding of Information Fluency.
6. UTILIZE PEER GROUPS
There is comfort in numbers, as the saying goes. Digital kids thrive in environments involving teamwork and collaboration. Show kids their peers are an excellent source of information, questions, and problem-solving techniques.
AIOU Solved Assignments Code 8611 Autumn 2019
AIOU Solved Assignments Code 8611
Q.4 Write a dairy record of a full day of your life? Write down a detailed reflection in a day using the guideline of reflective writing?
“Your words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Your words are the greatest power you have. The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.” – Sonia Choquette
Whether we are young or old, we all have a story to tell, something to express and to offer the world. Writing activities, and in particular reflective writing, fosters our creativity which is driven by our life experiences. A growing body of research finds that writing about our responses to events, situations or new information can have a variety of health benefits.
Reviewing aspects of our lives (its setbacks and positive aspects) can help manage stress, anxiety and depression, improve mood, self-esteem and positive thinking, help process broken relationships, help ease symptoms associated with trauma, chronic pain and illness, and even strengthen our immune system.
Writer Ann Turkle says that, in effect, journaling “becomes a record of generous attention paid to the immediate moment.” Setting aside time to write and reflect helps us make sense of the world around us, validates our experiences, helps us regroup and find balance in our busy lives, and be a vehicle for decision making, change and growth.
By writing, we have the opportunity to build a blueprint, a moral compass by which we live and how we treat others.
If journal writing helps us become better communicators, how do we get started?
1. Begin with a gracious heart: writing for ourselves is not about being the best writer, having the correct spelling and grammar, or even having the nicest handwriting. Letting go of what we think we should write about requires courage and can lead to boundless creative possibilities. A journal is a safe place for us to work things out, express our innermost feelings and engage with our own thoughts.
2. Set the tone: Carve out a special time and place to write. We each have a time of day when we are more productive. For some, writing in the mornings is more productive and helps face the day while others prefer writing in the evening to help process the day’s events. Whether in a quiet area of the house, or in a bustling coffee shop, finding the right time and environment for reflective writing can help us relax. Carrying a small journal in our bag or purse can help us record and retrieve special moments in our day.
3. Decide what type of journal to begin: Gratitude journals focus on life’s blessings, prayer journals record life moments or people in need prayer, and personal development journals track career goals. Fitness journals help maintain accountability and encouragement with healthier living choices, travel journals record experiences encountering new places and people, and art journals serve as a way to collect inspirational thoughts, images, sketches and clippings. Take your pick! 4. Use a variety of reflective prompts: a) Ask questions with a limit: Write about two moments you’ll never forget, five words that best describe you and 10 things that make you smile. Limiting ourselves to certain parameters helps us focus.
b) Stream of consciousness writing: Based on Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way, write down whatever comes to mind for three minutes. Putting un-edited thoughts to paper is an excellent meditative practice for our busy lives. c) Write a letter to yourself: Record your goals, what you want your life to look like in a year’s time, and ways you can attempt to achieve it. Seal it and open it in six months to see how you are doing. d) Pick a memento: Choose an object and write about when, where and from who it was received. Discuss its importance and meaning. Objects have the power to open floodgates to meaningful memories.
5. Seek out community resources: Look for local writers’ groups either at the library or community centre, local creative arts classes that have writing components, or even swap ideas with friends and family.
Remind yourself there is not a right or wrong way to write reflectively; it’s a “space for questions that may not have answers, a place for thoughts that may otherwise not have a home and a safe container for emotions so that they do not have to be loose in the world.” (Kelly Brown)
AIOU Solved Assignments 1 & 2 Autumn 2019 Code 8611
AIOU Solved Assignments Code 8611
Q.5 Use Gibbs model and write a reflection report of an interaction between two students or between two teachers in a school environment?
Over the last three months we have been taking part in a number of different activities, which wouldn’t normally be included in Physical Education in schools. These included Tai Chi, Martial Arts, Rowing, Skipping and Parkour just to name a few. Whitehead (2010) suggested that by acquiring a range of movement skills and patterns I would find it easier to access a variety of structured physical activity settings. By taking part in these activities I was able to develop my own knowledge and skills and also see how I could take these activities and develop my skills in that area to then bring them into schools when I become a physical educator. These different activities gave me a chance to develop other parts of physical literacy such as confidence, motivation and self-expression (Whitehead 2010).
Most of the sessions that I had taken part in I had never done before and therefore wasn’t physically literate in those areas, some of the sessions also put us into new learning environments, especially rowing. It is important that we experience different activity settings as physical competence will be enhanced, only by experiencing a range of settings will movement patterns and skills be challenged (Whitehead 2010).
For the first few sessions I was injured and was unable to take part in the activities therefore I was able to observe the group and watch their development through each activity and also see if I noticed any reoccurring incidents. One thing I did notice was the divide between the males and females of the group and the different levels of confidence they had. Lirgg (1993) found that males preferred mixed sex classes in schools as they felt more confident, however the females preferred same sex classes as there was more student involvement because there was only females in the class.
Another thing that was noticed was the different levels of motivation the students had for each different activity. Whitehead (2010) defined motivation to be a drive and eagerness to take part, we need to be motivated to thrive in movement skills, maintain ability we already have and make progress.
The majority of sports we took part in caused some of us to feel apprehensive and nervous about taking part as we had never tried them before. However, there were a few sports activities that didn’t really cause any of us to feel apprehensive, which were handball and volleyball. This was because these sports activities had been carried out before in schools or clubs, I also think as we were in teams and it became really competitive as a group we fell back into our comfort zones. Whereas street dance and Tai Chi definitely made us feel out of our comfort zones, this was because a lot of us hadn’t experienced activities where we had to express ourselves with body movements and non-verbal communication.
Some individuals found this quite hard as they seemed to feel embarrassed, we were asked to get into groups and make up a routine to show at the end of the session, out of eight groups only two volunteered to perform as the majority of us were all too embarrassed and didn’t feel comfortable doing it. Comfort zones can be defined as an image that is formed of us, DePaul (2011) suggested that by letting go of the fear of making mistakes will help individuals learn to accept mistakes will be made and try to compete anyway. When comparing this reaction to that of Handball there was a huge difference in confidence levels and motivation levels just because that competitive team environment is what we are used to.
When I found out what activities we were going to be doing in this module I felt very excited and motivated to take part in all of them. Whitehead (2010) proposed that young individuals need to be aware of different activities and the movement demands they possess, they also need to gain a rich variety of experiences, therefore it was going to be really beneficial to us to try these new activities.
A few of the sessions, for example martial arts and rowing, I was feeling very apprehensive about before, martial arts being something I had never done before and new it would include some sort of wrestling which I didn’t feel comfortable about and rowing something that I had always wanted to try but had never been brave enough.
By trying these new sports which I wasn’t used to taking part in I was able to see how I cope when out of my comfort zone or in a different environment. Whitehead (2010) suggested that a physically literate individual is able to read the environment taking shape, size, weight, surface and speed into account All of these can be linked to rowing, and all of which I found really difficult to read and cope with, however as the rowing session went on I feel that I progressed and was able to adapt to the environment and become more literate.
Taking part in all of the different activities was really beneficial for my own personal development through Physical Education. I was able to experience and attempt skills that I had never tried before and learn and progress at the same time. A few of the skills really tested our motivation and confidence levels and put us out of our comfort zones, for example Martial Arts.
We had to practice movements on a partner which were sometimes a bit uncomfortable and close, however this is what we had to do to learn the skill, and the amount of confidence we had and motivation was what kept us attempting the skills. Whitehead (2010) realises that complex environments can include those where we move as individuals without any equipment or we experience unpredictable situations and we have to interact and move with another individual. Physically literate individuals should hold enough physical competence to succeed in these challenges (Whitehead 2010).
Teacher interactions was one really good experience that I took from the different physical activities, in Handball, the coach really interacted with us and was asking questions on what our team was doing well and what we needed to do to improve and try and win. Whitehead (2010) suggested that the interaction between the coach and the participant is critical for the development of physical literacy. However in Parkour, the coach seemed to become frustrated when students decided they couldn’t carry out the tasks and they wanted to sit out, a good coach in order to develop physical literacy needs to be alert to individuals responses adapt and redirect the tasks so that participants do want to take part (Whitehead 2010). Observing these different types of teacher interactions helped me learn which the best way to help students progress in their lessons.
AIOU Solved Assignments Code 8611