This is my last requirement for EDS 103, and it feels great to complete it! It has been a fruitful trimester. I learned much from the class. I had taken up an Educational Pyschology class in 2003, back when I had zero teaching experience. Going back to the concepts in this class with 7 years of teaching experience was an exciting ride. I could now relate as a teacher and not just as a student.
Going through my previous blog entries, I still stand by what I have written. After completing the finals and applying what I have learned, I realize I am partial to certain theories. In terms of intelligence, my biggest takeaways are multiple intelligences and emotional intelligence. Students have different strengths, and these must be appreciated. Also, the importance of emotional intelligence cannot be emphasized enough. I believe that no matter how smart you are, or how accomplished, if you do not know how to relate to other people and manage your emotions, you will be lonely and unhappy. I also appreciate self-efficacy and how to increase it. Sometimes all students need is encouragement, and they can soar to great heights.
I am also fascinated by Vygotsky’s social cognitive theory. A big part of my research as an ethnobotanist focused on biocultural diversity, which explores the intricate links between language, culture and biodiversity. There are so many different worldviews, and each culture has the worldview that is most relevant to them. I studied the perceptions of an indigenous community regarding their environment, and I could really see how different it was from my own. This theory is especially relevant as schools use their mother tongues and incorporate indigenous traditions in school curricula.
This course has definitely helped me to become a better learner. I love knowing how the mind works and I am interested in studying more about educational psychology. I have to admit though that translating theory into practice is not that easy all the time. Even if I know how I learn best, my circumstances do not always allow me to maximize my learning. I am also excited to apply these principles as a teacher when I start teaching again.
I really enjoyed this class. I found the lessons interesting, and I like how we could take charge of how much we wanted to learn. The discussion forums made me think, and my groupmates were just really awesome. Thank you very much, Teacher Malou!