Why I Hate Gleebooks

It invariably astonishes me whenever I walk into Gleebooks how they manage to have so many things that I absolutely must have, on the most obscure topics, in such a limited space. Sometimes I wonder if there is some sort of ‘time and relative dimensions in space’ trickery going on.

Oh, except for business and marketing books. They are crap on business and marketing, but hey, what do you expect – it’s Glebe, people!

Anyhow, wandered in yesterday and wandered out with this lot (plus Iain Banks’ latest, but that’s another story);

Contemporary Theories of Learning, by Knud Illeris

One of the things that I am a little concerned about is my lack of exposure to learning theory. While it may not be necessary to have a sound grasp of the diversity of theory to be an excellent classroom teacher, I would like to at least underst

and the landscape of the field. This book sounds like an excellent start – Illeris has compiled chapters from works by sixteen different authors (including himself), giving a good introduction to their ideas on learning.

Amongst others, Bruner is here, as well as Gardner and his multiple intelligences. Beyond these two, plenty more I have not even heard of so it promises to be an interesting and diverse read.

Children as Philosophers: Learning through Enquiry and Dialogue in the Primary Classroom, by Joanna Haynes

From discussions so far, this sounds like an excellent extension and support to the pedagogical approac
The book presents material both on how to create philosophical dialogue within the classroom (with sections on participation, listening, even meditation), as well as more strategic discussions that address the types of thinking that these approaches result in, and perhaps most importantly asking what the advantages of philosophical modes of thought may be for primary school children.hes we are touching on in HSIE (and hopefully elsewhere). While very grounded in academic research, Haynes presents what appears to be a very readable resource for teachers wanting to explore philosophical ways of thinking in the classroom.

Metacognition in Young Children, by Shirley Larkin

This one is a little more hardcore, very academically situated – but again, written in an accessible way and written with the intent to provide advice on how academic learnings can be taken into the classroom.

Larkin initially describes metacognition as “the process of reflecting on our own thinking and keeping track of how our thinking is getting us closer to or further away from our goal” (p.3). While very goal-oriented, the idea of ‘thinking about thinking’ is one that has already come up in a number of readings and discussions. While we seem to have made the transition (or extension) beyond teaching content to teaching process, it sounds like most teaching still stops short of teaching the ‘meta-how’. In a discussion of the use of inquiry method (which seems to be a core part of HSIE in particular), there was no clarity of opinion on whether (And if so when) to teach the method itself. I am looking forward to seeing what Larkin has to say about how we can (or should) scaffold children’s thinking in this way.

So, now all I need to do is get through my readings and assignments so that I have some time to read this stuff. I guess that’s what non-teaching weeks are for. (Anyone have a rationale for why we call it a ‘non-teaching week’ rather than a ‘break’ or something?)

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