Thursday, December 6, 2018

A Year in Learning at Elk Grove: AP Spanish Literature and Culture - Defining Learning

by Dean Sanchis, Jackelyn Campos, Daniel Salgado-Alvarez, and Mark Heintz

This is part of a blog series intended to document and define learning at Elk Grove High School throughout the 2018-2019 school year in order to increase student learning, give professionals autonomy, increase trust in our learning community, and foster a sense of personal-intellectual collegiality within the building across departments. You can read all of the previous posts here.  I am going into each teacher's class four times and then they are reflecting alongside their students on the learning that took place and what they hope for.

In this second visit, I asked the teacher and the student two questions: how do they define learning? Under what conditions do people learn best?  In an attempt to have all stakeholders have a similar definition of learning, the teacher and the students answered them, publish them, and then have conversations surrounding their beliefs on learning. This is what they came up with:

Learning is:
  • personal.
  • solving problems.
  • applicable to new situations.
Learning occurs best when:
  • people collaborate. 
  • it's hands on. 
  • it's repetitive.


How do you define learning?

Dean Sanchis (Teacher Dean Sanchis): Cuando aƱades algo de valor y relevancia personal y colectiva a tu ser.

When you add something of value or personal and collective relevance to your personal life and identity.

Jackelyn Campos (Student): I define learning as the process is where we gain knowledge or skills on a particular subject and then apply them to real-life or theoretical situations. It is the process where we are able to solve problems with the knowledge that was taught to us or which we acquired by reading.

Daniel Salgado-Alvarez (Student): Gaining knowledge and being able to interpret and apply it to various situations. While you might not know everything, you are able to use previous knowledge to understand unknown topics.

How do you believe people learn best?

Dean Sanchis (Teacher Dean Sanchis): In collaboration with others, pursuing personal interests,  and self-discovery.

Jackelyn Campos (Student): I believe people learn best by learning hands-on, for example in science courses through labs. Repetition is also a major key to be able to learn something thoroughly and clearly. However, repetition doesn’t always mean making students memorize things, this approach can be taken on by presenting students with the same subject in different ways.

Daniel Salgado-Alvarez (Student):  I think people learn the best when they are exposed to the material in multiple formats and repeated exposure (reading, lecture, discussion, etc…).

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