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There are several ways which a teacher could use to teach a new subject. According to Piaget’s theory the new topic must be accommodated by creating a new schema of memory for the 10 year olds. This can be done in 2 ways, discovery learning or expository learning. This respectively means that the learners can be taught the material with the basics first, and then have them explore and progress, , or to have a syllabus- like outline of everything that the topic encompasses. For example, if teaching science to 10yr olds, they could be shown how to create an experiment by doing one them selves, (Enactive learning Bruner) and then be told after completing the experiment that this is called the “scientific method” (discovery learning) They could on the other hand be told that there is something called the scientific method and this is how to use it (Ausubel)

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When teaching young children, it would probably be best to apply a learning style that could spark a deep interest in the science. This would be best done by using the discovery learning technique in that the students would be more involved in every step of the way and would have to learn fewer arbitrary concepts (which would be more difficult to learn that if they had meaning straight away) this can be done by using basic experiments that are applicable to the topic.; Once this data has been assimilated, research has shown that the knowledge is better retained over long periods of time when DL is applied in the classroom

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Ausubel’s theory would work better if the students already had a basic knowledge of the topic and more advanced learning was taking place. This would allow them to be able to link prior knowledge into what there are about to learn more efficiently Outline one study which has investigated the effects on performance of physical features in learning environments; One study which looked at the physical features in LE and their effects on performance was performed by Glass et al he looked into and investigated how performance can be affected by the presence of noise in the LE He used three different types of noise; constant, intermittent predictable and intermittent unpredictable. The results of this study can be expressed in the graph below

The results showed that if the noise was present in the learning environment, the best type for learning is constant while unpredictable noise made learning more difficult. This can be accredited to the idea that unpredictable is more distracting as it is more difficult to zone out while constant noise (predictable) can be kept in the background of the learner’s thoughts. B Discuss the problems of investigating the effects on performance of physical features in learning environments;

One big problem with investigating effects of this kind on performance is that the range of individual differences is very broad. Although research shows that people work best within a quiet environment, others work just as well in extreme noise. This has to do with the learners being introverts or extroverts as the former tend to work better in more arousing environments (Yerkes dodson arousal levels on motivation) One way in which teachers can find out what type of learner their students are is by the Myers Briggs inventory, which can specifically tell the personality of the students.

Due to the high amounts of individual differences, it can be next to impossible to nomothetically apply rules of how a class environment should be set out. Another factor which effects how environments can be used best is depending on the subject type being taught. For example, it would be very difficult to learn music in a noisy atmosphere as the sounds would interfere and distort the subject material. On the other hand PE would be less optimally taught in a quiet environment due to the high arousal level present in the nature of the subject.

Art is another example when discussing environment, as it would require more than 500 lux (as was described on the Belgrade study) to be able to work at optimum efficiency. When it comes down to it research into learning environments can never come to a valid nomothetic answer to “what environment is bests?” question All research must be ideographically to the subject and the learner should always expect for there to be exceptions to the rule

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Kylie Garcia

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