Tuesday, March 25, 2014


A. Types of Learning:
During the second term the students have been working in the creation of several questionnaires regarding the way they learn in different contexts and cultures. These questionnaires were shared among the students and some were answered during the second meeting. These is the document which the students worked on:  

People learn things in many different ways, but these can be summarized into three main groups. Knowing which learning style works best for you can really make a difference to your marks.
Answer the following questions:
1. When my teacher is explaining something, I …
      a. make an effort to listen carefully. 
      b. watch the teacher and look at the board.
      c. make lots of notes.
2. I make the most progress in English, Maths, etc., when we …
      a. do exercises.
      b. work in teams.
      c. study and memorize vocabulary, mathematical formulae, historical events, etc.
3. Which of these looks most like your notebooks?
a. charts, drawings, graphs, symbolic arrows, circles and other devices to help me remember and understand what my teacher explained in class.
b. copy of my teacher´s explanations, notes and expanded information, complete sentences, etc., to be able study and memorize later on.

The Chinese proverb “I hear, I forget; I see, I remember; I do, I understand” expresses that many of us learn best when we “get our hands dirty” with the subject matter. However, recent research suggests that there is a wide variety of preferred methods for people to receive and process information.
Answer the following questions. Circle the letter of the answer that best explains your preference. Circle more than one if a single answer does not match your perception.
1. You are about to give directions to a person who is staying in a hotel in town and wants to visit you house later.
Would you:
      a. draw a map on paper?
      b. tell her the directions?
      c. write down the directions (without a map)?
d. pick her up at the hotel?
2. You are not sure whether a word should be spelled. Do you…
      c. look it up in the dictionary?
      a. see the word in your mind and choose by the way it looks?
      b. sound it out in your mind?
      d. write both versions down on a paper and chose one?
3. You have received a copy of your itinerary for a world trip. Your friend is very interested in it. Would you…
      b. tell her/him about it immediately?
      c. send her/him a copy of the printed itinerary?
      a. show her on a map of the world?
      d. share what you plan to do at each place you visit?
4. You are going to cook something for your family on a special occasion. Do you…
      d. cook something familiar without the need of instructions?
      a. use a cookbook looking for ideas from the pictures?
      c. take a cookbook and do a recipe exactly as it appears in the cookbook?
5. A group of students has been assigned to you to find out about wildlife in your country. Would you…
      d. drive them to a wildlife preserved park?
      a. show them slides, photographs?
      c. give them pamphlets or a book on wildlife preserves or parks?
      b. give them a talk on wildlife preserves or parks?
6. You are about to learn to use a new program on a computer. Would you…
      d. sit down at the keyboard and begin to
      c. read the manual that comes with the program?
      b. call a friend and ask questions about it?
7. Apart from price, what would you most influence your decision to buy a particular book?
      a. a friend talking about it.
      b. quickly reading parts of it.
      a. the way it looks.
      d. you have used a copy before.
8. Do you prefer a teacher who likes to use…
      c. a textbook, handouts, readings?
      a. flow diagrams, charts, graphs?
      d. field trips, labs, practical sessions?
      b. discussion, guest speakers?

After the students worked on the questionnaire, they put in common all their results and concerns. First in small groups; then, a representative of every small group presented their ideas to the rest of the students:
The teaching styles came to be different depending on the country or school, for example, it was highlighted the use of ICT in the Swedish school, what makes a difference in the learning styles too. On the other hand, the role of the teachers is considered to be very important, as the students demand more personal and academic attention. They find it boring the traditional classes and they claim a more visual and attractive kind of pedagogy. 
Moreover, other aspects such as economic resources and classroom organization are also discussed. The budget at schools is significant as far as resources are concerned, both for materials and the settings for students.

These are the questions given to the students: 

 How we like to learn.
 What things teachers should / should not do.
 What resources are necessary to support the kind of learning that defines us.

B: DEBATE:  “TO BE A YOUNG PERSON IN… Sweden, Germany, Spain
Despite the differences of nationality, culture, education, etc among the participant students, they share something in common without any doubt: they are adolescents in their country. They live the same concerns, the same fears, the same happiness. In order to show these similarities among the youth, we have shown some extracts or trailers from different films, with different nationality:

- Swedish filmsPlay
(Inspired by actual court cases, it portrays a group of black boys who rob a smaller group of white boys by the means of a psychological game. The film was heavily debated in the Swedish press.)

(It portrays the lives of three girls between twelve and thirteen years of age: Bobo, Klara and Hedvig. Ignored by their parents and considered strange by other people, the trio decide to start a punk band (something that only boys be doing at the time) despite agreeing that punk is dead.)

- German filmsDie Welle
(An true-based experiment in an American High School where students learn how easy it is to be seduced by the same social forces which led to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Based on a true story.)

Oh Boy
(This tragicomedy is a self-ironic portrait of a young man who drops out of university and ends up wandering the streets of the city he lives: Berlin. The film deals with the desire to participate in life and the difficulty to find one's place.)

- Spanish films: Los niños salvajes:  
(Álex, Gabi and Oki, three teenagers who live in a big city, are completely unknown for their parents, for their teachers and for themselves. Their emotional isolation, taken to the limit have unexpected and dire consequences that will shake the society.)

(A young publicist, with a successful career and a personal life that is empty, finds himself immersed in a trip around the clock to get on time to an important business meeting. During the journey he meets a girl who is travelling alone with a backpack, and that, despite their opposite ways of life, he will connect and end up remembering the more mystical and emotional time of his childhood: the last summer he spent with his friends.)

In groups and after the viewing of the films, the students think over and consider the following aspects, based on the plot of the movies:
- How do you think your future will be like?.
- The way we have fun.
- Our family doesn't  understand anything.
- My friends are the only ones who know who I really am.
- Which things are we worried about?.
Each group was in charge of the reflection of one of the questions. After discussing them, they have represented in sketches their answers.

TO BE A YOUNG PERSON IN... Sweden, Germany, Spain from Daniel Moreno on Vimeo.

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