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Chapter Four Discussion

Chapter 4
Randi Swann
Jamie Honigman

Each student you encounter in your teaching career will be different and individual, while conforming to their peers' standards of acceptability. Chapter 4 raises questions of this phenomenon through discussion of "measuring intelligence," "learning styles," and "gender differences and bias."

Intelligence testing was originally intended to distinguish "between children who could profit from normal classroom instruction and those who required a special education" (108). Even today, a child's potential is predicted by results of intelligence testing. What are the blatantly obvious harms of this method of "measuring children's potential? What are the positive points of intelligence testing of children? Have the changes in how children are tested made any difference in the whole process?

Different learning styles are evident in each classroom, therefore so should different teaching styles be implemented. The book suggests using different test formats so to "accurately measure what ... students have learned" (122). What are other ways to fairly include every type of learner in the classroom?

This chapter gives evidence that girls are better at some things and boys better at others. How should this information affect the way you teach? How can you avoid gender bias? As gender bias affects class participation, what can you do to avoid "loss of voice?" Randi Swann

Chapter 4 Journal Questions

Intelligence can be defined in many ways. After reading Sternberg and Gardnerís theory, I think that being intelligent means that one excels not only in intelligence testing, but also is distinguished in many classes, and is quick to catch on while learning new concepts. I do not believe that intelligence is everything, and as a teacher will always be aware of those children who make an effort to understand. I believe that everyone learns in different ways, and excels in various tasks. It is important to teach in many ways so that everyone can learn by their specific way.

All children learn from different styles of teaching. It is imperative that a teacher uses various instructional methods to engage all styles of learning at one time or another so every student has an equal opportunity to learn. There are many different learning styles that students may have including the 13 that Sternberg has thought of located on pp.121. The 4 main learning styles one will deal with as a teacher are: impulsive (students with past conceptual tempo), reflective (students who prefer to spend more time collecting information), field-dependant style (students who prefer to work within existing structure), and field-independent style (students who prefer their own structure). Because students earn in so many different ways, teachers must be flexible and learn to use a variety of teaching methods. It is also crucial to use various test formats (multiple choice, projects, short answer questions) to accurately measure what students with various styles have learned.

There are noticeable differences in the achievement patterns of males and females and in how they are taught. Girls achieve higher average scores on tasks that require quick access to verbal information in long term memory, where as boys significantly outperformed girls on tests of science knowledge. High school boys outscore girls by the widest margin in the areas f physics, chemistry, earth science and space science. No one knows why these differences exist although hormonal differences in brain structure and socialization are all thought to play a roll. As a teacher it is important not to stereotype the differences between boys and girls.

Gender bias is a large issue in society today. It is important to constantly keep gender bias in mind for it affects students in many ways. By carefully monitoring the verbal exchanges that occur among students, and intervening only when necessary, al students will feel their opinions are being heard.

Jamie Honigman