Essay: Situated learning

Situated learning is a type of learning that allows individual learners to learn through socializing with other people, or with knowledgeable people or through observing and imitating real activities in real life situations. The above mentioned practice builds on participation and observation in activity.
Situated learning is based on practical activities whereby learners gain beneficial knowledge that they ought to get from schools. In the past years, learners were taught things that were not really useful to them in their everyday life. Learners need to learn or acquire skills or knowledge that are relevant to their lives, and that might be related to the career that they are going to choose in the near future.
Situated learning declared that thinking, learning and doings cannot be separated from the practical and social situations in which they occur. They work in harmony
When the teacher allows learners to have an opportunity to participate, demonstrate and interact their own thoughts, this will build their cognition abilities. Learners will acquire specific skills by observing, visualize, hear and listen by having someone to imitate or follow.
In situated learning, learner’s works through participating in a particular activity of a certain community. Participation involves joining in with the community or group of people who are performing that activity. For example, if a learner wants to know to design clothes or wants to become a fashion designer, he will probably join a group of people who design different types of clothes. In this way a learner will gain his designing experience through doing and from there, he will be able to become productive in his life after mastering the designing skills.
Teaching method -Demonstration
The teaching method that I will use in situated learning perspective is demonstration. It is the process of teaching through giving or showing examples, or acting out situations or carries out experiments. Demonstration can be used as a proof or evidence about whatever theory or situation explained to the learners, through a combination of visual evidence (of things that you can really see with your eyes) and associated reasoning.
Demonstration gives learners an opportunity to relate to the presented information individually and reinforce memory storage, because they provide the link between facts and real world implementation of those facts.
Heather (2009) on his education reference article when he explained the demonstration method of teaching stated that: ‘when using the demonstration model in the classroom, the teacher or some other expert on the topic being taught, perform the tasks step-by-step so that the learner will be able to complete the same task independently. After performing the demonstration, the teacher’s role becomes supporting students in their attempts, providing guidance and feedback and offering suggestions for alternative approaches.
Implementing the practice in my teaching, using demonstration method to improve learning
According to the situated learning perspective, people learn through participation and we participate by joining the group of people who are experts or experienced in carrying out a particular activity. To implement the practice of working to bring authentic practice into the classroom, a learner need to be able to do things or carry out tasks appropriately in real life situations . And the teacher or an expert from a certain community of practice will act as a scaffold in this situation, by carrying out demonstrations.
In English language teaching under the speaking domain, I will implement this practice in teaching my learners about how to give (deliver) a speech in public. Firstly I will teach my learners about what is a speech, how people present speeches and what is the layout of a speech, in presenting it as well as in writing, and also about the main components of a speech such as: The speech should be logically written (should have an introduction, body and conclusion) speaker should be relaxed and try to be calm even when he knows that he is nervous, speech should be interesting, the speaker should use the body language correctly. I will also demonstrate to learners by giving them a short speech as an example.
Secondly I will invite an expert from the community of practice, a person who deliver speeches at different occasions to my class. This person will demonstrate to my learners about how people present speeches, so that they can improve their skills. After the expert’s presentation, learners will be given an opportunity to ask questions, I will also ask them questions to check what they have captured from the presentation. Then I will ask them to work in collaboration with each other in groups, to come up with a speech following the layout that I taught them, and then they should choose a presenter from their groups to present the speech to class. After the group’s presentations, they will be given a chance to comment or make suggestions about others presentations.
As the learners become able to perform the task on their own effectively, more tasks are given, until they master the tasks of speeches presentations. Learners will then be given a task to prepare their own speeches, individually. Before presentations, they will be given opportunities to rehearse. Firstly, they will submit their speeches that they wrote down (draft). I will give those comments and suggestions. In the second rehearsal they will present their speeches in class, this will be done with the purpose to increase their fluency in reading, and to remind them of speech presentation strategies such as: use of voice, facial expressions, and use of body language. Then I will ask them to make changes in their speeches where necessary. Finally they will present their speeches again with an expert observing them. The expert would give comments after the presentations. If possible the presentations should be recorded or videotaped.
From the situated learning perspective, learning is a process that does not take place in an individual mind, but it takes place in a situated learning. In the case of situated practice of speech presentation rehearsal, the teacher as an instructor and the learners constructed the changes in participation that were observed as the learners developed skills from peripheral to fuller participation. In these process learners participation was transformed through demonstration and the teacher’s participation complemented the learner’s learning.

Source: Essay UK -

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