Model for the Creation of
Meaningful Community College Learning Experiences
by Annette Bell,
Lisa Ford, and Khaki Wunderlich
Our sabbatical leave
project (2002) involved examining research-based learning theories to
develop a theoretical model for developing a curriculum, methodology,
and assessment in the community college. The use of our model encourages
the creation of meaningful learning experiences guided by valuing the
unique learner, creating a learning-centered environment, and facilitating
the construction of individual meaning.
In the last fifteen
years, researchers in the brain sciences and cognitive psychology have
been uncovering remarkable new findings on how the brain learns. After
studying this work and the theorists interpreting what new science research
means for education, we've found ourselves squarely in the constructivist
camp. We continue to wrestle with the idea of "brain-based"
learning, and we acknowledge the gap between current brain research
and practical application in the classroom. However, we also believe
that as educators, we are in a unique position to help close the gap.
We can help make connections between our classroom experience, science
research, and social science research. In that spirit, we invite you
to explore the theoretical model we have created for use in the community
Our model is a framework
community college teachers can use to create/modify complex learning
experiences. The model celebrates what good teachers are already doing
in their classrooms and embraces the challenge of integrating what new
research tells us about how the brain learns.
The three elements
of our theoretical model are presented sequentially. However, the hypertext
design of the model allows readers to find their own, personally meaningful
paths through our discussion. Because each of us wrote a section of
the model, readers will hear three distinct voices, each with a unique
point of view. Together our voices (and the elements of our model) form
a harmonious discourse. We invite you to add
your voice to our dialogue on learning.
Table of Contents
Our manuscript draft (A
Model for the Creation of Meaningful Community College Learning Experiences)
needs editing. If you'd like to read the rough draft and/or participate
in the editing process, we would welcome your participation. Please
contact us, and we'll give you instructions for obtaining the draft.
Meanwhile, reading Part 4 below (Conclusion) will give you an overview
of the model sections.
Part 1 - The Learning
by Annette Bell
Part 2 - The Unique
by Khaki Wunderlich
Part 3 - The Construction
of Individual Meaning
by Lisa Ford
4 - Conclusion
I - Why should educators study brain research?
Appendix II - Basic Brain Anatomy
Appendix III - Glossary
Appendix IV - References