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Students and the Learning Sciences

            The chapter described how learning sciences perspective has developed from the behaviourist models into the emergence of interdisciplinary field of cognitive sciences to the rise of computer technology as a platform to help children learn. The chapter also discussed several research findings and theories to include context in understanding learning and development and to provide some ideas for instructional designers to design more effective learning environment.
             I agree with the theory of Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development when students collaborate with more knowledgeable others and distributed expertise to complete the task rather than working single-handedly. A carefully managed group work will encourage critical thinking and active discussion compared to a traditional teacher-centered classroom that focused on drilling and memorisation of facts. According to Vygotsky (1978), children first develop lower mental functions such as simple perceptions, associative learning, and involuntary attention; however, through social interactions with more knowledgeable others, such as more advanced peers and adults, children eventually develop higher mental functions such as language, counting, problem solving skills, voluntary attention, and memory schemas. One example of strategy that I have experienced useful to improve students' engagement is a jigsaw learning technique that can be used in teaching listening & speaking or even reading skills. Using this technique, a reading text can be divided into parts and each parts is assigned to each students. They will become the expert for each part and are expected to share their expertise with the other students. .
             Another important theory that intrigue me is that learning setting should be similar as possible with the real world context and the learners need not to just acquire knowledge but they need to experience it and to know when to use it in real life situation.

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