T-Gem summary chart

Key Words Guiding philosophies Key design points Participant role Teacher role Benefits Drawbacks Associated technology
Anchored Instruction Authentic contexts Constructivism, Cognitive apprenticeship, Social Cognitive Theory, inquiry Knowledge is constructed through engagement with richly details and complex problems. Real life situations Problem solver, Researcher, Data gatherer Facilitator, Error correction, occasional hints, scaffolding as needed Highly engaging. Transferable problem solving skills,. Authentic contexts Very time consuming, requires at least 1 device per small group, may lead to high student frustration, limited supply of availabel materials Jasper Lessons
SKI Evidence based revision of conceptions Constructivism, Social Cognitive Theory, inquiry 1) making thinking visible, (2) making science accessible,
(3) helping students learn from each other, and (4) promoting lifelong learning.
Revisor of personal knowledge, Connector of concepts, Activity designer, provider of pivotal cases, directing integration of conceptions with new knowledge and evidence Flexible related authoring environment (WISE), promotes flexible thinking Must monitor carefully for alternative conceptions, limited resources available as yet for lower grades. Smaller groups may require more technology resources WISE
LfU Making learning useful Constructivism, Cognitive apprenticeship, Situated cognition, inquiry Learning is most effective when it is directed at a goal. How knowledge is constructed determines how it will be used in the future. To be useful, knowledge must be converted from declarative to procedural knowledge Problem solver, concept revisor, data gatherer Poser of problems, Just in time knowledge provider High relevance to students’ home context Complex tools for younger students. Activities may need revision to reflect home context. Data may be hard for younger students to digest ArcGis
T-Gem Iterative thinking Constructivism, inquiry Using technology, generate hypotheses, evaluate them, and modify the hypotheses according to the results Theorist, Tester/experimenter, Research evaluator Provide tools/simulations and background knowledge. Confirm accuracy of final conceptions/models Models the real work of scientists. Builds pattern recognition Give a false sense of the ease  of generating data. Requires significant lateral thinking ChemLand, PHET simulations


  1. Hello Everyone,

    Sorry for the comment post but I could find a good way to type over or above the chart. The above chart represents my thoughts on the varies strategies in this unit. It appears that they all share significant similarities in terms of guiding philosophies (constructivism, inquiry, cognitive apprenticeship/situated learning, and social cognition). LFU and anchored instruction seem to represent a category of central problem based startegies where T-gem and SKI focus on the reorganization of concpets and knowledge.

    In terms of my own practice, I am moving away from lecture and demo style teaching into more discovery learning. My role is shifting from transmissive to correcting misconceptions as students work, providing dissonant information, and using probing “what if” questions to get students to consider additional perspectives and information.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      What a concise chart summarizing all four learning environments! The advantages and disadvantages you have included also give insight on which learning environments work with particular classrooms and students. I have really enjoyed this module because of the practical aspects it offers for teachers who are wanting to diverge away from the lecture based, teacher directed learning.

  2. “My role is shifting from transmissive to correcting misconceptions as students work, providing dissonant information, and using probing “what if” questions to get students to consider additional perspectives and information.”

    I think that this is a step in the right direction. I like you are trying to talk less and have the students take the role as leader as opposed to me. I think that I read somewhere that a teacher should only talk 10-15% of the time in class and the rest of the time should be students talking with each other.


  3. Hi Daniel,
    I like how you compiled the chart and included the benefits and drawbacks. I went in so many directions with my visual I ended up with something very different. I first compiled a chart, then a mind map, then a crazy Venn diagram. I then decided to go in a different direction and show how the four TELE’s could be used in conjunction with one another to develop critical thinkers and problem solvers.

    I also like how you mentioned you are transitioning your teaching. I have been trying to do the same thing. Some days it is so easy and some days it is easy to fall back into old habits. I think as we mature as educators in the new T-PACK realm we will realize that it is ok to use a multitude of teaching techniques and that no one formual will work in all situations.

    Great post,

    1. Not that I mean to imply anything about anyone else, but I don’t have many habits (good or bad) yet. I am only in my 6th year of teaching and this is my 3rd (and final) in the MET program with this being only the second year I have taught a core subject (grade 6 science this year, science 4 last year).

      As a result, the transition feels pretty easy. Having frameworks packaged with related tools, as is the case in this course, is something that would have really helped in my undergrad. I feel like as though I brushed up against some of the underlying philosphies as a pre-service teacher but they were never really developed into usable frameworks and tools.

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