TELE: An Individualized Approach

I connected with the idea of “cognitive affordances” by David Jonassen (2000) as PYP teacher, where inquiry-based teaching and learning is the goal. As he states, “Students learn from thinking in meaningful ways. Thinking is engaged by activities, which can be fostered by computers or teachers.” This made me think about the importance of constructing learning engagements that are open-ended and do not necessarily have one right pathway to the solution. Technology isn’t the latest high-end device on the market, but rather how learning is transformed through the use of the tool.

Therefore, designers of learning should be thinking of creative and innovative ways to foster risk-taking in the classroom that pushes students to find their best, individualized pathway to success. This may include differentiated instruction or tasks that challenge students to think critically. Design of learning engagements should provide the right amount of scaffolding so that students understand the what and why of their learning. As Lev Vygotsky’s proposed the zone of proximal development is important because it determines what a child can with no support, to what a child can do with some support. Even in science and math classes, the framework  teacher models and students do, is important because often the student will go beyond the confines of the assignment and find new, creative, and innovative ways of achieving a given task. The exciting part of a lesson is when students are given time to reflect and discuss their strategies with peers and teachers to inform the classroom community of the variety of ways in which a goal can be achieved.


  1. Thanks for emphasizing the importance of authentic challenges and not having one correct solution. I find some concepts lend themselves more towards inquiry, while others students don’t know what they don’t know. Should we strive towards a balance?


    1. Hi Andrew,

      I think your point about balance is key. Based on the readings for this week, I find that it is nearly impossible to have one way to describe anything! There are always different ways of arriving at a particular solution, when educators monitor these ways, then perhaps balance can be achieved. I think that a balanced approach, one that is reflective in nature, is better than the alternative.


  2. I like the fact that you brought up “risk-taking in the classroom”.

    I wonder if you could explain what a “PYP teacher” is?

    A good next step might be to explain with an example — “Vygotsky’s proposed the zone of proximal development”

    When citing (Jonassen and Vygotsky )in your post, you should include a reference list.


    1. PYP stands for Primary Years Teacher, which is part of the International Baccalaureate Organization. The IB framework focuses on Inquiry-based teaching where students questions and curiosity guide the teaching. This is very similar to BCs new curriculum model that looks at the big ideas.

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