I was extremely intrigued by this week’s focus on the Jasper Project and early Anchored Instruction TELEs.
The perceived issue the Jasper Project was trying to address was the shift in math instruction from traditional teacher-directed content teaching (without context), to problem solving and the meaningful construction and application of knowledge by students to, and within, realistic and complex situations.
I agree with this shift in focus and believe that the Jasper project was on the right track to addressing this issue. Jasper’s engaging videos (though now a bit dated) were an interesting starting point to address this. The videos gave students context and the ability to visualize often times difficult to understand information and actively apply this information within a variety of scenarios. The “Adventures of Jasper Woodbury – Rescue at Boone’s Meadow” (Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, 1992) challenged student to utilize knowledge in science and math and apply this knowledge to plan and execute an eagle rescue. Results from this study and other videodisc-based instruction (Shyu, 2000) have demonstrated a significant improvement in student problem-solving skills, performance, and attitudes toward mathematics.
The new British Columbia curriculum I believe is also addressing this focus; encouraging teachers to look cross-curricular and teach with anchored instruction. Curriculum such as Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies encourage problem-solving, inquiry, and collaboration. Even within Science and Math, an emphasis is placed on real-world context and application. It is no longer acceptable to teach isolated skills or content. “The deep understanding and application of knowledge is at the centre of the new model, as opposed to the memory and recall of facts that previously shaped education around the globe for many decades” (B.C. Ministry of Education, 2017).
While I am not familiar with all of the contemporary videos available for math instruction and support technology, sites such as Khan Academy do not seem to provide anchored instruction like the Jasper Series does. From my recollection, Khan Academy provides tutorials on concepts (how to multiply and divide fractions for example) as opposed to the application of these concepts within complex situations.
Moving forward, I am interested in how current technologies may be utilized to provide anchored instructions in classrooms. What technologies have another teacher’s used? Did you consider them “successful”? (Success as defined by you in you classroom).
British Columbia Ministry of Education. (2017). B.C.’s New Curriculum. Retrieved from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum-info
Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. (1992). The Jasper Series as an Example of Anchored Instruction: Theory, Program Description, and Assessment Data, Educational Psychologist, 27(3), 291-215.
Shyu, H.Y.C. (2000). Using video-based anchored instruction to enhance learning: Taiwan’s experience. British Journal of Educational Technology, 31(7), 57-69.