Final Reflection

EdTech 504, Theoretical Foundations for Education


While growing up, I didn’t learn a lot about fixing cars, so when I became a car owner, I asked a lot of questions about cars, from mostly guys, especially when there was a problem.  I actually learned a lot, but eventually I stopped asking opinions from people about what might be the problem with my car.  It was too frustrating hearing many different theories formed from personal experiences with their cars; it either sent me on a wild goose chase, or it was useless information for me.  Fortunately, I was blessed to have a good mechanic, and when I took my car to him, I knew that even if he couldn’t fix my car, he could explain what the problem was.

In some ways, this account from my life relates to my experience with this course.  I have been teaching for a few years, but prior to this course, I had limited exposure to teaching and learning theories.  We began by getting a general understanding of the role of learning theories in education, and then we dove deep into education theory.  I learned a significant amount about theory, but eventually I was in theory overload.  The time came when I needed to focus my attention on one theory in particular.  Even though there were several options, it seems that I was led to one, the Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). 

Additionally, I have discovered that there are many varying opinions about the role of technology in education.  The EdTech program has served as a safe haven, in general, for listening to or voicing my opinions about how education is changing and that technology will make a huge impact.  Unfortunately, it was not the same in my working world.  It seems that both educational theory and technology integration can be misunderstood, and neither topic is very easy to dissect.  I hate conversations that take up time and go nowhere, so I tend to avoid these circumstances and develop my teaching around my philosophy as much as I’m allowed to do so.   

Therefore, this course has helped me develop more of my own philosophy regarding education theory and the role of technology in education, both now and in the future.  Whether it is for my students, my parents, my administration, or myself there are times that I am called on to give an account of why I use certain teaching strategies.  Even though CHAT may not cover all my students’ needs, it does provide a good amount of justification for what I do as a teacher.  I understand that learning is a social activity, and people interact in society based on cultural norms, which include the use of tools.  Strong trends in society are indicating that people are able to interact in multiple ways through their technology tools.  As these trends grow, they will become staples, which we will need to function in all facets of society. 

In conclusion, EdTech 504 has given me more foundation in my approach to education, which will help me today as a teacher.  However, it has helped me to imagine the future of education and how we can apply theory to it.