22 SES 02 B, Governance & Life Long Learning
In this presentation the authors will present a case study describing their experiences with VaKE (Values and Knowledge Education) in the framework of LLAF, in the context of a specific course dealing with instructional approaches in teaching for undergraduate college students, enrolled in the Education and Community BA program. VaKE is a didactical approach based on the principles of constructivism both for knowledge acquisition and for value education. It utilizes open teaching methods and non-directive principles of interaction that are orientated to the aptitudes of the individual learner. VaKE can be used for the purpose of theory (teaching for some subject matter) as well as for the purpose of theory (addressing the theory1-practice relationship)(Patry et al., 2013). In this method a moral dilemma is presented and discussed as in usual moral and values education in the tradition of Blatt and Kohlberg (1975). However, the dilemma is constructed in such a way that the students lack information to deal adequately with it, and they are highly motivated to find responses to the questions that have arisen during the values debate. This initiates the knowledge construction phase, which consists in the students defining their information needs (questions) and then searching for this information in whatever source they can find, the most important one being the internet. Next, the students inform each other about the content they found, and the moral debate can continue on a higher level (Patry, Weyringer, & Weinberger, 2007; Weinberger, Patry, & Weyringer, 2008). Several studies have shown that this method can be used in any learning environment and with any learning group, independent of age, intellectual abilities, curriculum or heterogeneity. The prototypical VaKE procedure consists of the following steps:
- Introducing the dilemma: The dilemma is presented in a form adequate for the target group, and the teacher ascertains that the students know what values are at stake.
- First decision: The students have to communicate what they think the protagonist should do. This decision is taken with the students knowing very little and based on their common knowledge; it is the first opportunity to recognize that they should base their decisions more on facts.
- 3. First arguments (dilemma discussion): The students argue in favor and against the different solutions to the dilemma.
- Exchange of experiences and missing information: The group experiences concerning the results of the argumentation are exchanged, although the dilemma discussion may not be finished yet.
- Looking for evidence: The students organize themselves so as to obtain the necessary information and to exchange the evidence they have acquired, while the teacher is a manager and counselor of the whole endeavor.
- Exchange of information: After this phase of information acquisition, there is once again a phase of exchange of information in the whole class so that all students have the same level of knowledge.
- Second arguments (dilemma discussion): With this new knowledge in mind, the students turn back to the dilemma discussion itself.
- Synthesis of information: There then follows a general discussion with the presentation of the results.
- Repeat 4 through 8 if necessary: If the knowledge base is not yet sufficient, the phases 4 through 8 are reviewed once again.
- 10. General synthesis: The final synthesis presents the solved problem or the current state of the solution.
- Generalization: The generalization consists of dealing with similar issues to broaden the perspective.
Baxter, P., & Jack, S. (2008). Qualitative case study methodology: Study design and implementation for novice researchers. The Qualitative Report, 13(4), 544-559. Blatt, M., & Kohlberg, L. (1975). The effects of classroom moral discussion upon children’s level of moral judgment. Journal of Moral Education, 4, 129-161. Brooks, J. G., & Brooks, M. G. (1993). The case for constructivist classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, expe¬riential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational Psychologist, 41, 75–86. Patry, J.-L., Weyringer, S., & Weinberger, A. (2007). Combining values and knowledge edu¬cation. In D. N. Aspin & J. D. Chapman (Eds.), Values education and lifelong learning (pp. 160-179). Do¬drecht: Springer. Salomon, G. (1992). The changing role of the teacher: From information transmitter to orches¬trator of learning. In F. Oser, A. Dick, & J.-L. Patry (Eds.), Effective and responsible teaching: The new synthesis (pp. 35-49). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
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