Introduction of the higher learning stage of the spiral model of learning.

Through researching my blogs, I believe that there are two main areas where teaching is flawed. Firstly the focus of the class is more on goals than learning. Secondly the idea every class can use the same model to fit all situations in learning.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once famously said, “life is a journey, not a destination” (Emerson, n.d.). I feel that this quote has great precedence in education. Due to the extrinsic motivation, the current educational system  is fixated upon the destination but does not focus on the learning experience.

I have come up with two models, which observe higher learning and teaching.  Teaching follows a cyclic model, while learning is an upward spiral. The model of higher education uses an upward spiral because education is continuous, and every level increases understanding. Each level of the spiral represents a level of knowledge based on Wheeler’s (n.d.) pyramid (figure 1). The part of the spiral, which I am presenting in this blog, will only observe the transformation stage of learning. It seems the transformation stage is more representative of higher learning. This is because transformation refers to “knowing why” thought analysis and evaluation (Wheeler, n.d.). According to Knight & Yorke (2013) analysis and evaluation are forms of higher learning.


Fig 1. The different stages of understanding.

According to Barr & Tagg (1995) in the current education system there is a fundamental difference between teaching and learning. These new models will look at how the cycle of teaching and the higher learning stage of the spiral model of learning (higher learning stage) occurs. As well as how the higher learning stage is a more effective way of educating university students as shown on my previous blogs.

Another theme, which has been concurrent, throughout my blogs is technology. This blog will observe how technology  can help implement the higher learning spiral segment.


Fig 2. The cycle of teaching.

The cycle of teaching (figure 2.) starts when students are given goals, which will lead to reward or punishments.  Rewards cause students to learn the information (psuf10, 2013; Barr & Tagg, 1995). When the students reach the end of their goal, they gain feedback. Based on this feedback they are punished or rewarded. After receiving their rewards the information which they have learned is perceived as useless (psuf10, 2013; Cooke et al., 2011). Thus after the reward is gained, students will discard information they gain (psuf10, 2013; Huizenga et al., 2009). This procedure will occur again for a new goal. Motivation from the rewards occurs throughout this cycle. New goals and rewards renew this motivation.

According my blog (psuf10, 2013; Glover, 2013) current learning is based on rewards, goals and feedback. In many blogs in science of education there has been emphasis to the negative effects of extrinsic learning. These negative effects are decreased implicit motivation and creativity (psuf10; Eisenberger & Shanock, 2003). Students are motivated by extrinsic rewards, thus when not given a reward they tend to not complete tasks (psuf10, 2013, Barr & Tagg, 1995).


Fig 3. The higher learning stage of the model of spiral of learning.

When students have enough understanding from the pervious stage they progress to the higher learning stage (figure 3.). The higher learning stage starts when students are given a broad interpretation goal (BIG). A BIG is a non-specific goal given by teachers, which doesn’t have strict guidelines on how students approach the goal. This allows for integration of the BIG into students own personal goals. BIG is based on research by Deci and Ryan (2004) on Organismic Integration Theory (OIT) I have mentioned in my previous blog (psuf10, 2013). The idea behind using a BIG comes from the part MUSIC model (psuf10, 2013; Jones, 2009) called empowerment. Empowerment allows students to learn independently while the OIT allows for teachers to give some structure to learning.

After receiving a BIG, students will have to learn the topic. How students can learn such information is through cognitive skills, which is mentioned in a blog of a fellow classmate (Wilkins, 2013); Yang et al., 2011). All of these skills can be observed in figure 4.


Fig 4. List of cognitive skills (Yang et al., 2011).

Examples of these skills have been mentioned in my blogs: investigation (psuf10, 2013; Garrison, 2011), creating (psuf10, 2013; Leland & Kasten, 2002) etc.

Many of these cognitive skills (figure 1.) are based around intrinsic learning, which according to (psuf10, 2013; Eisenberger & Shanock, 2003) is better for learning information.

Throughout the higher learning stage, students are kept engaged by aspects of the music model (psuf10, 2013; Jones, 2009). In the model the main aspect is interest. If a student is interested in the topic, they are motivated to do work (psuf10, 2013; Jones, 2009). Thus they will be willing to complete another BIG, starting the cycle all over again. This occurs until the students understanding reaches a point, where there is no need for a BIG, the learning is all internalised. I believe this should be one of the aims of learning, giving a student an interest in learning.

Another aspect of my blogs have been that how technology has affected the classroom environment. Technology has two main impacts on a classroom, change in organisation and change in mentality. As I have mentioned in my blogs, technology allows for a more student centred approach. A is key for cognitive skills in the higher learning stage. Examples of this are the use of smartboards for student presentations (psuf10, 2013; Preston & Mowbray, 2008), the internet as medium for student based learning (psuf10, 2013; Simpson, 2013), etc.

Secondly technology has caused a shift in mentality towards technology enhanced learning environments (TELE) (Lim & Chai, 2008). TELE is mentioned in my blog about learning environment (psuf10, 2013). I mentioned a paper by Campbell et al., (2013) who clearly stated that the introduction of technology is changing shape of a classroom. This shift will hopefully improve the shape and layout of classrooms to be more appropriate for group and implicit learning (psuf10, 2013).

I have observed throughout my blogs that technology is allowing for such ideas to be introduced. However it cannot solely fix the current education system. There is a requirement for a complete change in the mind-set by personnel in education in the way students should be taught (psuf10, 2013).

Overall the main point which I have drawn from blogs and reading, is there needs to be a drastic shift towards a dynamic model of student education. Technology can help for this shift to become a reality.


Emerson, R. (n.d.). Ralph Waldo Emerson > Quotes. In Goodreads. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from

Psuf10. (2013, November 22). Boulevard of broken theories: User-centred gamification [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Wheeler, S. (n.d.). Learning Theories for the Digital Age [Online Slideshow]. Retrieved from

Knight, P., & Yorke, M. (2013). Learning, curriculum and employability in higher education. Routledge.

Barr, R. B., & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning—A new paradigm for undergraduate education. Change: The magazine of higher learning27(6), 12-26.

Cooke, L. J., Chambers, L. C., Añez, E. V., & Wardle, J. (2011). Facilitating or undermining? The effect of reward on food acceptance. A narrative review.Appetite57(2), 493-497.

Huizenga, J., Admiraal, W., Akkerman, S., & Dam, G. T. (2009). Mobile game‐based learning in secondary education: engagement, motivation and learning in a mobile city game. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning25(4), 332-344.

Glover, I. (2013). Play as you learn: gamification as a technique for motivating learners.

Jones, B. D. (2009). Motivating students to engage in learning: The MUSIC Model of Academic Motivation. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education21(2), 272-285.

Wilkins, C. (2013, November 1). Are current assessment methods beneficial to the student? [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Yang, D., Richardson, J. C., French, B. F., & Lehman, J. D. (2011). The development of a content analysis model for assessing student’s cognitive learning in asynchronous online discussion. Educational Technology Research and Development, 59(1), 43-70. DOI:

Eisenberger, R., & Shanock, L. (2003). Rewards, intrinsic motivation, and creativity: A case study of conceptual and methodological isolation. Creativity Research Journal15(2-3), 121-130.

Leland, C. H., & Kasten, W. C. (2002). Literacy education for the 21st century: It’s time to close the factory. Reading &Writing Quarterly18(1), 5-15.

Garrison, D. R. (2011). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. Taylor & Francis.

Preston, C., & Mowbray, L. (2008). Use of SMART Boards for teaching, learning and assessment in kindergarten science. Teaching Science, 54(2), 50-53.

Simpson, O. (2013). Supporting students in online, open & distance learning. Routledge.

Lim, C. P., & Chai, C. S. (2008). Rethinking classroom-oriented instructional development models to mediate instructional planning in technology-enhanced learning environments. Teaching and Teacher Education24(8), 2002-2013.

Campbell, M., Saltmarsh, S., Chapman, A., & Drew, C. (2013). Issues of teacher professional learning within ‘non-traditional’classroom environments.Improving Schools16(3), 209-222.

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Boulevard of broken theories: User-centred gamification

According to Deterding et al., (2011) gamification is the “use of game design elements in non-game contexts” (Deterding et al, 2011, p.1). In the case of education, each stage could be seen as a type of schooling, which the student has to complete (e.g. high school). Each stage has a number of small objectives (e.g. class assignments). At the end of each stage, the student faces a final challenge, which collaborates all the skills they have learned from the previous stage (final exams). If the student beats the final challenge, they pass to the next level and/ or gain an achievement (grades). Every student has an experience bar (transcript), which they increase by completing stages and how well they beat the final challenge. To reach different stages of the game of education they have certain achievements and skills to unlock (e.g. grades to get to a good university).

There are three types of tasks, which are found in video games: extrinsic tasks, implicit tasks and player driven tasks (Dickey, 2005). The current education system is based on games which use extrinsic based tasks (Harden, 1999). An example of extrinsic based activities is achievements, goal focused activities, lectures etc. According to (Eisenberger & Shanock, 2003) extrinsic based learning decreases motivation and creativity. Eisenberger & Shanock (2003) stated that implicit learning would combat these problems. However, the current education system is lacking is an implicit style of teaching (Britzman, 1986). There seems to be a shift towards this style of thinking, which I have talked about in my other blogs (psuf10, 2013; psuf10, 2013; psuf10, 2013). One of the causes of this shift seems to be because of the introduction technology into classrooms (Koedinger & Corbett, 2006). This blog will look at will look at three aspects of gamifcation. It will observe the problems with the current gamification (Original gamification) (Hays, 2005). It will observe its spiritual successor A User-Centred Theoretical Framework for Meaningful Gamification (User-centred gamification) (Nicholson, 2012). Finally it will observe how the use of technology can help implement User-centred gamification.

Goal focus learning are goals set by teachers which they want the students to inspire and work towards (What are learning goals?, n.d.). Goal focus is found throughout the current education system (What are learning goals?, n.d.), and often these goals are the same (finish work sheet by the time class ends). According to Jones (2013) if the focus goals are constantly the same this can lead to boredom. Goal focus instructions can limit creativity and motivation in students (Eisenberger & Shanock, 2003). This could be an explanation to the decrease of creativity in classrooms (Robinson, 2006).

Goal focused learning in original gamification strict and often doesn’t give choices in learning (Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 1998). According to User-centred  gamification (Nicholson, 2012) students having the ability to choose how they learn should be implemented to the classroom. Nicholson (2012) states that Universal Design for Learning (UDL) (Rose & Meyer, 2002) can be used to give students choices in how they learn.

UDL the theory that all children learn differently and accommodations must be placed in education to facilitate this. According to Nicholson (2012) User-centred d gamification focus on the what, how and why strategy (Rose & Meyer, 2002). The “what” is presenting different ways of conveying information, which is to be learnt. The “how” is providing a variety of different activities to allow learners exploration and mastery of the content. The “why” is making learners relate to the content so their goals become internalised which allows them to become engaged and motivated.

However there has to be some goal focus in user-centred gamification (Nicholson, 2012). Thus the model uses Organismic Integration Theory (OIT) (Deci and Ryan, 2004). OIT is where goals created by teachers can be integrated with the student own goals (Deci and Ryan, 2004). This allows teachers to direct the class however in a way which allows for implicit motivation.

Technology empowers students to learn by themselves and gives them choices in how they learn (Barr & Tagg, 1995). This is because technology allows for more variations in classes e.g. smartboards and projectors allow presentations to be easier (Preston & Mowbray, 2008). Computers make it easier for students to learn by themselves (Dewhurst, Macleod & Norris, 2000). This is because the internet is a substantial source of information for the student to use for learning (Simpson, 2013).

Original gamification uses extrinsic rewards to motivate students (Glover, 2013). Using extrinsic rewards in class is a problem because once a teacher starts giving rewards; they have to keep using them to keep students motivated (Barr & Tagg, 1995). Another problem with rewards is that students focus more on achieving the reward and less about the learning (Cooke et al., 2011). This is why most students, after reaching this goal, lose most of what they have learned (Akkerman, Admiraal & Huizenga, 2009). Since they have received the reward the information is useless.

According to Nicholson, 2012, User-centred gamification should not use rewards; the reason for students doing the work should because of enjoyment, curiosity etc. (Wingman, 2013).

In original gamifications tracking is useful to students because it presents a list of current achievements and ones with they need to obtain (Glover, 2013). This gives the student a sense of achievement (Glover, 2013). Goal focus and tracking share the problem, which the focus is on the rewards rather than the learned (Barr & Tagg, 1995). This does not occur in User-centred gamificaiton where the there is no tracking. According to Nicholson (2012) achievement is felt though knowing that you have progressed with what knowledge you have gained.

Overall, schools need to change from the original style of gamification to a more user-centred design. This will allow an increase in intrinsic motivation, which seems to be a much better way of learning. Technology is a tool in making such ideas related to user-centred design possible. However teachers can use technology in original gamification, what needs to change is the mind-set of teachers surrounding teaching.


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Harden, R. M. (1999). AMEE Guide No. 14: Outcome-based education: Part 1-An introduction to outcome-based education. Medical teacher21(1), 7-14.

Eisenberger, R., & Shanock, L. (2003). Rewards, intrinsic motivation, and creativity: A case study of conceptual and methodological isolation. Creativity Research Journal15(2-3), 121-130.

Britzman, D. P. (1986). Cultural myths in the making of a teacher: Biography and social structure in teacher education. Harvard educational review56(4), 442-457.

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Koedinger, K. R., & Corbett, A. T. (2006). Cognitive tutors: Technology bringing learning science to the classroom. The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences, 61-78.

Nicholson, S. (2012). A user-centered theoretical framework for meaningful gamification. Proceedings GLS8.

Hays, R.T. (2005). The effectiveness of instructional games: A literature review and discussion.Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (No 2005–004).

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Lieberman, J. (2009). Reinventing teacher professional norms and identities: the role of lesson study and learning communities. Professional development in education35(1), 83-99.

Eisenberger, R., & Shanock, L. (2003). Rewards, intrinsic motivation, and creativity: A case study of conceptual and methodological isolation. Creativity Research Journal15(2-3), 121-130.

Robinson, K. (2006, February). Do schools kill creativity. In Presentation at TED2006 conference, Monterey, CA.

Jones, S. (2013, October 25). Gamification learning – theories, methods, and controversies. In Slidessharre. Retrieved November 22, 2013, from

Simpson, O. (2013). Supporting students in online, open & distance learning. Routledge.

Glover, I. (2013). Play as you learn: gamification as a technique for motivating learners.

Barr, R. B., & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning—A new paradigm for undergraduate education. Change: The magazine of higher learning27(6), 12-26.

Huizenga, J., Admiraal, W., Akkerman, S., & Dam, G. T. (2009). Mobile game‐based learning in secondary education: engagement, motivation and learning in a mobile city game. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning25(4), 332-344.

Wingman, P. (2013, March 25). Gamification – Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Rewards. In Slidessharre. Retrieved November 22, 2013, from

Edwards, C. P., Gandini, L., & Forman, G. (Eds.). (1998). The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach: Advanced reflections. Greenwood Publishing Group.


Falk, J. J. H., & Dierking, L. L. D. (2002). Lessons without limit: How free-choice learning is transforming education. Rowman Altamira.

Rose, D. & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Preston, C., & Mowbray, L. (2008). Use of SMART Boards for teaching, learning and assessment in kindergarten science. Teaching Science, 54(2), 50-53.

Dewhurst, D. G., Macleod, H. A., & Norris, T. A. (2000). Independent student learning aided by computers: an acceptable alternative to lectures?. Computers & Education35(3), 223-241.

Cooke, L. J., Chambers, L. C., Añez, E. V., & Wardle, J. (2011). Facilitating or undermining? The effect of reward on food acceptance. A narrative review.Appetite57(2), 493-497.

Boulevard of broken theories: Moos’ Model of Learning Environments

This blog will look at why Moos (1979) model of learning environments should be implemented into all schools and how technology can help with the implementation of these ideas.

According to Alexander (1979) a person’s behaviour is affected by their interactions with their environment. Thus according to Alexander (1979) the school buildings and classroom can effect how students learn. Moos (1979) suggested a model to explain the four domains, which affect a school’s environment: physical settings, organisational factors, human aggregate and social climate. This blog will focus on physical setting and the organisation factors.

Many aspects of the classroom effect the learning environment Higgins et al (2005) (table 1.)


Table 1. Shows aspects of the classroom which effect student’s satisfaction and their ability to learn plus the number of studies, which have been done on these aspects.

There needs to be a reinvention of the traditional school buildings and classrooms due to the shift for a traditional classroom towards more computerised learning environments (Campbell et al., 2013).

There are two areas of a physical environment in schools, which affect learning environments School architecture and classroom layout (Dudek, 2000).

If a school is well designed it could increase academic performance by 25% (Well-designed schools improve learning by 25 percent says new study, 2013). According to Tanner (2009) there are many areas where school architecture can positively effect learning environment. These are: design (Sundstrom, 1987), facilities (Greenwald, Hedges & Laine, 1996), noise level (Shield & Dockrell, 2004), light level (Heschong Mahone Group, 1999), temperature (Earthman, 2004) and air quality (Earthman, 2004). Technology can help with such issues, e.g. heater/ air condition can regulate temperature however a majority of these areas require physical changes to the buildings themselves. According to Tanner (2009) there are three designs for school buildings, which are supposed, encompass the areas mentioned above. These are patterns of movement and circulation, patterns of daylighting and patterns of views.

The pattern of movement and circulation was a theory created by Alexander et al. (1977). He believed that schools should have outside walkways, Pathways, Public areas, Reference and Outdoor spaces (Alexander et al., 1977). This entail that students would spend most of there time getting from class to class outside of the school instead of being restricted inside. This would allow less crowed conditions inside school corridors, which according to Tanner (2009) this can negatively effect learning. Sommer (1969) stated that crowed conditions can lead to “excess levels of stimulation; stress and arousal; a drain on resources available; considerable interference; reductions in desired privacy levels; and loss of control” (Wohlwill and van Vliet, 1985, p. 108). Also these outside areas would give children access to ample amount of natural light (Heschong Mahone Group, 1999).

The pattern of daylight is the idea by Heschong Mahone Group (1999) that natural light is significant for student achievement. They suggested that there should be equal areas of light coming from both sides of the classroom and classrooms should always have ample windows. A study done by the Heschong Mahone Group (1999) found that students speed improved in both mathematics and reading tests when they had accesses to more more natural light.

The pattern of views is the idea that students should have views over looking outside life, greenery etc. The view has a positive effect on the school environment (Tanner and Lackney, 2006). According to Nair and Fielding (2005) if children have views of at least 50 feet it allows them to rest their eyes.

Looking at these areas of school architecture, the use of technology cannot improve the current architecture of current schools. The changes needed in schools architecture need to happen though actual physical change to school. However where technology is having an impact in the 21st century is the classroom (Psuf10, 2013).

The Huffington post (2013) stated, classroom orientation is key to a good classroom environment. Traditional, in classrooms the desks are arranged in straight lines facing the front. According to Wheldall et al, (1981) this arrangement does not create a positive classroom environment. This is because strained lined desk create a feeling of isolation for students (Rosenfield, 1985). According to Rosenfield

(1985) to students were placed in a circle formation there would be improving on-task and behaviours. Due to the introduction of technology into classrooms, classrooms have had the opportunity to change their structure (Hew & Brush, 2007). The introduction of technology into classrooms creates a new area to Moos’ (1979) classroom environment model. This is known as the technology enhanced learning environments (TELE) (Lim & Chai, 2008). According to Zandvliet and Fraser (2004) for an effective TELE there needs to be enough space in between computer stations allowing for flow in the classroom as well as peer interaction. Following Hew & Brush (2007)’s research, a well-designed classroom can be seen in Fig 1. The tables allow for group work, which is effective for learning (Slavin, 1983) and allow teacher to observe all monitors ensuring all students are on task (D’Agostino, 2010).


Fig 1.  Kissko (2013) classroom designed for the paradigm shift towards technology.

Due to the introduction of technology into classrooms there has been a shift in the paradigm of how a classroom should be laid out (Hew & Brush, 2007). However, the research on school architecture and classroom design is expansive and needs to be implemented into 21st century classrooms.


Moos, R. H. (1979). Evaluating educational environments. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Alexander, C. (1979), The Timeless Way of Building, Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

Higgins, S., Hall, E., Wall, K., Woolner, P., & McCaughey, C. (2005). The impact of school environments: A literature review. The Centre for Learning and Teaching, School of Education, Communication and Language Science, University of Newcastle. Accessed online on10, 04-08.

Campbell, M., Saltmarsh, S., Chapman, A., & Drew, C. (2013). Issues of teacher professional learning within ‘non-traditional’classroom environments.Improving Schools16(3), 209-222.

Dudek, M. (2000). Architecture of schools: The new learning environments. Routledge.

Well-designed schools improve learning by 25 percent says new study. (2013, January 2). De Zeen. Retrieved from

Tanner, C. K. (2009). Effects of school design on student outcomes. Journal of Educational Administration47(3), 381-399.

Shield, B., & Dockrell, J. E. (2004). External and internal noise surveys of London primary schools. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America,115, 730.

Greenwald, R., Hedges, L. V., & Laine, R. D. (1996). The effect of school resources on student achievement. Review of educational research66(3), 361-396.

Heschong Mahone Group (1999), Day Lighting in Schools, Heschong Mahone Group, Fair Oaks, CA.

Earthman, G. I. (2004). Prioritization of 31 Criteria for School Building Adequacy, 2004.

Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S. and Silverstein, M. (1977), A Pattern Language, Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

Sommer, R. (1969), Personal Space, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Wohlwill, J.F. and van Vliet, W. (1985), Habitats for Children: The Impacts of Density, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ.

Nair, P. and Fielding, R. (2005),The Language of School Design: Design Patterns for 21st Century Schools,, Minneapolis, MN.

Tanner, C.K. and Lackney, J.A. (2006), Educational Facilities Planning: Leadership, Architecture, and Management, Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA.

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School Design, Classroom Layout Can Heavily Affect Student Grades, Learning: Study. (2013, January 3). Huffington post. Retrieved from

Rosenfield, P., Lambert, N. M., & Black, A. (1985). Desk arrangement effects on pupil classroom behavior. Journal of Educational Psychology77(1), 101.

Lim, C. P., & Chai, C. S. (2008). Rethinking classroom-oriented instructional development models to mediate instructional planning in technology-enhanced learning environments. Teaching and Teacher Education24(8), 2002-2013.

Hew, K. F., & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: Current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research.Educational Technology Research and Development55(3), 223-252.

D’Agostino, S. (2010). Facebook and Texting vs. Textbooks and Faces. Math Horizons, 18(1), 34. doi:10.4169/194762110X525548

Slavin, R. E. (1983). Cooperative learning. New York.

Zandvliet, D. B., & Fraser, B. J. (2004). Learning environments in information and communications technology classrooms. Technology, Pedagogy and Education13(1), 97-123.

Kissko, J. (2013). 3 Things Kinect Needs to Be Successful in Education [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Boulevard of broken theories: An introduction to the inquiry model.

According to Dewey (1916) there needs to be changes in the fundamentals of education. At the moment education is based on the factory model, but according to Leland & Kasten (2002) a new model has been created called the inquiry model to replace the factory model.

The factory model is where schools are based on a factory like mentality.  Every child enters the factory as raw material and is drilled and moulded into a finished product (Cubberley, 1916). Due to this, much like a factor, all products are designed to have the basic features but have specialisations to do different tasks (Leland & Kasten, 2002). Opposing the factory theory is inquiry system, which is trying to move away from these out date’s theories. According to Goodlad (1984), Reich (1989) and Dewey (1916), the initial theory is much like a village. Children interact with each other to gain communal goal, while individually finding a subject area, which they are interested in. The school proves a constrained and confined environment for social and individual growth. A comparison between the two theories can be seen in fig 1.

Fig 1. Table of characteristics of factory and inquired model


The reason why the factory model is no longer applicable today, is it was created when people were motivated by the idea there would be a job in the factory at end their education “the back door of the school lead to the front door of the factory” (Creativecurriculumisabella, n.d.). However in the 21st century there is no guaranteed job at the end of education, thus there is no motivation for education (Watrous, 2013). According to Watrous (2013) this is the reason for the increasing amount of school dropouts. Another problem is in the 21st century is the need for diverse thinkers (Vance, 2013), the factory model created standardised students with minor specializations for different areas. This is perfect for different roles in a factory (Cubberley,1916). For the 21st century job market, employers are looking for someone who can think outside the box rather, than one that can ticks all the boxes (Vance, 2013). This blog will discuss how the outdate factory should and can be replaced, though technology, by the inquiry model.

In the current factory model schools, are based on routines (Rose, 2012) e.g. each day same class structure, 9 a clock to 3 a clock. According to Allen (1986) routines create boredom in the classroom. Leland & Kasten (2002) stated the inquiry theory could stop boredom by changing how subjects are organised and taught. An alternative to regular’s style classes is subject integration. An example of subject integration would be combine Physical education and Science, e.g. (the human aspect of biology) (Thompson et. al., 2013). Multisource learning is a key aspect of the inquiry model, where the more contexts given to a subject, the better the student can learn the material (Rusbult, 1978).

ELearning is a popular new way of teaching students using the internet (Nichols, 2012). It doesn’t follow the factory model mentality of set classes, instead follows the inquiry model idea of active learners (Garrison, 2011). The teacher sets the assignment and the students use resources available to them, to come to their own conclusions. There is a vast set of resources, which students can access via the internet (Simpson, 2013). The idea of eLearning is based on Jones (2009) MUSIC theory; children are empowered to follow an area of study they might enjoy. They find it interesting because they can decide what they want to study. According to Jones (2009) this autonomous learning has been proved to increase motivation and learning.

The inquiry model tries to incorporate group learning (Leland & Kasten, 2002). According to Slavin (1983) students work well in groups thus there should not be on separate tables. Technology can be used as integration tool between students. Examples of this are blog sites, which allow student based feedback. Presentation though smart board, which allows for students to present and work with their peers (Roblyer, 1999), etc.

The inquiry model bases class selection on class’s ability, not age. This goes with flow theory (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990), which flows the goldilocks principle (Bruijn, 2012) children need to have work, which is not too difficult, however is not too easy; just right. According to the factory model, every child in the same age band should be at the academic point, this is simply not true (Eisner, 1994). Every child is different academically (Eisner, 1994) and thus should be given work, which is appropriate to there own level.

The inquiry model changes the factory model curriculum of: 3 R’s, narrow and fact-based to a more Multi-faceted and problem solving one (Leland & Kasten, 2002). Problem solving and having a multi faceted approach to subjects, helps improve divergent thinking and creativity (Leland & Kasten, 2002). According to Baer (2013) divergent thinking is the ability to be creative and find different solutions to problems.  According to Vance (2013) employers find people with the ability to think divergent very attractive to employ. According to Goodall (2013) the current factory model decreases student’s ability to think divergently. 

My blogs, to this point, have focused on how technology can help bring a new age to education. This blog indicates that technology can help the current factory model reflect some of the ideas of and bring to light the inquiry model. However there needs to be a shift in the paradigms surrounding education. Thus education can be brought it into a new age, reflecting the inquire model, creating more diverse and creative students.  

Reference section:

Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education. New York: McMillan.

Leland, C. H., & Kasten, W. C. (2002). Literacy education for the 21st century: It’s time to close the factory. Reading &Writing Quarterly18(1), 5-15.

Cubberley, E. P. (1916). Public school administration: A statement of the fundamental principles underlying the organization and administration of public education. Houghton Mifflin Company.

Goodland, J. I. (1984). A place called school: Prospects for the future. New York: McGraw- Hill.

Reich, R. B. (1989). The resurgent liberal (and other unfashionable prophecies). New York:Random House

Creativecurriculumisabella. (n.d.). FACTORY MODEL OF EDUCATION. In Retrieved October 30, 2013, from

Watrous, M. (2013). Transcending Creative Boundaries in Higher Education.

Vance, C. (2013). Why I Won’t Be Your Waiter When I Graduate.

Rose, J. (2012, May 9). How to Break Free of Our 19th-Century Factory-Model Education System. In The Atlantic. Retrieved October 29, 2013, from

Allen, J. D. (1986). Classroom management: Students’ perspectives, goals, and strategies. American Educational Research Journal23(3), 437-459.

Thompson, K. V., Chmielewski, J., Gaines, M. S., Hrycyna, C. A., & LaCourse, W. R. (2013). Competency-based reforms of the undergraduate biology curriculum: integrating the physical and biological sciences. CBE-Life Sciences Education12(2), 162-169.

Rusbult, C. (1978). Transfers of Learning. In Retrieved October 29, 2013, from

Garrison, D. R. (2011). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. Taylor & Francis.

Jones, B. D. (2009). Motivating students to engage in learning: The MUSIC Model of Academic Motivation. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education21(2), 272-285.

Slavin, R. E. (1983). Cooperative learning. New York.

Chang, K. E., Sung, Y. T., & Lee, C. L. (2003). Web‐based collaborative inquiry learning. Journal of computer assisted learning19(1), 56-69.

Eisner, E. (1994). The educational imagination: On the design and evaluation of schoolprograms. New York: Macmillan.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper Perennial.

Bruijn, E. (2012). Teaching in innovative vocational education in the Netherlands. Teachers and Teaching18(6), 637-653.

Baer, J. (2013). Teaching for Creativity: Domains and Divergent Thinking, Intrinsic Motivation, and Evaluation. In Teaching Creatively and Teaching Creativity (pp. 175-181). Springer New York.

Goodall, H. L. (2013). The War We Lost and the Revolution Yet to Come.Cultural Studies↔ Critical Methodologies13(3), 194-200.

Nichols, M. (2012). The financial benefits of eLearning. Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning8(1), 25-33.

Simpson, O. (2013). Supporting students in online, open & distance learning. Routledge.

Boulevard of Broken theories: MUSIC model of academic motivation

Boulevard of Broken theories refers to a song performed by the band Green Day. Whilst looking up the meaning of this phrase, I found this definition on wikianswer (Zarama, n.d.) “it means a lot of dreams you thought have and have never came true”. I feel that his is a great way of looking at my blog, I am looking at a lot of theories that psychologists which have not been implemented into mainstream education. This blog is going to analyse how these theories can be rekindled and how they can be executed in a classrooms in the 21st century.

This is the first of triad of blogs, which will be looking into such theories. The first theory I will analyse is the MUSIC Model of Academic Motivation (Jones, 2009). 

The MUSIC model of academic motivation is a collaboration of motivational theories created by Jones (2009). According to Jones (2009) the MUSIC model can increase motivation in education using 5 components. These 5 components are eMpowerment, Usefulness, Success, Interest and Caring. Jones (2009) found that when a teacher uses at least one of these techniques, children learning might be enhanced. How this occurs is shown in figure 1.


Fig 1. How the MUSIC theory increases students learning.

According to Jones (2009), empowerment is the amount of control that students perceive they have some power over some of their own learning. According to Jones (2009) when children learn autonomously there motivation can be increased which can lead to increased learning.

Jones (2009) already has looked at how to apply empowerment into a regular classroom. Such as allowing choosing topics that which they want to study (Ryan & La Guardia, 1999), giving children a chance to express there own opinions while the teacher considers them (Reeve, 1996), giving control of lesson pace to the students (Roblyer, 1999), and allow students to help develop and implement class activities. Technology has a important role in applying these ideas into a 21st classroom. Due to the introduction of the smartboard and projector this has allowed presentations to become more accessible in classrooms.

The second component of motivation under MUSIC is whether information is useful in future goals or career prospects. Simons et al., (2004) found when goals are more distant in the future the students create long-term behavioural plans to obtain these goals. These long-term behavioural plans increase motivation (Jones, 2009). 

According to (Jones, 2009) two things must be done to schools in the future. Firstly children should be able to choose which subjects they want to study from an early age and secondly, career options classes should be available by children at an early age. An Internet poll (Should children be allowed to decide the subjects taught in schools?, n.d.) 75% of unknown voters said yes when asked the question “should children be allowed to decide the subject taught in school”. There are many great websites, which help young people plan out what jobs they wish to get into in the future, (Careers advice, 2012). However the main change must the school system itself.

According to Jones (2009) success is based on your self-perceptions of competence. Self-perception of competence is the belief a person has his or her own abilities. The centre to many motivation theories has been the Self-perceptions of competence (Jones, 2009). Self-perception of competence is the belief you have in your own abilities. According to Jones (2009) there are many theories behind motivation but the “conceptual core of the achievement motivation literature” (Elliot & Dweck, 2005b, p. 5).

For teachers to coordinate success in a 21st century is to make sure that all instructions by teachers should be clear and understandable. If children cannot understand the instructions they are less likely to understand what they are working on. Thus this could increase the difficulty of work done by students, causing the student to become anxious. According to Jones (2009) this is an example of flow theory. (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990) Flow theory is for optimum performance all work should be at the same difficulty level as the student current level otherwise they feel bored or anxious. Using the current testing systems such as GCSE’s, it is very hard to make sure that everyone has work. This is because everyone sits the same exam (Bremner (2008). To solve this teachers may have to help not only struggling students but also make sure excelling students are given harder/ more work. Innovations in technology are a useful tool in averting this problem. This is due to the amount of recourses that can be found on the internet. In these recourses are techniques and assignments to help children at each end of the spectrum.

Interest is to make sure a class is motivational the lesson should be interesting (Jones, 2009). According to Schraw & Lehman (2001) there are two types of interest: situational and personal interest. Situational interest is when a unique characteristic has an appealing effect on students, during an interaction with the task for a short amount of time (Chen and Darst, 2001). Personal interest is enduring personal interest in a topic specific (Schraw & Lehman, 2001). Both technology, through power point presentations using smart board and traditional methods of teaching such as field trips are key in emerging the children into education allowing them to become situational interested. Technology is not essential in creating an interesting lesson, traditional can be just as engaging.

As Jones (2009) said caring shouldn’t mean that teachers should be friends with their students however that they should care about what the children are learning and the student’s education in general. This is where the 21st century classroom may have a negative factor. According to disadvantages of Online Learning (2011) eLearning has decreased the amount of social interaction the children have. Caring is needed to keep children motivated thus technology cannot be completely over hall the original classroom. Technology should be a backbone to teaching, which teachers can use to support the other stages of MUSIC.

Therefore, MUSIC is an example of a forgotten theory, which should be implemented into the 21st century classroom. Hopefully, a transition can occur due to the introduction of technology. Technology could make it easier for teachers, following the guidelines of MUSIC, to create more autonomously motivated pupils.

Zarama, M. (n.d.). What does boulevard of broken dreams mean? In Retrieved October 22, 2013, from

Jones, B. D. (2009). Motivating students to engage in learning: The MUSIC Model of Academic Motivation. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education21(2), 272-285.

Ryan, R. M., & La Guardia, J. (1999). Achievement motivation within a pressured society: Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to learn and the politics of school reform. In T. Urdan (Ed.), Advances in motivation and achievement, volume II (pp. 45-85). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Reeve, J. (1996). Motivating others: Nurturing inner motivational resources. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Roblyer, M. D. (1999). Is choice important in distance earning? A study of student motives for taking Internet-based courses at the high school and community college levels. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 32(1), 157.

Psuf10. (2013, October 11). How technology has changed the face of education [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Simons, J., Vansteenkiste, M., Lens, W., & Lacante, M. (2004). Placing motivation and future time perspective theory in a temporal perspective. Educational Psychology Review, 16(2), 121-139.

Should children be allowed to decide the subjects taught in schools? (n.d.). In Retrieved October 23, 2013, from

Careers advice. (2012). In Retrieved October 23, 2013, from

Elliot, A. J., & Dweck, C. S. (2005b). Competence and motivation. In A. J. Elliot, & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 3-12). New York: Guilford.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper Perennial.

Bremner, S. (2008). Some thoughts on teaching a mixed ability class. Scottish Languages Review, (18), 1-10.

Chen, A., & Darst, P. W. (2001). Situational interest in physical education: A function of learning task design. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 72(2), 150-164.

Schraw, G., & Lehman, S. (2001). Situational interest: A review of the literature and directions for future research. Educational Psychology Review, 13(1), 23-52.

The Disadvantages of Online Learning. (2011). In Elearning-companion. Retrieved October 11, 2013, from

The use of neurofeedback in education in the future

In my previous two blogs I have looked at effect of technology on education. Briefly I covered the future of technology is in education and current trends. In this blog I am looking how neurofeedback can be used in an educational setting.

According to Hammond (2011) neurofeedback is the observation of brainwaves patters to regulate subjects to create optimum brain activity. To observe the brainwaves the researchers can use an Electroencephalography (EEG) or a Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It is a form of operant conditioning, as it rewards desirable brainwave patterns and discourages undesirable brainwave patterns. This has many implications across the field of psychology, e.g. Stroke (Mihara et. al., 2013), epilepsy (Tan et. al., 2009), drug abuse patients (Arani et. al., 2010) and Although these are not related to education, neurofeedback operates by teaching the brain to control certain brainwaves. This could be applied in education research by observing brainwaves when they are encoding information and trying practicing replicate brainwaves patters when revising.

Different areas of education require different forms of memory (Memory and Information Processing, n.d.). In table 1 below, different types of memory, areas of the brain, brainwaves and an example in education are summarized. 

Types of memory are associated with different areas of the brain and different brainwaves. Because education is such a vast area, many different types of memory are involved. Thus for each type memory mentioned in the table there is an example related to education.  

Table 1. Different of memory and areas of the brain involved.

Type of memory

Areas of the brain


Examples in education

Working memory

Prefrontal cortex(1)

Alpha and Theta (5)

Problem solving in maths


Frontal and posterior association cortices, cerebellum (2)

Alpha (6)

Writing an essay in English lesson

Declarative Semantic  & Episodic memory

Temporal neocortex, parahippocampal cortices and the hippocampus (3)

o Semantic *  alpha band   (7)                         

o Episodic i) familiarity * Gama ii) Familiarity * Beta (8)

o semantic * dates in history exam                       o Episodic * how to plan an essay due to past marks


Cerebelum, Striatum (4)

Alpha (9)

Playing an instrument in music

Table 1. (1 taken from Wang & Hsieh (2013), 2 taken from Gruzelier (2009), 3 taken from taken form Keizer et. al. (2010) and Yonelinas et al. 2005, 4 taken from Ros et. al. (2013), 5 taken from Khader et. All (2010), 6 taken from Gruzelier (2009), 7 taken from Klimesch (1994), 8 taken from Burgess and Ali (2002), Gruber et al. (2008) and Sehatpour et al. (2008), and Zhuang et. al., (1997) 

Academic subjects, such as maths and science, use mainly declarative memory and working memory. According to Squire and Zola (1998) there are two types of declarative memory, episodic and semantic. Keizer et. al. (2010) stated that neurofeedback train the control over gamma waves would improved the recollection with episodic memories.  There seems to be limited amount of studies into the effects of neurofeedback on semantic encoding or recall. It would be interesting to see the results of such studies were executed and see how there findings could relate to education. Problem solving requires working memory. Problem solving is crucial to academic subjects. A study done by Wang & Hsieh (2013) showed when using neurofeedback, subjects were able to increase there working memory using nuerofeedback training.

Creativity is a very useful skill in school and according to Gruzelier (2009) creativity can be increased with neurofeedback. Nondecaritive memory is the basis of all motor skill memories (Squire, 1992). Every time people try remembering and performing a specific skill you are using non-declarative memory. A study by Ros et. al. (2013) who used neurofeedback straight after a Non-declarative (procedural) motor task found a decrease in time taken to learn motor task. The authors concluded that this technique could be exploited after a training session when learning a new non-declarative memory. 

Two very major aspects of learning are motivation and attention. According to a study by Cochrane (2010) after 3 sessions of neurofeedback training motivation was increased across subjects. This could be used in schools to help children become motivated in subjects they do not like. Attention is very hard to control because even if a lesson subject is interesting (Thorne and Thomas, n.d.) some children still will not get engage. A study done by Wang & Hsieh (2013) succeeded to increase the attention of school children using neruofeedback. Thus showing that there is evidence that this technology could be implemented into schools. 

Overall it seems neurofeedback has a function over many areas of education. Thus neurofeedback in education is an interesting prospect for the future, and I believe there should be more studies done to see of their impact in main steam education. 

How technology has changed the face of education?

Evolution has happened continuously throughout human history. In education a new evolutionary stage is occurring. The way of conversing information has developed over time from using chalkboards and pen and paper to smart boards and computers. This blog is observing the different types of technology on the market, today, which are advancing the teaching experience in primary and high school education. 

In this modern era 89% students have access to computers at school or at home (KewalRamani, Gilbertson and Fox, 2007). With the wide of information available from the internet; teachers a wide range of educational recourses available. Such recourses were previously restricted to books and writer recourses. There are many sites across the internet, where teachers are able to share and observe learning resources with their peers. According to Perrault (2007) these recourses are very useful to teachers because it allowed the transference of knowledge and material across peers. An example of a educational resource site is (Pitchford, 2013).  

The internet has another feature which has recently been popular, online homework diaries. An example of such a website allows both pupil and pupils parents the ability to access homework, check out websites and source material to help with the homework and allows parents to see if there child has completed the work. (The Homework Diary, 1997)

Due to software creation being user friendly, teachers create fun actives, which they can share with other teachers. An journal by Tannahill, Tissington & Senior (2012) concluded educational games keep kids help more engaged and thus they learn more efficiently. Teachers are creating not only educational games; sites like Anki (Elmes, n.d.) allow children to make their own flash cards. This software has cross platform compatibility, so these flash cards can be accessed on smart phones and tablets. This allows education to become multi-media unit and can be access at throughout a person’s life via technology.  

The internet has been made even more accessible in the class rooms due to interactive smart boards (Anderson-SmartBoard, 2013). These devices are changing the way people teach. Students do not have to copy notes due to physical copies saved on the teachers’ computers. This is leading to changes in how students are being taught in the classroom. Teachers by using smartboards encourage students engage more in presentation and have discussion.  (Preston & Mowbray, 2008).

A new trend that is being implanted into education some countries is e learning. E learning is includes many type of media including streaming video, audio and imagines. A case study of e learning is, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has started to structure its schools on the basic principles of e learning. In 2008 spend the king of Saudi Arabia spend 17.5 Billion pound to make sure a majority of Saudi classrooms were able to incorporate E-learning equipping such as hardware smart boards. According to a study done by Zhang (2004), this new style of learning has increased the amount encoding done during class then traditional methods.

However, being in such an early stage of development the properly execution of eLearning has yet to be understood. According to an article called The Disadvantages of Online Learning (2011) the disadvantages of eLearning are: lack of pubic speaking and student interaction due to the isolation of the computer. Thus Shen et al. (2013) stated a mix of eLeaning and traditional education could be used in teaching. This would allow the use of the multi media aspect of e learning and the social integration of a typical classroom, this is called blended learning. Shen et al. (2013) did a study and found a positive responce from students when being taught via blended learning..

In conclusion, we need to start incorporating more eLearning into schools. With so much technology at our discretion, we need to use it’s learning potential to its full extent. However we must still to allow class integration and socialisation, so students and not completely dependent on computers for integration.


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Tannahill, N., Tissington, P., & Senior, C. (2012). Video games and higher education: what can “Call of Duty” teach our students?. Frontiers in Psychology3.

Elmes, D. (n.d.). Anki. Retrieved October 10, 2013, from

Preston, C., & Mowbray, L. (2008). Use of SMART Boards for teaching, learning and assessment in kindergarten science. Teaching Science, 54(2), 50-53.

Anderson-SmartBoard. (2013). Research Skills: Learning to Take Notes Using the Smart Board [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Pitchford, G. (2013, October 4). Primary Resources. Retrieved October 10, 2013, from

Perrault, M. (2007). An exploratory study of biology teachers’ online information seeking practices. School Library Media Research, 10. Retrieved October 10, 2013 from

The Disadvantages of Online Learning. (2011). In Elearning-companion. Retrieved October 11, 2013, from

Shen, Y. W., Reynolds, T. H., Bonk, C. J., & Brush, T. A. (2013). A Case Study of Applying Blended Learning in an Accelerated Post-Baccalaureate.Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange (JETDE)6(1).