The Effect of TASC Wheel on Developing Self-Directed Learning Readiness and Academic Self Efficacy on a Sample of 7th Graders in Jordan

By Awwad, Ferial Mohammad Abu; Asha, Intisar Khalil et al. | Education, Winter 2014 | Go to article overview

The Effect of TASC Wheel on Developing Self-Directed Learning Readiness and Academic Self Efficacy on a Sample of 7th Graders in Jordan


Awwad, Ferial Mohammad Abu, Asha, Intisar Khalil, Jado, Saleh Mohammad Abu, Education


Introduction

There has been a worldwide growing interest in how children can develop their thinking and learning skills. This interest has been fed by new knowledge about how the brain works and how people learn, and evidence that specific interventions can improve children's thinking and intelligence. The particular ways in which people apply their minds to solving problems are called thinking skills. Many researchers suggest that thinking skills are essential to effective learning, though not all agree on the definition of this term. When it is generally accepted that for children to think they must know how to make sense of what they learn, then developing their thinking skills will help them to have more effective learning and more benefits for life (Fisher, 2005).

In the twenty-first century, one of the challenging tasks for educators to perform is developing students' ability to solve the intricate problems they may encounter in our world which is getting more and more complicated. An equally crucial task is probably the way students are made to realistically understand the interactions among people, development, and the natural environment, as well as the fact that the way these elements depend on one another may result in shaping current and future conditions for all living beings (Maker & Zimmerman, 2008).

One of the innate properties that characterize children is that they are born as curios and creative human beings: they will never cease to ask questions to know about the world in which they live. Fostering these questions and developing inquisitive and investigating minds is one of the essential roles of parent and teacher, and the processes of enquiry are the necessary routes for nurturing and developing all children's potential for thoughtful discovery. The theme flowing throughout is that teachers and learners need to work interactively to construct knowledge; and, together, through this interaction, deep and sustained learning is promoted. When learners are truly involved in constructing knowledge for themselves, their motivation is high and both individual and group effort is sustained. Importantly, children in many communities are born into a rapidly changing technological world: they grow up using technological tools naturally, with ease and without fear, and they are often more proficient than their teachers! Learners are able communicators on the global level, but too often such technical skills and powers of communicating are not adequately developed by educational programs in schools. Belle Wallace advances the Thinking Actively in a Social Context (TASC) Framework in which he explains thinking and problem-solving (Wallace, Bemardelli, Molyneux, & Farrell, 2012).

As the TASC Problem-solving Framework provides the guidelines for learners to work independently or in small groups, the learners can choose the level of depth and limits at which they take the topic, investigation and research project. The TASC Framework replicates, albeit very simply, how an expert thinker thinks, and since the world is a 'mixed ability' world, individual learners will need different levels of support. Some learners will use the TASC Framework to fly independently, while others will require varying degrees of scaffolding and teacher support. All children can think, but thinking can be enhanced and developed through appropriate practice, like a gymnast trains and perfects complex movements so that they become automatic and controlled but also highly flexible and creative. Teachers are reassured when they realize that the TASC Framework itself provides the 'control' of the lessons. However, when children are working within the TASC Framework, teachers universally report that learners are 'on task' with increased attention and concentration. Many 'behavior problems' disappear, as learners become more engaged in taking more responsibility for their thinking and decision-making. Additionally, in all the activities based on TASC, the objectives of learning can be easily pigeonholed and properly selected from the curriculum (Wallace, 2002). …

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