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This paper respons the article on Critical review of the Blended learning models based on Maslow’s and Vygotsky’s Theory. It will discuss the definition of blended learning, the pedagogy underlying the practice of blended learning and its implication to the teaching and learning of the students, the role of teachers in the implication on blended learning design, technology and the role of teachers.

My understanding on blended learning

Having finished reading this paper, I try to formulate my understanding of blended learning. Blended learning is a mode of instructions delivery which combines of face to face activities with virtual learning environment through computer mediated instruction. Blended learning aims to enhance active learning among the students, increase the interaction between students-students and students with teachers.

This definition consists of two important aspects in the blended learning: process of teaching-learning and the technology. The technology functions as support to the teaching and learning processes; it increases the quality of the interactions between students and the teachers, the students and students. Through the interactions teacher and students should involve in higher and critical thinking processes. This is the central concern in the blended learning, it is not only about the technology used in the blended learning but it is about the quality of relationship among educators and learners which could improve the critical thinking through the technology mediation. “The focal point of education are the people and followed by pedagogy and not technology” (p.8).

 The pedagogy underlying the practice of blended learning

The value of educational theory and pedagogy in blended learning is very critical to the success of learning. It is fundamental that the use of technology in the blended learning should be based on the consciousness about the educational theory which underlying the learning processes in the blended learning. The theories of Vigotsky and Maslow on learning introduced in this paper give important pedagogical foundation for the blended learning.

The theories have common point which stresses on the important of human relationship and interaction. Vigotskys theory said that learning happens in the social and cultural interaction. The interaction can be with parents, teachers, friends, with the objects such as books, games and with the activities done at schools or at home. Vigotsky noted that the learning will contribute to the students’ growth if it occurs within student’s Zone of proximal development. To learn skill and concepts beyond ZPD, students need model and supports from teachers.

The Maslow’s theory focuses on the fulfillment of physical and psychological needs of the learners before the learning could happen such as physiological well being, safety, love and sense of belonging, self-esteem, self actualization. In the Maslow theory, relationship among students and teachers is important for the fulfillment of love and sense of belonging, self-esteem. Maslow said that students stop maturing when they achieve high self-esteem and therefore never reach self-actualization. The role of teachers as motivator is also crucial for students to achieve the self-actualization.

These should be the consideration of the educators when applying the blended learning. The technology employed in the blended learning should facilitate teachers and students to come to those experiences. The decision to blend the learning with technology should ensure that learners achieved the maximal skills and help them to actualize themselves. This is one of the challenges the blended learning; how technology should be used and adapted all the time to support learners’ learning processes. The use of technology in blended learning should be focused on the benefit of the people and based on the pedagogy suited to the needs of the people or the learners. Therefore it is necessary to learn the development of educational theory and its relationship with the educational technology and find ways how to use it to answer the need of the students. It is the heart of blended learning.

Implication to the design of blended learning

Both learning theories introduced by Vigotsky and Maslow contribute important bases for the design of blended learning. The social interactions, language and culture of learners total learning environment, with the educators’ and more-skilled peers’ facilitation are regarded as one of the keys design principles of blended learning. Pedagogical implications based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs should be considered during the design and practice of blended learning. Teachers as facilitator of the learning should take into account the important of how to create safe and free environment both virtual and face to face so that students could express themselves and could construct their knowledge through sharing of information among them.

 Technology never replaces the teacher

Another important point that is interesting to reflect in this paper is that teachers still play central role in blended learning. Technology will never replace the role of the teacher in the learning processes. As mentioned before, teachers are still needed to encourage learners to achieve skills beyond the Vigotsky’s ZPD and to inspire learners to achieve the so called full self-actualization of their potent in Maslow’s theory human needs. The human relationship is still crucial in the virtual environment.

Chew, Esyn. Jones,Norah & Turner, David (2008)Critical review of the Blended learning models based on Maslow’s and Vygotsky’s Educational Theory.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 12/20/2011 2:31 am

    Thanks for your nice experience to share with us. Really awesome article with plenty of informative things to be known for us.
    My blog is about educational toys.

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