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Grit (Duckworth, Matthews, Kelly, Peterson)

Summary: Grit is a quality that learners have that enables them to persevere while facing struggles and obstacles. This can help the learners attain success because they don’t give up until they reach their goals. Originators & proponents: Angela Duckworth (University of Pennsylvania); Michael D. Matthews (USMA, West Point); Dennis R. Kelly (USMA, West Point); Christopher Peterson (University of Michigan) Keywords: achievement, grit, growth mindset, motivation, non-cognitive factors, performance, perseverence, persistence, personality, resilience, success Grit (Duckworth, Matthews,...

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Flow (Csíkszentmihályi)

Summary: Flow is an optimal psychological state that people experience when engaged in an activity that is both appropriately challenging to one’s skill level, often resulting in immersion and concentrated focus on a task. This can result in deep learning and high levels of personal and work satisfaction. Originators & proponents: Mihály Csíkszentmihályi Keywords: anxiety/stress, challenge level, creativity, engagement, expertise, happiness, immersion, flow, focus, learning, motivation, satisfaction, self-regulation, skill level Flow (Csíkszentmihályi) Flow is one of eight mental states...

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Situated Cognition (Brown, Collins, & Duguid)

Summary: Situated cognition is the theory that people’s knowledge is embedded in the activity, context, and culture in which it was learned. It is also referred to as “situated learning.” Originators & proponents: John Seely Brown, Allan Collins, Paul Duguid Keywords: activity, authentic domain activity, authentic learning, cognitive apprenticeship, content-specific learning, context, culture, everyday learning, knowledge, legitimate peripheral participation, socio-cultural learning, social construction of knowledge, social interaction, teaching methods Situated cognition...

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21st Century Skills (P21 and others)

Summary: Skills necessary for students to master in order for them to experience school and life success in an increasingly digital and connected age; includes digital literacy, traditional literacy, content knowledge, media literacy, and learning/innovation skills. Originators & Proponents: Groups – United States Department of Education, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, MacArthur Foundation; Individuals – Henry Jenkins, Mimi Ito, John Seely Brown Keywords: collaboration, digital literacy, innovation, technology, work-life skills, readiness, interdisciplinary learning,...

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Affordance Theory (Gibson)

Summary: Affordance theory states that the world is perceived not only in terms of object shapes and spatial relationships but also in terms of object possibilities for action (affordances) — perception drives action. Originators: J. J. Gibson (1904-1979) Keywords: Affordances, direct perception, ecological Affordance Theory (J. J. Gibson) American psychologist James Jerome Gibson was influential in changing the way we consider visual perception. According to his theory, perception of the environment inevitably leads to some course of action. Affordances, or clues in the environment...

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Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

Summary: Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is an instructional method of hands-on, active learning centered on the investigation and resolution of messy, real-world problems. Originators: Late 1960s at the medical school at McMaster University in Canada. Key Terms: open-ended problems, self-directed learners, teacher as facilitator, student as problem solver Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a pedagogical approach and curriculum design methodology often used in higher education and K-12 settings. The following are some of the defining characteristics of PBL: Learning is...

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