Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Starting Class Projects

I am now getting used to my morning schedule of waking at seven, getting ready for class for an hour, and heading down to breakfast. I got down a bit early, so I was wasting some time in the lounge before I met up with some classmates and went to the dining hall. Yesterday I had fallen asleep through dinner so I was pretty hungry for breakfast. After eating a good, filling meal, I started for my class. 

Now that I know my way to the class, it takes me much less time to get there and I have more time for breakfast. I arrived a bit early and took out my materials. The first thing we did in class was discuss any questions that we had about the textbook reading from the previous night. The way we got these questions answered was very helpful for me because it involved the participation of the students. It was also helpful because even if someone did understand without further instruction everything that had been taught in the textbook, which is nearly impossible, it was still a review. The interactions between professor and student really enforced what we had learned instead of just having the information shoved at us in different ways. These explanations made up a large portion of our morning class. We also learned how to read an empirical article. At first I did not even know what the term meant, but Cassie described it as a scientific paper. It turns out, there are certain steps that can be taken to take in the information best. Certain parts of the paper must be read first. For example, to understand the research question and what the outcome of the research was, one reads the introduction and discussion of the findings first. These give you an idea of what was being looked for and what was found. At first, one does not even worry about the methods of research or experiment. Once you have the basic ideas down, then you can read about the methods that were taken to reach these conclusions. Once you have read all these different parts of the paper, you read over the whole paper once more as whole to see that the paper is coherent and complete. 

Today for homework, we had two empirical articles to read. Cassie, who has been reading these articles for twenty years now, says that to thoroughly read an article and understand the concepts, it still takes her about half an hour. It took me about an hour and half to just finish the first article, and I still had many questions. 

The article discussed at what age to babies start to understand object permanence. This is interesting because the game peek-a-boo for example, is very surprising to young babies because it is thought that at such a young age that when they no longer see something, to them it no longer exists. Another example of young infants or toddlers learning about their environment is when they will knock things off of counters for example. They are still learning about the properties of the world they observe. To adults and older children, it may seem so obvious that an object cannot rest without something under it holding it up, but toddlers and infants are still just learning about their world and it is all new information. They are born with however, according to these theories, the capability to learn about their world. 

After the first half of class, I grabbed lunch with some friends, and we compared our workloads in all of the different classes we are taking. Soon, it was time to head back to class and luckily it did not start pouring the way it did yesterday.

The second half of class was spent watching a video about the brains of premature babies compared to the brains of full term babies. When babies leave the womb early, there brains are not developed to the point they should be outside in an unprotected environment. Their brains are receiving stimuli like bright lights, sharp sounds, and air on their skin that their brains are reacting to.

 Next we worked more on the logistics of our final project. I am working with a girl named Madi who lives in Chicago, and a girl named Bella who is from Palo Alto. Tomorrow we are going to work together outside of class on the details of our experiment working with kids. 

Once again I spent the majority of the afternoon and night studying and doing homework for class tomorrow.
Me Studying in the Lounge

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Your class sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    That is one fine looking lounge you get to use.