Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Bayer, A. S. (1990). Collaborative-apprenticeship learning: Language and thinking across the curriculum, K-12. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

Bayer advocates greater student responsibility for learning, heterogeneous class groupings, and the use of collaborative activities. In this book, she presents a new teaching modelÑCollaborative-Apprenticeship LearningÑthat relies on language and learning principles to guide teaching decisions. She draws from Vygotsky's theory that learning is social, and from the Vygotskian notions of the zone of proximal development (ZPD) and scaffolded instruction. She proposes that students become the primary language users in the classroom, and elaborates on ideas such as the roles of peer collaboration, expressive or exploratory talk, and expressive writing in learning; language as a tool for thinking; and the teacher's role as a collaborator. The Collaborative-Apprenticeship Learning model is based on four broad language and learning principles: (1) learners are actively attempting to make sense out of their world; (2) working in collaboration with an instructor and peers within the apprenticeship process, learners construct knowledge beyond what they could do independently (ZPD); (3) language is used as a tool for learning; and (4) students develop language and thinking competencies by using these processes regularly for meaningful problem-solving tasks. The model involves starting with what students know, sharing that prior knowledge, building on that knowledge collaboratively, embedding language as a tool for learning throughout the process, and increasingly supporting student initiative. Bayer presents case studies to illustrate the model in real classroom situations and offers practical advice for teachers interested in changing their approaches to teaching.

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