How do you feel about the concepts of theory and philosophy we have approached so far?

Philosophically it is difficult to establish the concept of being human. It is bigger than merely the existence of a soul.  I have come to the conclusion that being human involves our desires, and how we achieve them.  One trait humans carry is the ability to devise a logical plan to achieve our goals.    We are able to take in new experiences which adjusts the way we look at the world and influences our behaviors.  This in turn adjusts how we interact in the world and determines what actions we take. Humans are capable of self-realization, which is a higher order thought process that is influential in how we view and adapt to new experiences.

The deeper dive into behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism has produced new revelations.  For one thing I always thought individuals aligned with one paradigm and looked at learning through that lens.  Now I have discovered that the paradigm should fit the desired learning experience.  It does make sense, the learning goals should be priority, then choose the paradigm that would best achieve the goals.

How have you translated some of that thinking into your arguments both written and oral in class?

I knew what I wanted my first argument to be, however gathering proof is another story.  Personally I take a more pragmatic approach.  That is all good in execution, however it does not always give a strong basis to answer why.  Theory serves as that basis for uncovering why and aligning logical reasoning to support my argument.  As I become more comfortable with theory, or discover theories of interest I will gradually take the theoretical view over pragmatic, but I do believe this will be a gradual process.

Has there been any shift in your expectations about what scholarly writing?

In working on the first argument I found the need to better synthesize what I found in literature to validate my points.  In my first year of the PhD program I was summarizing literature and not entirely using it to enhance my own points.  I started figuring out that I needed to take literature findings further to build a strong paper.  The argument style of writing has helped me to better incorporate literature and synthesize what other findings mean to my work.  Kind of an exciting discovery.

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