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Blog Reflection 4: Prior Knowledge, EDCI 500-02

Posted by on October 20, 2013

The Calvaria major tree, native to the island of Mauritius in the western Indian Ocean is in danger of becoming extinct because of deforestation. Humans native to that area are using the unique tree for human needs. My hypothesis is that due to this rapid loss of the Calvaria major tree, humans are not replenishing their seeds and in turn the trees that are left are dying and unable to produce seeds. The old and dying trees are still left on the island because they have no use to humans as the young and plentiful ones did.

As I am approaching the island and working with my team of scientists, I would be very curious about other aspects of this tree and its environment. I would like to ask them how the water surrounding the island is and if it is polluted or clean. I would also like to ask how the weather is in the area compared to the amount of water the trees need to survive. I would be curious as to the surrounding animals and how they use the trees for survival. Most importantly I would be interesting in learning more about the humans native to the area and how they use the tree for human use and how often they may cut down the trees.

To solve the problem, I would like to look at possible solutions available in that location. If DNA could be recovered to produce a seedling to plant and replenish the Calvaria major trees than is that an option? Can natives replace the trees for another type of resource for their goods?

After exploring this module and learning about prior knowledge, I found myself recovering information that I have previously stored about rainforests and how they are becoming scarce due to human use. I directly related the two topics to form my hypothesis and come up with a solution to the problem. According to Anita Woolfolk, we can obtain previous knowledge through behavioral theory, cognitive theory, and constructivist theory (Woolfolk, 2013). Woolfolk believes that an individual can go through multiple stages and not just one with a topic. When exploring this activity, I found myself using the behavioral theory by understanding what the problem was asking of me. I used the cognitive theory to recall memory about what a hypothesis is and how I could relate rainforest deforestation to our problem. I used constructivist theory to make sense of the two and how they relate to form it into my own exploration.

I found that with this exercise I was able to see the use of all three first-hand. I saw it as a process and experienced myself learning through exploration. It was very unique to see myself recalling previous information and relating it to the lesson.


Woolfolk, A.E. (2013). Educational psychology (12th Ed). Pearson Education

One Response to Blog Reflection 4: Prior Knowledge, EDCI 500-02

  1. Angelika Farren

    Hi Brittany

    Going through the process is an interesting journey – especially from the student perspective!

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