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Teachers and Students as Co-Learners

Toward a Mutual Value Theory


Dengting Boyanton

Teaching is hard. Many teachers find it stressful. New teachers often lose their enthusiasm. The special education population is skyrocketing. Students are losing their motivation. What has gone wrong? How can we create powerful learning in students? Most importantly, how can we bring joy back to the classroom? Mutual value theory, as developed by Dengting Boyanton, asserts that to generate powerful learning, four essential values must be instilled in both students and teachers:
1. self-value – both students and teachers value themselves highly
2. perceived self-value—both consider themselves to be highly valued by others
3. other-value – both value each other highly
4. course-value – both value the course highly
Since 2007, the author has applied this theory to her classroom teaching and has received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Students describe her courses as motivating, engaging, enjoyable, respectful, and empowering. Based on both theory and personal teaching experiences, Teachers and Students as Co-Learners: Toward a Mutual Value Theory will help readers develop a deeper understanding of learning, re-ignite their enthusiasm, and, most importantly, create powerful teaching and learning in the classroom.


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Part I: Foundation of the Mutual value Theory


part i foundation of the mutual value theory . 1 . introduction Before I go into the details of the mutual value theory, I would like to provide my readers with a quick orientation in three areas: 1) a review of the most influential learning theories, 2) a summary of how I discovered the mutual value theory, and 3) a brief overview of the mutual value the- ory. First, it is important to review previous learning theories because I believe that knowing what has already been done in the field of learn- ing can help readers examine and understand the mutual value theory from a comparative, historical, and developmental perspective. Second, I believe that sharing a little of the background of how I discovered the mutual value theory will give readers a taste of the exploration process in research, as if they were discovering the theory along with me, which I hope will make it more meaningful and real to them. Of course, since the development of this theory was long and complex, this book will focus more on the theory itself rather than on the theory-developing process. Finally, since the mutual value theory is complicated and concerns many factors, a brief “big picture” overview should help readers better understand the relation and significance of the specific sub-concepts covered in each chapter. 4 teachers and students as co-learners Review of Learning Theories How do students learn? What conditions will produce the most powerful learning? These questions have been investigated by numerous scholars...

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