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About Professor Berg
Professor of: Child Development
Phone: (818) 947-2600 ext. 8025
"When in the learning process does a learner cease to be a child?"
I passionately feel that all people learn best in the context of playful fascination, in a context wherein the learning is more important that producing a "pretty object" or a single "right" answer. I especially feel that these strategies need to be employed within university walls, particularly in human development, child development, and in all areas of teacher preparation.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear your words." Educators of future educators need to model passion for learning, and present appropriate play based curriculum, if the result they desire is authentic meaningful learning in every learning context from the youngest age into graduate school.
When people are relaxed, happy, and feel safe, they actually are willing to take broad learning risks. It is inside of cognitive risk taking that the most profound assimilation of information to an individual's working body of knowledge occurs. Learners who value a mistake as an opportunity to learn, instead of fearing death by letter grade, embark freely on the path of the learning adventure. Play is a safe context for risk. "Errors in the learning process are natural steps to understanding" (Jean Piaget).
My personal life goal is to have people lining up for classes the way they line up for a music or sports event. This can happen. The strategy we can employ as educators is to take Baumrind's democratic parenting approach into classroom management by treating our students with respect and positive expectations.
A minute of life is a precious commodity. As teachers it is our responsibility to make the minutes learners spend with us worth it. Worksheets, busy work, and punitive testing are ineffective ways to engage students in the learning process.
In response to a need for textbooks that support hands-on learning in the teacher education arena, Renee co-wrote the book Practical Kindergarten, An Essential Guide to Hands-On Learning with Karen Peterson Wirth. Practical Kindergarten is in over a hundred institutions around the world. For more information about Practical Kindergarten, please join Renee at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/practicalkindergarten.
Renée Berg has a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. Her Master's Degree is in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena. Renée also holds a Multi-subject Teacher's Credential, a single subject credential in fitness & dance and a SAG card.
Renée Berg has been working with children all of her life, much of that time with diverse learners. From Down's Syndrome and Blind children, to gifted, Renee's student centered approach to learning has served her and her students well. Renée currently teaches at Valley College and several other Southern California Community Colleges, as well as in two colleges at Cal State University Northridge. Renée teaches a broad spectrum of classes in the field of Child Development and Teacher Preparation in which she contextualizes theory through hands-on curricular application.