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Fostering Creativity in the Science and Mathematics Classroom Sheila Tobias.

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Presentation on theme: "Fostering Creativity in the Science and Mathematics Classroom Sheila Tobias."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fostering Creativity in the Science and Mathematics Classroom Sheila Tobias

2 Author Overcoming Math Anxiety Succeed with Math Breaking the Science Barrier Revitalizing Undergraduate Science The Hidden Curriculum: Faculty-Made Tests in Science Theyre not Dumb, Theyre Different Rethinking Science as a Career

3 Why Creativity is Important to Americas Future Innovation Education Science Math Creativity New Business New Jobs Economy

4 Innovation=Bringing an Invention or a New Idea to Market Not enough to generate creative technical people Have to educate business leaders to understand and appreciate inventiveness This means: Science and Mathematics for All

5 Capacity to Innovate What the Scholars Tell us The cognitive ability to produce novel and valuable ideas [Torrance, 1988] Students who use content in creative ways learn the content well. They also learn strategies for identifying problems, making decisions, and finding solutions both in and out of school. [Starko, 1994] 21st century schools should foster creativity, judgement, the ability to think, and the power of expression [Ogawa, Kuehn-Ebert, Devito, 1991].

6 When the Teacher Values Creativity in the Science/Mathematics Classroom Modeling Creativity Stimulating Creativity Rewarding Creativity (above all) Not Punishing Creativity

7 The Opposite: Rote Learning Memorization Recognition of learned materials Recitation Seatwork Teacher-directed small group discussions Structured instructions [Refs: Torrance, 1962,Weistein, 1991 Takahashi, 1993]

8 Creativity Education in General is Fostered by Student-Centered classroom High-level Interaction with teacher, with other students Less structured lesson plan Exposure to various learning strategies; allowing students to choose their own Active participation (performance) Self-management

9 Personality Variables and General Creativity Passionate, positive, tenacious, and energetic Has a long attention span Does not like a biased view or prejudice Unique and original, divergent thinking High self esteem Looks for various solutions, even after a single solution has been found

10 But may be Difficult to Teach Perseverance: sticks to an idea but Is often impatient Must finish what he/she starts Responsible and tenacious but Indifferent to others opinions Spontaneous, headstrong, even rude

11 How do you know what you think you know? What do you know? What would you like to know? Do you know what you thought you knew? What new information have you learned? Topic

12 Cultivating a Proper Attitude toward Errors I find my mistakes interesting; my confusions even more so. They are windows into my thinking. What is making this problem difficult for me? How can I make it easier for myself? Reifs extra points – Distinguish your trivial from nontrivial errors. Describe how you will avoid trivial errors. Discuss your nontrivial errors in some detail.

13 Question Posing Bloom found that >95% of test questions are at Lowest level, recall of informationEvaluationSynthesis Analysis Application Understanding Recall [Bloom, 1956, Himsl and Millar, 1993]

14 Question Posing 2 Stage One – Gathering Information Factual: what? why? how many? Procedural: information as to how something happened Stage Two – Organizing Information: Higher level why questions including why not questions Stage Three – Extending Information Hypothetical questions: what might happen next? What else might have happened? Speculative questions: creating new knowledge Himsl and Millar (1993)

15 Teaching Techniques Mostellers Minute Paper: 1. What was the theme of this unit? 2.What would you like to learn more about? 3. What was the muddiest issue?

16 Divided Page Exercise Thoughts Feelings Speculations What if Questions Solution in a logical sequential form

17 Three part Math Exam One-third credit for the correct answer One-third credit for finding MORE than one way to solve the problem One-third credit for writing a paragraph- long essay on what makes the problem mathematically interesting (This could be done for science, as well)

18 Making Use of Other Peoples Research Crux issues in experimental research Stories around research breakthroughs Description of current unsolved problems

19 Vary Approach: Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligences (1983, 1999) Verbal Interpersonal Naturalist Existential Visual Math Logic Musical Kinesthetic

20 Inquiry-Based Learning Change in Emphasis from What we Know to How we come to know. Development of inquiry skills Nurturing of inquiring attitudes, habits of mind Going from known to unknown to generating new knowledge Becoming not an all-knower but an expert learner Arons: Introduction to Teaching of Physics MacDermott

21 Constructivism Theory: Learners are active creators of their own knowledge by asking questions, exploring subject, and constantly assessing what and how they know. Each new knowledge must be reconciled with prior understanding; else false models (previous knowledge/paradigms) continue to prevail Teaching through pupil-generated experiments, real-world problem solving, discussion, debate Role of Teacher: Coach

22 Developing Expert Learner Expert sees patterns and meaning not apparent to novices Experts have in-depth knowledge of their fields, structured so that it is most useful Facts in experts memory are accessible, transferable, and applicable to a variety of situations Experts can easily retrieve their knowledge and learn new information in their fields with little effort.

23 Concept Mapping Teacher use: To communicate complex ideas Student use: To explicitly integrate new and old knowledge Assessment use: To assess understanding or diagnose misunderstanding [Ausubel, Novak, U.S. Buzan, U.K.]

24 The Latest Word on Learning Styles Abuse: Dont expect me to take notes teacher. Im an auditory learner. Facts: Most professionals use more than one learning style, choose most suitable to problem/situation Our goal as educators is to e-ducare lead one out of ones comfort zone into new methods of learning

25 References References Journal of Creative Behavior Ai-Girl, Tan, Singaporean Teachers Perception of Activities Useful for Fostering Creativity (2001) Norko Srek, Xitro Fan, Lani Van Dusen,A Comparative Study of Creative Thinking of American and Japanese College Students (2001). Howard Gardner, Frames of Mind (1983), The Disciplined Mind (1999), Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligence for the 21st Century (1999). National Science Resources Center J.D. Novak,, Clarify with Concept maps (1991), How do we learn our lesson? (1993) M.J. Lawson Concept Mapping, 1994 T. Buzan The MindMap book, Richard Felder, Learning Styles

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