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A Reflective Approach to Conceptual Understanding Systematically organizing concepts in the context of a conceptual framework through using reflective.

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1 A Reflective Approach to Conceptual Understanding Systematically organizing concepts in the context of a conceptual framework through using reflective mental processes that encourage transfer learning. com Thinking like a Psychologist

2 Completion of a set of gateway courses for a program of study is a critical measure of success toward college completion. Students who complete at least three required “gateway” courses in a program of study within a year of enrollment are twice as likely to earn certificates or degrees. (Community College Research Center)

3 Bluegrass QEP: Reading Read for Life: Goals 1.Strengthen the students' learning experience in reading courses. 2.Improve BCTC Literacy across campuses. 3.Advance student reading in the college-level curriculum.

4 Co-Requisite Courses In co-requisite courses students are placed in both a content course and a skills course. Both courses would be designed so the skills of the developmental class directly supports the content of the college course. What are co-requisite courses and why?

5 Redesign the entire course structure of both the developmental and college-level course, don’t just add a co-requisite to your existing course. Make sure content and instruction are aligned between the two courses” (Getting Past G, 2011) Ideally

6 Align the content and skills of the developmental class to directly support the content of the college course which goes for depth by focusing on the developing competence. The content course directly supports the skills being taught in the developmental course. Reading Mental Processes relevant to content course reading assignment timely to student’s needs

7 Increase challenge and rigor The shift: - from all the skills that the learner did not learn in the past - to learning mental processes for developing conceptual understanding in their gateway content courses - transfer Learning

8 The Foundation of Reading to Learn Developing competence in an area of inquiry (transfer). - enable the learner to later apply what they have learned in new situations (transfer) and - be able to learn related information easier. The Core of Transfer Reading to Learn

9 Developing competence requires the learner to - develop a deep foundation of factual knowledge, - understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework, - organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application. Necessary for Developing Competence (Transfer Learning)

10 100% 50% 1 day1 week2 weeks Forgetting Curve 50% 20% 35% How Much Remembered

11 Forgetting - dendrites pruned 25% immediately 50% within 24 hours 80% within 2 weeks The day the average college student graduates after 4 years of college they will have forgotten 85% of what they learned.

12 How the Brain Learns Think of little electrical storms raging on and off throughout your brain, precisely choreographed to what you are doing.

13 100% 50% 1 day1 week2 weeks Forgetting Curve 50% 20% 35% How Much Remembered While Sleeping Electrical storm in brain - memory consolidation During sleep, the brain cleans itself. Pruning & Washing

14 Axon Neuron Ends Cell Body Dendrites Myelin Sheath The more myelin the circuit attracts, the stronger and faster its signal strength becomes. It turns out that myelin, not the nerves, is what builds the speed, precision and timing that creates great learners.

15 Romantic Dinner

16 Attention and the Stage Metaphor “Think of the prefrontal cortex as that part of your brain that makes decision or thinks through things. Now we are going to use David Rock’s metaphor for the prefrontal cortex, a stage in a small theater where actors play a part. The actors in this case represent information that you hold in your attention from the outside world (new information – in conscious awareness). Attention is when you have these actors (information from the outside) on stage. There are other actors, the audience that in this case may come on stage. “The audience represents information from your inner world: your own thoughts, memories, and imaginings. The stage is what you focus on at any one time, and it can hold information from the outside world, information from your inner world, or any combination of the two. Our working memory, based in the prefrontal cortex and used for learning new activities, has quite limited resources. This area fatigues much more easily than the basal ganglia, and is able to hold only a limited number of ideas “in mind” at one time. Since our working memory can get easily overwhelmed, any activity we do repetitively (to the point of becoming a routine habit) gets pushed down into the automatic pilot parts of the brain, to free up cognitive resources.

17 Working Memory 4 unrelated items seconds Begin at the Beginning - Attention

18 THE STAGE Actor: New information Stage: Prefrontal Cortex – where decisions are made Audience: Prior Knowledge - dendrites The Stage: metaphor for prefrontal cortex Learning Strategies need to become automatic so they don’t take up working memory The Stage is working memory where new information is stored and manipulated while you are learning. Workin g Memory Workin g Memory

19 Distraction or multitasking Focused attention

20 “A key finding organizing information into a conceptual framework allows for greater “transfer”; that is, it allows the student to apply what was learned in new situations and to learn related information more quickly.” (Bransford)

21 Axon Neuron Ends Cell Body Dendrites Myelin Sheath understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework - Identify or create the conceptual framework - Construct, relate, and systematically organize the meaning of concepts in the context of the conceptual framework Core Mental Processes pages

22 Once you grasp the big concepts around a subject, good thinking will lead you to the important facts. (John Bransford) Contrary to popular belief, learning basic facts is not a prerequisite for creative thinking and problem solving -- it's the other way around.

23 Axon Neuron Ends Cell Body Dendrites Myelin Sheath Building Cognitive Capacity

24 Reflection: internal dialogue / mental conversation with elaboration Axon Neuron Ends Cell Body Dendrites Myelin Sheath KEY :

25 Reflection: The Big Three Questions of Internal Dialogue Whether getting an overview of the chapter or reading the chapter, the reader should always have three question they are asking: 1. {What Do I Know} What do I already know? (Dendrites of Prior Knowledge) 2. {Are There Explanations or Examples} Are there explanations or examples in the book? (Connection to Dendrites of Prior Knowledge) 3. {Prediction} Can I predict where this is going? (Anticipate what is next) 4. {Conceptual framework} How does this relate to the big picture?

26 Psychology abnormal behavior criteria for abnormal behavior brain affects behavior mental illenss affects behavior deviant, maladaptive, personally distressful income,wealth What do these facts or ideas have to do with the conceptual framework of subject at hand? How does this relate to the concepts preceding the new facts, ideas, or concepts? What do I already know about these new facts and ideas? Do I understand what I just read? Where do I think this is going? (predicting) How is this like or different than what I already know? Maladaptive function effectively/ danger Breathing harms others Start here Reflection Big Picture

27 Psychology mind or brain affects behavior Psychological Disorder abnormal behavior Abnormal Behavior mental illness affecting behavior 3 Criteria distinguishing normal from abnormal behavior deviant atypical maladaptive function effectively danger personally distressful over time xxxx The Big Picture: Conceptual FrameWork

28 Psychology abnormal behavior criteria for abnormal behavior brain affects behavior mental illenss affects behavior deviant, maladaptive, personally distressful income,wealth Reflection Big Picture Think of it this way: You are building Cognitive Reserve - higher volume of connections between neurons.

29 Psychology abnormal behavior criteria for abnormal behavior brain affects behavior mental illenss affects behavior deviant, maladaptive, personally distressful income,wealth Phobic disorder Start here Reflection Big Picture Phobic disorder As the learner reads, he or she must reflect on how what they are reading relates to psychology, abnormal behavior, and the 3 criteria of abnormal behavior.

30 understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework - Identify or create the conceptual framework - Construct, relate, and systematically organize the meaning of concepts in the context of the conceptual framework - Predict: Our brains are structured to remember novel events that are unexpected. Because our brains are encoded to make and respond to predictions, they are particularly stimulated when they predict one effect and experience a different one. develop a deep foundation of factual knowledge, Re-exposure with elaboration: Reflection writing - summarizing internal dialogue inquiry questions organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application Mentally mind map: by organizing facts and ideas under the conceptual framework Core Mental Processes

31 understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework - Identify or create the conceptual framework Goal: Developing Competence in an Area of Inquiry - Construct, relate, and systematically organize the meaning of concepts in the context of the conceptual framework - Predict: Our brains are structured to remember novel events that are unexpected. Because our brains are encoded to make and respond to predictions, they are particularly stimulated when they predict one effect and experience a different one.

32 Understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework “Where a lot of people fail,” he said, “is they don’t encode well. They don’t place a memory in a context. The real key for remembering is that, whatever strategy you used for encoding, you have to use the same strategy for getting it out.” So it’s not that “smarter” people have “better” long-term memories; it’s that they simply generate more categories and search through them more diligently when trying to remember.(Unsworth)

33 understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework: problem solving 3 Criteria for Abnormal Behavior Psychological Disorders devia nt maladapti ve personall y distressfu l atypic al mental illness affecting - behavior, thinking, social interaction Anoxia Nervosa is an eating disorder that involves the relentless pursuit of thinness through starvation. Problem: You are a psychologist. Sue’s mother has referred her to you because she is worried that Sue has an eating disorder. Sue is to be married in two months. She is eating as little as she can because she wants to fit into her wedding dress. With this information, does she have a psychological disorder or an eating disorder based on the criteria for abnormal behavior, which would make it a mental illness affecting her behavior? over long time affects affective functioning

34 develop a deep foundation of factual knowledge, Re-exposure with elaboration: Reflection writing - summarizing internal dialogue inquiry questions Metacognitive key to every present moment when learning: As new concepts (facts and ideas) are encountered they must become factual knowledge through re-exposure with elaboration and organized while being learned in the context of a conceptual framework.

35 The First Rule: Deliberately re-expose yourself to the information if you want to retrieve it later. It is a simple fact, the more exposure a learner has to new information they want to learn the greater the likelihood that the new information will move from short-term memory (working memory) to long-term memory. From the Research “The typical human brain can hold about 4 pieces of information for less than 30 seconds. If something does not happen in that short stretch of time, the information becomes lost. If you want to extend the 30 seconds to, say, a few minutes, or even an hour or two, you will need to consistently re-expose yourself to the information. This type of repetition is sometimes called maintenance rehearsal. We know that “maintenance rehearsal” is mostly good for keeping things in working memory – that is for short periods of time” (Medina, 2008). Rules of Consolidation

36 The Second Rule: Deliberately re-expose yourself to the information more elaborately if you want the retrieval to be of higher quality. “More elaborately” means thinking, talking or writing about what was just read. Any mental activity in which the reader slows down and mentally tries to connect what they are reading to what they already know is elaboration. This means for the reader that he or she must slow down and have a conversation (reading, writing or talking) about what they are reading and wanting to learn in order for that information to be of a high quality. “High quality” means the information will be useable in the future for thinking reasoning or apply to new situations From the Research “We know that there is a better way to push information into long-term memory. That way is called “elaborative rehearsal” and it’s the type of repetition shown to be most effective for the most robust retrieval. A great deal of research shows that “thinking or talking” about an event immediately after it has occurred enhances memory for the event.” (Medina, 2008). The same is true for the information you are reading in a textbook. Rules of Consolidation

37 Re-exposure Time Intervals The Second Rule: Deliberately re-expose yourself to the information more elaborately if you want the retrieval to be of higher quality. “More elaborately” means thinking, talking or writing about what was just read. Any mental activity in which the reader slows down and mentally tries to connect what they are reading to what they already know is elaboration. This means for the reader that he or she must slow down and have a conversation (reading, writing or talking) about what they are reading and wanting to learn in order for that information to be of a high quality. “High quality” means the information will be useable in the future for thinking reasoning or apply to new situations From the Research “We know that there is a better way to push information into long-term memory. That way is called “elaborative rehearsal” and it’s the type of repetition shown to be most effective for the most robust retrieval. A great deal of research shows that “thinking or talking” about an event immediately after it has occurred enhances memory for the event.” (Medina, 2008). The same is true for the information you are reading in a textbook.

38 Fixed Time Intervals for Re-exposing and Elaborating  As the reader identifies what is important while reading, stop re-expose yourself to the information and elaborate on the it (have an internal dialogue, what do you already know about what you are reading, write about it (take notes in your own words), explain it to yourself out loud.  When you have read a new topic or paragraph, explain to yourself what you have just read; this is re-exposure to the information. Note: This time interval and the remaining time intervals take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen newly grown dendrites.  When you finish studying, take a few minutes to re-expose yourself to the information and elaborate.  KEY: Within 90 minutes to 2 hours, re-expose yourself to the information and elaborate.  Review again the next day as soon as you can.

39 organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application Mentally Mind Map: by organizing facts and ideas under the conceptual framework Key: Rigor and challenge can be enhance by ultimately learning how to apply the core mental strategies while mentally organizing new information in the context of a conceptual framework.

40 Psychology mind or brain affects behavior Psychological Disorder abnormal behavior Abnormal Behavior mental illness affecting behavior 3 Criteria distinguishing normal from abnormal behavior deviant atypical maladaptive function effectively danger personally distressful over time xxxx

41 Reflection Where does it occur? Working memory Distraction: By-passes prefrontal cortex UCLA associate professor of psychology and co-author of the study. "Even if you learn while multi-tasking, that learning is less flexible and more specialized, so you cannot retrieve the information as easily. Our study shows that to the degree you can learn while multi-tasking, you will use different brain systems. Doing several things at once is a trick we play on ourselves, thinking we're getting more done. In reality, our productivity goes down by as much as 40%. We don't actually multitask. We switch-task, rapidly shifting from one thing to another, interrupting ourselves unproductively, and losing time in the process.our productivity goes down by as much as 40% Meta-cognition - thinking about what you are thinking Meta-attention - paying attention to what you are paying attention to Meta-awareness - being aware of how you are being aware

42 The quantum Zeno effect is a phenomenon in quantum physics where observing a particle prevents it from decaying as it would in the absence of the observation. Consider Quantum Zeno Effect: So the Quantum Zeno Effect stabilizes or holds in place the neural circuitry that is involved in whatever someone is focusing on. So if you focus on something, the neural circuitry involved in what you’re focusing on will be stabilized by this physics effect called Quantum Zeno Effect. Focused attention, via the Quantum Zeno Effect will stabilize neural circuits, get them to fire together, and when they fire together they will wire together by Hebb’s Law. That is the physiological basis of self-directed neuroplasticity. Focus your attention on something new, and you make new connections. This has shown to be true through studies of neuro-plasticity, where focused attention plays a critical role in creating physical changes in the brain.

43 Working Memory Prefrontal Cortex Usefulness (transfer): From Working Memory for Learning to Working Memory to Accomplish a Task Social Inequality Stratification Systems of Stratification wealth, prestige, power ranking slavery, castes, estates, class income,wealth Sociology Social Interaction in Groups What do these facts or ideas have to do with the conceptual framework of subject at hand? How does this relate to the concepts preceding the new facts, ideas, or concepts? What do I already know about these new facts and ideas? Do I understand what I just read? Where do I think this is going? (predicting) How is this like or different than what I already know? Social Inequality wealth, prestige, power income,wealth Start here

44 understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework - Identify or create the conceptual framework - Construct, relate, and systematically organize the meaning of concepts in the context of the conceptual framework - Predict: Our brains are structured to remember novel events that are unexpected. Because our brains are encoded to make and respond to predictions, they are particularly stimulated when they predict one effect and experience a different one. develop a deep foundation of factual knowledge, Re-exposure with elaboration: Reflection writing - summarizing internal dialogue inquiry questions organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application Mentally Mind Map: by organizing facts and ideas under the conceptual framework Core Mental Processes

45 “Resist substituting strategies for thinking.” (Bransford) Example: Surveying a textbook chapter before reading it: Shallow Strategy – Surveying as a Substitute for Thinking (no internal dialogue is asked of the learner): Read the title Read the introduction Reading the headings and subheadings Look at pictures charts and graphs, Read summary Read questions at end of chapter And I would add: Resist substituting isolated skills for thinking.


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