Presentation on theme: "Using Learning Spaces to Encourage Deeper Learning Jose Mestre Department of Physics University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003 Copyright Jose Mestre."— Presentation transcript:
Using Learning Spaces to Encourage Deeper Learning Jose Mestre Department of Physics University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003 Copyright Jose Mestre 2004. This work is the intellectual property of the author. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author.
Outline What salient findings from the science of learning should inform classroom teaching? What types of activities are important in building deeper learning? What kind of assessment should be built in to measure learning gains? How can the traditional classroom and the technology in it encourage deeper learning? What teaching approaches align with what types of spaces?
What salient findings from the science of learning should inform classroom teaching? Backdrop: The National Research Council has released 2 reports related to human learning: 1.How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School (1999). 2.How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice (2000).
Classic Studies with Physics Novices & Experts Novices : “These are inclined plane problems” Experts: “This can be viewed as a work-energy problem” (Chi, Feltovich and Glaser, 1981).
Summary of what we know about the nature of expertise Experts have well-organized knowledge -- not just “problem solving” strategies; their knowledge is organized to support understanding (qualitative before quantitative) and it is “conditionalized” for use. Experts have fluent access to their knowledge. Such knowledge is acquired over time and depends on multiple, contextualized experiences. Implications -- “wisdom” can’t be taught directly and instruction must be directed towards the gradual acquisition of understanding & expertise.
The Transfer of Learning The transfer of learning from one context to another is neither trivial, nor automatic.
Transfer Experiment A general wishes to capture a fortress in the center of a country. There are many roads radiating outward from the fortress. All roads have been mined so that while small groups of men can pass over the roads safely, a large force will detonate the mines. A full-scale direct attack is therefore impossible. The general’s solution is to divide his army into small groups, send each to the head of a different road, and have the groups converge simultaneously on the fortress. You are a doctor faced with a patient who has a malignant tumor in the stomach. It is impossible to operate on the patient, but unless the tumor is destroyed, the patient will die. There is a kind of ray that may be used to destroy the tumor. If the rays reach the tumor all at once and with sufficient high intensity, the tumor will be destroyed, but surrounding tissue may be damaged as well. At lower intensities, the rays are harmless to healthy tissue, but they will not affect the tumor either. What type of procedure might be used to destroy the tumor with the rays, and at the same time avoid destroying the healthy tissue? Few college students could solve the second problem on their own. When told to use information from first, >90% were able to solve it.
Some Analogs to the Fish is Fish Story Young children who believe the earth is flat…. Physics students who assume “force of the hand” when a ball is thrown into the air Student beliefs that history is about the “good guys” vs the “bad guys” Students’ (of different ages) beliefs about seasons -- distance from sun not tilt
The way the teacher taught in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is no way to engage students in learning
What kind of assessment should be built in to measure learning gains? Formative assessment
What kind of assessment should be built in to measure learning gains? Summative assessment
How can the traditional classroom and the technology in it encourage deeper learning? Help students construct and organize their knowledge Illustrate multiple contexts in which knowledge can be applied Perform continuous formative assessment during the course of instruction Help students develop metacognitive strategies so they monitor their own learning Need to:
How can the traditional classroom and the technology in it encourage deeper learning? Teach interactively (see refs. at end) –Cooperative/collaborative learning in small and large classes –Active learning via classroom communication systems (infrared or RF clickers, wireless tablets, etc) Goal: Teacher should be a learning coach rather than a dispenser of information Opportunities
How can the traditional classroom and the technology in it encourage deeper learning? Seats usually bolted to the floor and prevent efficient communication among students and prevent teacher from “roaming” 50-minute slots 3 times a week may not be optimal The way we train PhDs is not conducive to breaking the teach-as-you-were-taught cycle Obstacles
What teaching approaches align with what types of spaces Two exemplars from physics
Robert Beichner, NC State Univ. Student- Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs (SCALE- UP) Project
Develop functional understanding of physics Develop expert-like problem solving skills Develop technology skills Develop favorable cognitive attitudes Develop communication, interpersonal, and questioning skills Course Objectives
Priscilla Laws, Dickinson Col. Workshop Physics Reduce Content and Emphasize Process of Scientific Inquiry Emphasize Directly Observable Phenomena Eliminate Formal Lectures Use Computer as a Flexible Tool
Summary Points There is an emerging science of learning It has major implications for all aspects of schooling -- curriculum, instruction, assessment, plus preservice & inservice teacher education, and learning space design It provides a basis for knowing when, how and why to use various instructional strategies It can guide the intelligent design and use of new curricular materials as well as information technologies
Useful References http://physics.dickinson.edu/~wp_web/wp_homepage.html http://www.ncsu.edu/per/scaleup.html http://umperg.physics.umass.edu/ Hake, R. (1998). Interactive-engagement vs traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses, American Journal of Physics, 66, 64-74. Dufresne, R.J., Gerace, W.J., Leonard, W.J., Mestre, J.P., & Wenk, L. (1996). Classtalk: A classroom communication system for active learning. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 7, 3-47. Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L. & Cocking, R.R. (1999). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T., & Smith, K.A. (1991). Active Learning: Cooperation in the College Classroom. Edina, MN: Interaction Book Co. Mestre, J. (2003). Transfer of Learning: Issues and Research Agenda. National Science Foundation Report #NSF03-212. 27 pages. (Available at www.nsf.gov/pubs/2003/nsf03212/nsf03212.pdf) Mestre, J.P. & Cocking, R.R. (2000). Special Issue on the Science of Learning. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 21 (#1). National Research Council. (2001). Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Etkina, E., Mestre, J., & O’Donnell, A. (in press). The impact of the cognitive revolution on science learning and teaching. In J.M. Royer (Ed.) The Cognitive Revolution in Educational Psychology. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. Mestre, J. (in press). Transfer of Learning from a Modern Multidisciplinary Perspective. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.