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I) Introduction: My view of why science education important, goals of science education, why requires new approach. II) Scientific approach to science.

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Presentation on theme: "I) Introduction: My view of why science education important, goals of science education, why requires new approach. II) Scientific approach to science."— Presentation transcript:

1 I) Introduction: My view of why science education important, goals of science education, why requires new approach. II) Scientific approach to science education. III) Some specific tools that work. Good benefit/cost ratio. Carl Wieman, Univ. of Colorado

2 O) Why science education important today? Past: ~ 2000 B.C. to 1950 A. D. Train replacements. + few decades- filtering of engineers and premeds. Now. 1. Enlightened self-interest-- people will not fund science unless understand and appreciate. 2. Its the economy stupid. Highly technical economy, needs large technical workforce to maintain and grow. 3. Survival of world. Power to really screw things up! Policy decisions made by the Public. Need a LOT more technically and scientifically literate to decide wisely.

3 To fill this need we must: Educate large diverse fraction of population. Science education effective and relevant. "Form" not "reform" science education! Never done any place, any time. How? Step 1. Goal of science education for individual learner?

4 The primary educational goal. Transform novice attitudes and problem solving approaches into expert. Think about science like a scientist.

5 COGNITION AND INSTRUCTION (physics), David Hammer Novice Expert Beliefs about structure Pieces Coherence Formulas Concepts By Authority Independent (experiment) Beliefs about content Beliefs about learning Problem-Solving Behavior Conceptual knowledge impacts problem-solving. Performs qualitative analysis. Uses forward-looking concept-based strategies. More time setting up solution, less time total. More satisfaction. Problem-solving independent of concepts. Manipulates equations. Backward-looking means-ends techniques. Spends more time! Gets much more frustrated! think about science like a scientist

6 How to get there? Use tools of science to teach science!

7 Tools of science for science education. 1. Well defined measurable goals (learning), measure results. 2. Gather unbiased data (on student learning). Conclusions principles practices using data not hopes or anecdotes or philosophy. 3. Know initial conditions. Take into account imperfectly controlled variables. (student variation) 4. Utilize new technology effectively. 5. Learn from past research. Disseminate results rapidly, duplicate and build on success.

8 Revealing results from education research. 1. Instructors in science courses usually poor at knowing what students are (and are not) learning. 2. Very little information transfer in traditional lecture course. 3. Thinking is not a spectator sport. Need to do it to learn how. 4. If memorization of content and problem-solving recipes will do well on exam, that is what students will learn. 5. People do not learn something if they see no reason for learning it. Telling them why later is too late. 6. Most physics courses move students away from expert toward novice attitudes and problem solving!

9 Comparison of traditional lecture (red) vs interactive engagement (green) in intro physics. R. Hake Fraction of unknown concepts learned (FCI). 14 classes trad. 48 classes inter. engagement

10 Science education today- like science of Galileos day. Radical idea of measurement based science. New approach. Showed old ideas wrong. Led to explosion of progress. measurement improved insight theory technology improved measurement

11 Vision of science education tomorrow- Research-based approach. Every class rigorous measurement of student learning. Measurement drives practice-- continual improvement. Technology for large scale measurement and feedback. Dissemination of results, share, copy, improve. Enabling developments : Research in education-- basic principles & practices learning and assessment of learning. (How People Learn, Learning and Understanding (NAS),…) Technology-- practical widespread measurement of learning, feedback, handling lots of data.

12 Vision of science education tomorrow- Research-based approach. Every class rigorous measurement of student learning. Measurement drives practice-- continual improvement. Technology for large scale measurement and feedback. Dissemination of results, share, copy, improve. Ultimate link between research and teaching. Using scientific approach to educate students to think like scientists!

13 sounds good but … Implementation still lagging. Development of R & D needed. (from learning research to efficient tools for Physics 101). Human element (Unscientific scientists.)

14 A. Common unscientific mistakes in teaching. 1. Follow tradition-- just superstition as to what is best. Hard to avoid! (examples here) 2. Conclusions as to effectiveness based on hopes and anecdotes. 3. Extrapolating to students what worked for them. 4. "Cop-out". Students not as prepared or motivated as us. …. Curriculum: Sci.& Eng.s What students should know… How can students learn this?

15 Human factors 2. Remember what it is like--CEW history Applying research-based approaches to intro classes ~ 6 yrs. Group projects, homework, and/or presentations interactive lecture demonstrations/experiments context reach problems and presentation (real world) various forms of feedback and assessment technology learning goals Lots of work, limited indications of success: I learned a whole lot in this class, but Prof. Wieman should be fired and I should get my tuition back. I had to learn it all myself, he never taught us anything. Experience, better understanding of principles, better goals and measures, more work improved success (& less whining) Finally success very evident!

16 Some examples of stuff that does work. 1. Cheap and non-time-consuming to use. 2. Dramatic quantitative evidence. 1. Individual electronic response system. 2. Interactive simulations.

17 IR clickers (individual electronic feedback system). (cost small: ~$2 K, this room + $29 per student) Impacts: 1. Students engaged. 2. Feedback to instructor. 3. Feedback to students-- Much higher retention of ideas & information. Ways in which we use: many types of questions. 1. Start of class quizzes on reading. 2. Quick surveys on backgrounds, course issues, … 3. Students predict results for all demonstrations. 4. Check understanding of material covered. 5. Reveal prevailing misconception to confront/get attention leading into coverage of material. assigned seats and consensus groups

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20 line (fall 01): lots of demos, colored cards feedback, no groups column (spr 03): used clickers, assigned seats and groups great dealfair amountsomea littlenone Usefulness of lecture to your learning Does it work? 1. Student assessment.

21 2. Measures of retention of information from lecture, with and without clicker based questions. Explaining about sound and how a violin works. I show class a violin and tell them that the strings cannot move enough air to produce much sound, so actually the sound comes from the wood in the back. Point inside violin to show how there is a sound post so strings can move the bridge and sound post causes back of violin to move and make sound. 15 minutes later in the lecture I asked students a question the sound they hear from a violin is produced by a. mostly by strings, b. mostly by wood in back, c. both equally, d. none of the above. What fraction gave the correct answer? a. 0%, b. 10 %, c. 30%, d. 70%, e. 90% b. 10%

22 lightening rods Lightening rods a. attract lightening to tip, prevent from hitting rest of building. b. prevent lightening from occurring. c. make it strike somewhere else. d. dont actually do anything, are superstition. + + first asked 10% correct. 2. days later, asked again. 88% correct (consistent with 100%)

23 Carl WiemanWendy Adams Noah FinkelsteinKrista Beck Ron LeMasterKathy Perkins Sam ReidMike Dubson supported by: The Kavli Institute, NSF, Univ. of Col., and A. Nobel Cheap (to you!) and effective technology II. Online interactive simulations. Physics2000 BEC applets. Physics dept. colloq. to 4 th graders! Physics Education Technology Project (PhET) Wide range of topics, extensive testing (in process), guided discovery units (in process),

24 Summary: Tools of science can revolutionize education just as they did science. Will take time and attention to fact "thinking scientifically" not natural human activity. Need good tools, convincing data.

25 III. Specific science based approaches that have worked for me. (~ all adapted from ideas in res. lit.-- ed., psych., advertising) What data indicates worked? Intro algebra-based physics for nonscientists. Traditionally unpopular, hard to teach. With entire package: Enrollment x 2-3 (200 first term, 55 second) Attendance x ~2 Time on homework x Scores on exam problems up ~ 1sigma (~2 grades) Dramatic change in student attitudes about physics and classroom atmosphere. Not class specific. Expect similar effects for any intro courses and many more advanced classes.

26 Entire package (existence proof, dont duplicate!) *1. Specific measurable learning goals. 2. Content: start with phenomena & technology then go to general physics concepts. Handles relevance, connection with real world. 3. Questionnaires on background and attitudes, before, during, after. Mostly use SALG free online system. 4. Long, hard, homework sets, connect to real world, pass why should anyone care test, substantial essay part. 5. Facilitate and encourage collaboration on homework. (& listen in ) *6. Interactive Java programs-- visual conceptual models. *7. In class electronic feedback system. 3 person response groups. 8. Interactive lecture demos, predictions, real data. 9. Required to read text before class. 10. System for ongoing feedback on items of confusion, interest, help or hinder learning. 11. Powerpoint with fancy graphics- available on web. 12. Extensive class website. Lecture notes, assignments, solutions, example problems, derivations, …


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