College students today…
o are smarter (James Flynn)
o are better educated (Berliner & Biddle; Marable)
o more professionally-oriented, older, more female,
more non-white, more non-English speaking
o get too little sleep (Mary Carskadon)
o use the Internet instead of print sources, but
trust print more (Leigh Healy)
o focus on testing and grades too much
NCI Orientation 3 5 September, 2007
o Why do cars speed up passing a stop sign?
o Why do things far away seem blue?
o Why do my eyes water when I stare?
o How does your body make tears?
o Is the salt in tears the same as the salt on
o What’s that pipe from the silo to the barn?
NCI Orientation 4 5 September, 2007
Exercise: How do you learn?
Part 1. What shape is the earth? Draw
a picture of yourself standing on the
earth, as you would have drawn it when
you were five years old.
NCI Orientation 7 5 September, 2007
Part 2. How did you learn that? Write
three or four phrases describing what
led you to that picture of the earth.
NCI Orientation 8 5 September, 2007
Research on learning
Child: I can see it. The world is flat.
NCI Orientation 9 5 September, 2007
Adult: No, the world is round.
Child: It’s round? Oh, a pancake!
NCI Orientation 10 5 September, 2007
Adult: No, no... a ball! Look at this photo of
earth from outer space.
Child: Oh! Two earths! The round one in space
and the flat one we live on.
NCI Orientation 11 5 September, 2007
Learning means to
o Ask; find problems
o Investigate; combine information from
visual, auditory, kinesthetic, verbal sources
o Create; active construction of meaning
o Discuss; collaborate with others of
different backgrounds; think critically
o Reflect; build on experience; learn how to
NCI Orientation 12 5 September, 2007
o Vygotsky: zone of
o Dewey: felt
NCI Orientation 13 5 September, 2007
Inquiry and life
We always live at the time we live and not
at some other time, and only by extracting
at each present time the full meaning of
each present experience are we prepared
for doing the same in the future. This is
the only preparation which in the long run
amounts to anything.
--John Dewey, Experience & Education
NCI Orientation 14 5 September, 2007