The most interesting things
I’ve learnt about learning
Jason Yip
j.c.yip@computer.org
jcyip@thoughtworks.com
@jchyip
http:...
Break up into small groups of 5
• 10 minutes
• Identify a skill that you know very well
and design an approach to teach it...
Prepare for redesign
1. I will introduce some concepts
2. Jot down ideas for improvement for your
teaching approach
3. Sha...
MASTERY VS GRADES
In Australia, what is a passing
grade?
• Letter or %?
Simple availability calculation

50%

50%

0.5 * 0.5 = 0.25 or 25%
What level of performance
do we expect here?

Compound
skill

A

Just passed…
AA

B

C

Did ok…

Aced it!
BB

CC

Just pas...
Can do it or
can’t do it;
there is no
“passing
grade”
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bwjones/2619602001/in/photostream/
Compound
skill

A

B

C
ROUTINE VS ADAPTIVE EXPERTISE
d = ½gt2
d

What is d if…
t=2s
g = 10 m / s2
Let’s work through it
d=
d=
d=
d=

½gt2
½(10)(2) 2
5*4
20

But I’m sure you could do this faster…
Speed round
1. I’ll show the question and 3 possible
answers
2. Raise 1 finger to choose the first answer,
2 to choose the...
Dropped from the same height,
ignoring air resistance, which one
hits the ground first?

Other
(1)

(2)

(3)
Were we learning an equation or
an underlying concept?
Speed round 2
1. I’ll show the question and 3 possible
answers
2. Raise 1 finger to choose the first answer,
2 to choose t...
You’re about to shoot at an apple when it just
starts to fall out of the tree. Where should you aim?

(1)

(2)

(3)
Routine Expertise
(context-specific)

Adaptive Expertise
(survives change in context)

Indistinguishable
without change in...
Superficial

Semantic

Qualitative

What equation do I use?

The equation indicates that d is
independent of mass

Just sh...
Routine expertise comes from
mastering visible behaviour;
adaptive expertise comes from
mastering invisible concepts
MISCONCEPTIONS
Did you know this?
• The success of Toyota comes from the
cumulative impact of daily kaizen from
every employee
How many people agree with this?
Actually that’s wrong
• Most impact of improvements come from
project kaizen and strategic kaizen.
Daily kaizen is not abo...
How did you feel when I said
“Actually, that’s wrong”?
This is not learning
• “blah blah blah A”
• “Yeah, I already knew about B”
This is learning
•
•
•
•

“blah blah blah B”
“Yeah, I already knew about B”
“Actually, B is wrong. Blah blah blah A.”
“Huh...
“Yeah, I already knew that” = not
learning
“Huh?” = learning
If it feels comfortable, you’re
probably not learning anything
Learning starts with unlearning
misconceptions
SIMULATIONS VS DELIBERATE
PRACTICE
How many people have played an
Agile game / simulation?
Try to think back to what was
happening and how you felt. How
many people when playing the
game, were playing to win?
How many people were playing the
game, intentionally focusing on
exercising their weaknesses and
thus probably losing the ...
What stage is best for
performance?
1.
2.
3.
4.

Unconscious incompetence
Conscious incompetence
Conscious competence
Unco...
What stage is best for learning?
1.
2.
3.
4.

Unconscious incompetence
Conscious incompetence
Conscious competence
Unconsc...
There is no learning when you are
in flow
Staying conscious and out of flow
during practice is a deliberate act,
hence “deliberate practice”
In simulations and games people
tend to exercise their strengths;
deliberate practice needs to
address weaknesses
TEACH ONE CONCEPT AT A TIME
What’s the better delivery
approach?
Why?
What’s the better learning
approach?
We only have so much working
memory (7+/-2)

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_load
One-point lessons
• “…create lessons based on a single point,
typically on a single piece of paper, which
is then reviewed...
THEORY VS PRACTICE
If someone understands all the
theoretical concepts behind a
skill, but never practices, will
they master the skill?
If someone practices but has no
real understanding about theory
and rationale, will they master the
skill?
Theory without practice means
no skill; practice without
theory means wasted effort
So, what’s the role of a teacher?
Effective teaching is not about
conveying facts so much as
enabling effective practice and
exploration
Share your insights
To learn more
• http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_le
t_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education.html
• http://www.dtic.mil/cgi...
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The Most Interesting Things I've Learnt About Learning

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The Most Interesting Things I've Learnt About Learning

  1. 1. The most interesting things I’ve learnt about learning Jason Yip j.c.yip@computer.org jcyip@thoughtworks.com @jchyip http://jchyip.blogspot.com
  2. 2. Break up into small groups of 5 • 10 minutes • Identify a skill that you know very well and design an approach to teach it, including assessment • Include rationale for choices if you can
  3. 3. Prepare for redesign 1. I will introduce some concepts 2. Jot down ideas for improvement for your teaching approach 3. Share with group at end
  4. 4. MASTERY VS GRADES
  5. 5. In Australia, what is a passing grade? • Letter or %?
  6. 6. Simple availability calculation 50% 50% 0.5 * 0.5 = 0.25 or 25%
  7. 7. What level of performance do we expect here? Compound skill A Just passed… AA B C Did ok… Aced it! BB CC Just passed… DD
  8. 8. Can do it or can’t do it; there is no “passing grade” http://www.flickr.com/photos/bwjones/2619602001/in/photostream/
  9. 9. Compound skill A B C
  10. 10. ROUTINE VS ADAPTIVE EXPERTISE
  11. 11. d = ½gt2 d What is d if… t=2s g = 10 m / s2
  12. 12. Let’s work through it d= d= d= d= ½gt2 ½(10)(2) 2 5*4 20 But I’m sure you could do this faster…
  13. 13. Speed round 1. I’ll show the question and 3 possible answers 2. Raise 1 finger to choose the first answer, 2 to choose the second, 3 to choose the third 3. Answer as fast as you can 4. Ready?
  14. 14. Dropped from the same height, ignoring air resistance, which one hits the ground first? Other (1) (2) (3)
  15. 15. Were we learning an equation or an underlying concept?
  16. 16. Speed round 2 1. I’ll show the question and 3 possible answers 2. Raise 1 finger to choose the first answer, 2 to choose the second, 3 to choose the third 3. Answer as fast as you can 4. Ready?
  17. 17. You’re about to shoot at an apple when it just starts to fall out of the tree. Where should you aim? (1) (2) (3)
  18. 18. Routine Expertise (context-specific) Adaptive Expertise (survives change in context) Indistinguishable without change in context
  19. 19. Superficial Semantic Qualitative What equation do I use? The equation indicates that d is independent of mass Just shoot the apple, the arrow will fall at the same rate
  20. 20. Routine expertise comes from mastering visible behaviour; adaptive expertise comes from mastering invisible concepts
  21. 21. MISCONCEPTIONS
  22. 22. Did you know this? • The success of Toyota comes from the cumulative impact of daily kaizen from every employee
  23. 23. How many people agree with this?
  24. 24. Actually that’s wrong • Most impact of improvements come from project kaizen and strategic kaizen. Daily kaizen is not about impact so much as learning and values http://kaizeninstituteindia.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/kaizen-flag-its-all-about-people-people-people/
  25. 25. How did you feel when I said “Actually, that’s wrong”?
  26. 26. This is not learning • “blah blah blah A” • “Yeah, I already knew about B”
  27. 27. This is learning • • • • “blah blah blah B” “Yeah, I already knew about B” “Actually, B is wrong. Blah blah blah A.” “Huh?”
  28. 28. “Yeah, I already knew that” = not learning “Huh?” = learning
  29. 29. If it feels comfortable, you’re probably not learning anything
  30. 30. Learning starts with unlearning misconceptions
  31. 31. SIMULATIONS VS DELIBERATE PRACTICE
  32. 32. How many people have played an Agile game / simulation?
  33. 33. Try to think back to what was happening and how you felt. How many people when playing the game, were playing to win?
  34. 34. How many people were playing the game, intentionally focusing on exercising their weaknesses and thus probably losing the game?
  35. 35. What stage is best for performance? 1. 2. 3. 4. Unconscious incompetence Conscious incompetence Conscious competence Unconscious competence
  36. 36. What stage is best for learning? 1. 2. 3. 4. Unconscious incompetence Conscious incompetence Conscious competence Unconscious competence
  37. 37. There is no learning when you are in flow
  38. 38. Staying conscious and out of flow during practice is a deliberate act, hence “deliberate practice”
  39. 39. In simulations and games people tend to exercise their strengths; deliberate practice needs to address weaknesses
  40. 40. TEACH ONE CONCEPT AT A TIME
  41. 41. What’s the better delivery approach?
  42. 42. Why?
  43. 43. What’s the better learning approach?
  44. 44. We only have so much working memory (7+/-2) See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_load
  45. 45. One-point lessons • “…create lessons based on a single point, typically on a single piece of paper, which is then reviewed during the daily meeting.” http://jchyip.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/instead-of-teaching-whole-bunch-of.html
  46. 46. THEORY VS PRACTICE
  47. 47. If someone understands all the theoretical concepts behind a skill, but never practices, will they master the skill?
  48. 48. If someone practices but has no real understanding about theory and rationale, will they master the skill?
  49. 49. Theory without practice means no skill; practice without theory means wasted effort
  50. 50. So, what’s the role of a teacher?
  51. 51. Effective teaching is not about conveying facts so much as enabling effective practice and exploration
  52. 52. Share your insights
  53. 53. To learn more • http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_le t_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education.html • http://www.dtic.mil/cgibin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc. pdf&AD=ADA413046 • http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/super/thes es/PhD(Muller).pdf
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