Believing is Seeing:  Exploring the Role of Student Beliefs in ‘Real’ Learning Washington Assessment, Teaching & Learning ...
“ Do you mean ‘really learning’ or ‘just learning’?” Student quoted in Bill Perry’s  “ Sharing in the cost of growth,”  fr...
Questions to Consider <ul><li>How would you define  knowledge ? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you see your view of knowledge in...
Whose Meaning Matters? Look! Do I sound crazy in saying that the  students  are the source of the meanings they will make ...
Why Does it Matter? Diversity, social problems, environmental issues, and the changing geopolitical situation all require ...
“ Perry-ism” #1 When bright people persist in doing stupid things, we know that powerful forces are at work.
Explanations for Individual   Differences in Learners <ul><li>Intelligence/ </li></ul><ul><li>aptitude </li></ul><ul><li>S...
Key Aspects of the Perry Scheme <ul><li>Describes nine sequential “positions” from which students view knowledge and learn...
VIEW OF  KNOWLEDGE ROLE OF LEARNER ROLE OF “AUTHORITY” <ul><li>Isolated, verifiable facts </li></ul><ul><li>Discrete block...
From Dualism to  Contextual Relativism:  A Real Paradigm Shift (groan) <ul><li>Moving beyond received belief to “creative ...
Learning as Transforming  Understanding … Being able to repeat facts and plug numbers into formulae to get the right answe...
Contributions of Perry Scheme to Understanding Role of Beliefs in ‘Real’ Learning <ul><li>Reflects critical underlying ass...
“ Perry-ism” #2 If the power [of the scheme] is to label students the better to develop them, we shall dehumanize them and...
Instructional Implications of “Believing is Seeing” <ul><li>Design learning environments, don’t “develop” students” </li><...
“ In Over Our Heads”
Educational Practice? <ul><li>Basically, you learn two kinds of things in college: </li></ul><ul><li>Things you will need ...
FACILITATING  ‘ REAL’ LEARNING NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE ROLE OF “AUTHORITY” ROLE OF LEARNER <ul><li>Re-think content coverage <...
Re-Visioning Assessment from Perry Scheme Perspective <ul><li>Assessment as  Learning   </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment as  M...
Assessing  Real Learning Understandings of core concepts/themes Ways of reasoning within disciplinary contexts Self-assess...
Role of Self-Assessments in ‘Real’ Learning <ul><li>Fostering meta-thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting active inquiry </l...
When All is Said and Done, It’s Easier Said than Done
Hope & Loss:  Real Learning Takes Courage … It may be a great joy to discover a new and more complex way of thinking and s...
“ Perry-ism” #3 This is our creative obligation as educators: to find ways to encourage.
Summary of Key Messages about “Believing is Seeing” <ul><li>Students have differing personal epistemologies, and these con...
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Believing is Seeing

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overview of the Perry scheme of intellectual and ethical development and its implications for higher education assessment, teaching and learning

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  • “ seeing”=deep understanding=“real learning”
  • What do you think she meant by this distinction? [Compare to goals/outcomes listed earlier] As the result of their encounter with us, we want our students to think differently—about key concepts, the discipline in general, themselves… Paul Ramsden, Australia: learning should be about changing the ways in which learners conceptualize the world around them, [not just] being able to repeat facts.
  • We’re living in an uncertain and rapidly-changing world
  • This morning is about exploring one perspective on what these powerful forces might be. The other part of the context is the notion of “real learning” I alluded to in my title—it comes from a student responding to an interview question about what she thought about her learning in the past year in college:
  • Differences in performance undoubtedly exist—question is why? Socialization: (outsider  insider) DEVELOPMENT: specifically epistemological development
  •          Way of understanding learning as transformation--reconstruction of one&apos;s ideas about knowledge, about learning, about self          background for study--Harvard, 50’s &amp; 60’s, published 1970          not a straight, smooth linear process perspectives don’t reside in students, but in the “in-between”--the relationship between learner and learning context
  • Knowledge increasingly conjectural, certainty limited by contexts Learner increasingly active, responsible for learning Teacher shifts from source of learning to a resource for learning
  • Perry referred to the transition from late multiplicity to contextual relativism as “the space of meaninglessness between received belief and creative faith” (faith as the “activity of seeking and composing meaning”—Sharon Parks)
  • Belief systems matter; believing IS seeing, and the transformation Ramsden describes involves transforming these underlying worldviews Perry scheme particularly helpful in understanding these processes (see next slide)
  • Steven Pinker: naïve epistemologies &amp; un-learning Knowing and the knower are inseparable Not just an accumulation of stuff, but a transformation in the way learners think about key topics (and learning itself) Building blocks that provide better capacity for grappling with the complexity of the world; empathy for “the other” is central to process
  • What we’re talking about is using these perspectives to help us create conditions for learning that would engage students and promote more effectively, and for a broader range of learners, the kind of real learning we seek Talk a little bit about implications for teaching and for assessment
  • NOT about dragging students kicking &amp; screaming up some developmental hierarchy &amp;quot; The future is an idea that guides us in the present, but it&apos;s only an idea. While we are helping people to develop, let us not forget to celebrate them as they are in this moment.&amp;quot; (Perry) 2) Meet students where they are and build a bridge to where you want them to go (Vygotsky notion of scaffolding) 3) R. Kegan: people grow best where they continuously experience an ingenious blend of support and challenge; the rest is commentary
  • transformation of understandings is harder work for students than receiving transmitted knowledge (and often resisted– A lot of us feel overwhelmed at times—though perhaps we’re not as blithely comfortable with the simple solution as Calvin is!
  • This wouldn’t be so painfully funny if it weren’t grounded in at least some reality—and whether we like it or not the perception is a common one. There’s a little pain of self-recognition in this admittedly exaggerated (and funny) perspective—but real learning is more than just what you need to know later (and hopefully more than just 2 hours worth!)
  • Use the 3 major strands that shape (and are shaped by) students’ meaning-making as a framework for re-thinking classroom practice in ways that influence student meaning-making about the subject matter and learning itself
  • 1) Defines what’s important Conveys epistemology 2) Content, context, perceptions Understandings in social context 3) Feedback essential to process Done with, not to, students
  • The understandings students have of the core concepts (or “big ideas”) of the disciplinary context in question, and the ways they use those big ideas to think about and solve real problems within that context, but also the often-neglected realm of self-assessment: explicit reflections students have about their own learning within the discipline (pushing them to be more aware of their own thinking and learning in the process)
  • Formal measures: Interviews Perry RJI (Reflective Judgment) Production measures MID (Measure of Intellectual Development) MER (Measure of Epistemological Reflection) Forced-choice/recognition measures LEP (Learning Environment Preferences) RCI (Reasoning about Current Issues)
  • We’ve just scratched the surface today—Bill Perry was always clear that individual learners are more complex than any theory Not only that, classrooms are made up of a wide variety of learners, and exist in complex educational contexts that don’t always support, let alone reward, the kind of challenging work we’re talking about here. It’s important to acknowledge that, and further, to recognize that the kind of real learning we’re describing takes courage on the part of learners.
  • It also, of course, takes courage, dedication and persistence on the part of teachers, especially in these days of increasing public scrutiny and calls for accountability. But I’ll close with one last Perry-ism that helps remind me, anyway, of what our focus should be:
  • Not just our students, but ourselves and our colleagues as well…
  • 1) Range of personal epistemologies in any given classroom: qualitatively different conceptions of the nature of knowledge and what learning involves; these conceptions are often different from faculty&apos;s expectations, and are difficult to change, particularly if ignored 2) transformation of students&apos; understandings about the subject matter and the nature of knowledge than about the transmission of information 3) both a loss of world views and a threat to one&apos;s sense of self 4) For better or for worse, whether you’re explicit about it or not
  • Believing is Seeing

    1. 1. Believing is Seeing: Exploring the Role of Student Beliefs in ‘Real’ Learning Washington Assessment, Teaching & Learning Conference May 2006 William S. Moore, Ph.D. State Board for Community & Technical Colleges [email_address]
    2. 2. “ Do you mean ‘really learning’ or ‘just learning’?” Student quoted in Bill Perry’s “ Sharing in the cost of growth,” from C.A. Parker, 1978
    3. 3. Questions to Consider <ul><li>How would you define knowledge ? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you see your view of knowledge influencing the way you think about learning and your teaching ? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Whose Meaning Matters? Look! Do I sound crazy in saying that the students are the source of the meanings they will make of you? All right, so you feel you are making meaning for them; you know your subject matter, they do not. But it is the meaning they make of your meaning that matters! Obviously. Why am I shouting? After all, it is the meanings you make of my meanings that matter, and shouting will not help… William Perry, from The Modern American College , A. Chickering & Associates, 1981
    5. 5. Why Does it Matter? Diversity, social problems, environmental issues, and the changing geopolitical situation all require minds that can grapple successfully with uncertainty, complexity and conflicting perspectives and still take stands that are both based on evidence, analysis and compassion and deeply centered in values. Craig Nelson, 1994
    6. 6. “ Perry-ism” #1 When bright people persist in doing stupid things, we know that powerful forces are at work.
    7. 7. Explanations for Individual Differences in Learners <ul><li>Intelligence/ </li></ul><ul><li>aptitude </li></ul><ul><li>Skills/expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Learning styles </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Dispositions </li></ul><ul><li>Socialization process </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive strategies </li></ul><ul><li>DEVELOPMENT </li></ul>
    8. 8. Key Aspects of the Perry Scheme <ul><li>Describes nine sequential “positions” from which students view knowledge and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Represents a series of encounters with diversity of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Perspectives (positions 1-3) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contexts (positions 4-6) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commitments (positions 7-9) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reflects students’ evolving conceptions of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of teacher (Authority) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of learner (and peers) </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. VIEW OF KNOWLEDGE ROLE OF LEARNER ROLE OF “AUTHORITY” <ul><li>Isolated, verifiable facts </li></ul><ul><li>Discrete blocks of content </li></ul><ul><li>Clear rights and wrongs </li></ul><ul><li>Gathering & retaining information </li></ul><ul><li>Getting facts from teacher, not peers </li></ul><ul><li>Source of right answers </li></ul><ul><li>Offers clear guidance--no tricks </li></ul>DUALISM <ul><li>Supportive evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Socially-constructed understandings </li></ul><ul><li>Continua of certainty </li></ul><ul><li>Gaining expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking most adequate solution/ interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Resource for context-specific expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitator, guide </li></ul>CONTEXTUAL RELATIVISM
    10. 10. From Dualism to Contextual Relativism: A Real Paradigm Shift (groan) <ul><li>Moving beyond received belief to “creative faith” </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the role and limits of reason, evidence and “data-driven” answers </li></ul><ul><li>Coping with paradox: greater confidence in one’s own stands AND greater empathy for those who hold different viewpoints </li></ul>
    11. 11. Learning as Transforming Understanding … Being able to repeat facts and plug numbers into formulae to get the right answers is handy, even essential. But it is not what education is fundamentally about… Learning should be about changing the ways in which learners understand, or experience, or conceptualize the world around them … Paul Ramsden
    12. 12. Contributions of Perry Scheme to Understanding Role of Beliefs in ‘Real’ Learning <ul><li>Reflects critical underlying assumptions about knowledge (epistemology) </li></ul><ul><li>Involves intellect and identity </li></ul><ul><li>Represents qualitative changes in how people construct meaning and interpret subject matter </li></ul><ul><li>Describes increasingly inclusive and complex forms of thinking </li></ul>
    13. 13. “ Perry-ism” #2 If the power [of the scheme] is to label students the better to develop them, we shall dehumanize them and ourselves. What’s more, as we do not possess such powers, we shall be defeated…
    14. 14. Instructional Implications of “Believing is Seeing” <ul><li>Design learning environments, don’t “develop” students” </li></ul><ul><li>Help make learning accessible—”building a bridge” for students </li></ul><ul><li>Balance challenge and support in the learning process </li></ul>
    15. 15. “ In Over Our Heads”
    16. 16. Educational Practice? <ul><li>Basically, you learn two kinds of things in college: </li></ul><ul><li>Things you will need to know in later life (2 hours)… </li></ul><ul><li>Things you will NOT need to know in later life (1198 hours). </li></ul><ul><li>These are the things you learn in classes whose names end in ‘-ology’, ‘-osophy’, ‘-istry’, ‘-ics’, and so on. The idea is, you memorize these things, then write them down in little exam books, then forget them. If you fail to forget them you become a professor and have to stay in college the rest of your life. Dave Barry, 1981 </li></ul>
    17. 17. FACILITATING ‘ REAL’ LEARNING NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE ROLE OF “AUTHORITY” ROLE OF LEARNER <ul><li>Re-think content coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Explore uncertainty in field </li></ul><ul><li>Address reasoning in context of specific content </li></ul><ul><li>Consider teaching as functions, not role </li></ul><ul><li>Think out loud w/ students </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize what students can do, not what you can do </li></ul><ul><li>Help students make connections to prior learning </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage students to take responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Insist students take stands, offer evidence </li></ul>
    18. 18. Re-Visioning Assessment from Perry Scheme Perspective <ul><li>Assessment as Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment as Meaning-making </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment as Dialogue </li></ul>
    19. 19. Assessing Real Learning Understandings of core concepts/themes Ways of reasoning within disciplinary contexts Self-assessment of learning
    20. 20. Role of Self-Assessments in ‘Real’ Learning <ul><li>Fostering meta-thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting active inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Developing self-evaluation skills </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating learning/ making connections </li></ul>
    21. 21. When All is Said and Done, It’s Easier Said than Done
    22. 22. Hope & Loss: Real Learning Takes Courage … It may be a great joy to discover a new and more complex way of thinking and seeing, but what do we do about the old simple world? What do we do about the hopes that we had invested and experienced in those simpler terms? When we leave those terms behind, are we to leave hope, too? Bill Perry, 1978 “ Sharing in the cost of growth”
    23. 23. “ Perry-ism” #3 This is our creative obligation as educators: to find ways to encourage.
    24. 24. Summary of Key Messages about “Believing is Seeing” <ul><li>Students have differing personal epistemologies, and these conceptions matter in terms of learning </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Real’ learning is more about transformation than transmission </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Real’ learning thus involves risk-taking and courage on the part of students </li></ul><ul><li>Both assessment and teaching approaches reflect and reinforce epistemologies </li></ul>
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