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How (you can help) People Learn

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Keynote presentation at ETUG Spring Jam 2017, "Education by Design" at UBC Okanagan, June 1-2, 2017

Peter Newbury
UBC Okanagan
CC-BY

Published in: Education

How (you can help) People Learn

  1. 1. How People Learn Peter Newbury, Ph.D. Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning, and Senior Advisor for Learning Initiatives, UBC Okanagan peter.newbury@ubc.ca peternewbury.org @polarisdotca #etug 1 etug.ca
  2. 2. “Fish is Fish” by Leo Lionni (1970) I started my presentation with a picture from Leo Lionni’s “Fish is Fish” showing a frog describing a cow to a fish (get all that?). The picture is copyrighted so I’m not including it here but you can see it at 2:27 of this great video: https://vimeo.com/39374062 2
  3. 3. Why are we here? 3 What do you think students are doing in a typical university class? A) listening B) absorbing C) learning D) note-taking E) not paying attention Peter Newbury CC-BY 1 3 POWER ON CLICK A–E WATCH FOR GREEN LIGHT 2
  4. 4. The traditional lecture is based on the transmission model of learning 4 um.dentistry on flickr CC
  5. 5. Important new number system. Please learn it. 5 1 = 4 = 7 = 2 = 5 = 8 = 3 = 6 = 9 =
  6. 6. What’s this number? 6
  7. 7. Transmission model proven to be less effective than active learning “the equivalent of blood-letting” (Wieman, 2014) 7 We must abandon the tabula rasa (“blank slate”) and “students as empty vessels” models of teaching and learning.
  8. 8. Important new number system: tic-tac-toe code 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
  9. 9. What number is this? 9
  10. 10. Constructivist model of learning New learning is based on knowledge you already have. You store things in your long term memory through a set of connections with your existing memories. 10 Rebecca-Lee on flickr CC learning is done by individuals
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. How People Learn (2000) Available for free from the National Academies Press 12 www.nap.edu/catalog/9853/how-people-learn-brain-mind-experience-and-school-expanded-edition
  13. 13. Key Finding #1 13 Students come to the classroom with preconceptions about how the world works. If their initial understanding is not engaged, they may fail to grasp the new concepts and information that are taught, or they may learn them for the purposes of a test but revert to their preconceptions outside of the classroom.
  14. 14. Key Finding #2 14 To develop competence in an area, students must: a) have a deep foundation of factual knowledge, b) understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework, and c) organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application.
  15. 15. Key Finding #3 15 A “metacognitive” approach to instruction can help students learn to take control of their own learning by defining learning goals and monitoring their progress in achieving them.
  16. 16. Metacognition thinking about thinking “I am engaging in metacognition if I notice that I am having more trouble learning A than B.” (J. Flavel, 1976) 16 cognitionmeta
  17. 17. Key Finding #3 17 A “metacognitive” approach to instruction can help students learn to take control of their own learning by defining learning goals and monitoring their progress in achieving them.
  18. 18. Key Findings: Theory Practice 1. IN GROUPS OF 2 – 3, TEAR YOUR SHEET INTO 9 CARDS 2. MATCH ONE IMPLICATION AND ONE CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT WITH EACH KEY FINDING 18 Key Finding #2 Implications for Teaching Implications for Teaching Implications for Teaching Designing Classroom Environments Peter Newbury CC-BY
  19. 19. Key Finding #1 19 Students come to the classroom with preconceptions about how the world works. If their initial understanding is not engaged, they may fail to grasp the new concepts and information that are taught, or they may learn them for the purposes of a test but revert to their preconceptions outside of the classroom.
  20. 20. Implications for Teaching 20 Teachers must draw out and work with the preexisting understandings that their students bring with them.
  21. 21. TRANSMISSION MODEL CONSTRUCTIVIST MODEL 21 1 = 4 = 7 = 2 = 5 = 8 = 3 = 6 = 9 = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 unsupported, unfamiliar built on pre-existing knowledge
  22. 22. Implications for Teaching 22 Teachers must draw out and work with the preexisting understandings that their students bring with them. Designing Classroom Environments Schools and classrooms must be learner centered.
  23. 23. Key Finding #2 23 To develop competence in an area, students must: a) have a deep foundation of factual knowledge, b) understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework, and c) organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application.
  24. 24. 24
  25. 25. 25 Smith & Tanner (2010) knowledge framework retrieval
  26. 26. 26 knowledge framework retrieval Smith & Tanner (2010)
  27. 27. 27 knowledge framework retrieval Smith & Tanner (2010)
  28. 28. Implications for Teaching 28 Teachers must teach some subject matter in depth, providing many examples in which the same concept is at work and providing a firm foundation of factual knowledge. Designing Classroom Environments To provide a knowledge-centered environment, attention must be given to what is taught (information, subject matter), why it is taught (understanding), and what competence or mastery looks like.
  29. 29. Development of Expertise 29 conscious unconscious incompetent competent Behaviour Level of Expertise Sprague & Stewart (2000) Peter Newbury CC-BYPeter Newbury CC-BY
  30. 30. Development of Expertise 30 conscious unconscious incompetent competent Behaviour Level of Expertise Sprague & Stewart (2000) BruceBarett CC-BY-ND-NC AmSteuerCC-BY-SA
  31. 31. Development of Expertise 31 conscious unconscious incompetent competent Behaviour Level of Expertise 1 Sprague & Stewart (2000)
  32. 32. Development of Expertise 32 conscious unconscious incompetent competent Behaviour Level of Expertise 1 2 Sprague & Stewart (2000)
  33. 33. Development of Expertise 33 conscious unconscious incompetent competent Behaviour Level of Expertise 1 2 3 Sprague & Stewart (2000)
  34. 34. Development of Expertise 34 conscious unconscious incompetent competent Behaviour Level of Expertise 1 2 3 4 Sprague & Stewart (2000)
  35. 35. Think about the last time you taught something. Where are you on this chart? 35 conscious unconscious incompetent competent Behaviour Level of Expertise A B C D Sprague & Stewart (2000)
  36. 36. Development of Expertise 36 conscious unconscious incompetent competent Behaviour Level of Expertise 2 3 Sprague & Stewart (2000)
  37. 37. Development of Expertise 37 conscious unconscious incompetent competent Behaviour Level of Expertise 1 2 3 4 5 Sprague & Stewart (2000)
  38. 38. Development of Expertise 38 conscious unconscious incompetent competent Behaviour Level of Expertise 2 3 4 Sprague & Stewart (2000)
  39. 39. Think about the house you grew up in… How many windows are there? As you counted the windows, did you see them from inside the house or outside the house? 39 4 5
  40. 40. Key Finding #3 40 A “metacognitive” approach to instruction can help students learn to take control of their own learning by defining learning goals and monitoring their progress in achieving them.
  41. 41. Implications for Teaching 41 The teaching of metacognitive skills should be integrated into the curriculum in a variety of subject areas. Designing Classroom Environments Formative assessments — ongoing assessments designed to make students’ thinking visible to both teachers and students — are essential.
  42. 42. YOU’RE HAVING TWINS?!? Your sister calls to say she’s having twins. Which of the following is more likely? (Assume she’s not having identical twins.) A) twin boys B) twin girls C) one boy and one girl D) all are equally likely 42 Wikimedia Commons
  43. 43. HOW (YOU CAN HELP) PEOPLE LEARN 1. draw out and build on their pre-existing knowledge 2. model expertise (especially framework and retrieval) 3. create opportunities (and time) for people to practice being metacognitive 43
  44. 44. “Any questions?” Why do you think instructors ask, “Any questions?” A) to signal they’re at the end of a section or concept B) so the instructor can check if they can continue C) so the instructor can check if the audience understands D) so the audience can check if they’re ready to continue 44 “What questions do you have for me?” …and give them enough time to ask a useful question
  45. 45. References Flavell, J. H. (1976). Metacognitive aspects of problem solving. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), The nature of intelligence (pp. 231-236). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Lionni, L. (1970). Fish is Fish. New York, NY:Pantheon Books. National Research Council (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition. J.D. Bransford, A.L Brown & R.R. Cocking (Eds.), Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. www.nap.edu/catalog/9853/how-people-learn-brain-mind-experience-and-school-expanded-edition Smith, J. & Tanner, K. (2010). The Problem of Revealing How Students Think: Concept Inventories and Beyond. CBE – Life Sciences Education 9, 1. Wieman, C.E. (2014). Large-scale comparison of science teaching methods sends clear message. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 (23), 8319-8320. Sprague, J., & Stuart, D. (2000). The speaker’s handbook. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt College Publishers. 45

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