Active Learning in Secondary and College Science Classrooms: A Working Model for Helping the Learner to Learn

Active Learning in Secondary and College Science Classrooms: A Working Model for Helping the Learner to Learn

Active Learning in Secondary and College Science Classrooms: A Working Model for Helping the Learner to Learn

Active Learning in Secondary and College Science Classrooms: A Working Model for Helping the Learner to Learn

Synopsis

The working model for "helping the learner to learn" presented in this book is relevant to any teaching context, but the focus here is on teaching in secondary and college science classrooms. Specifically, the goals of the text are to: help secondary- and college-level science faculty examine and redefine their roles in the classroom; define for science teachers a framework for thinking about active learning and the creation of an active learning environment; and provide them with the assistance they need to begin building successful active learning environments in their classrooms. Active Learning in Secondary and College Science Classrooms: A Working Model for Helping the Learner to Learn is motivated by fundamental changes in education in response to perceptions that students are not adequately acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to meet current educational and economic goals. The premise of this book is that active learning offers a highly effective approach to meeting the mandate for increased student knowledge, skills, and performance. It is a valuable resource for all teacher trainers in science education and high school and college science teachers.

Excerpt

Learning is a change in behavior that results from the learner's interaction with the environment (experience). Recent advances in cognitive science are beginning to provide us with some general principles, applicable in education, that should facilitate learning. (1) All learning occurs on the foundation of already learned knowledge and skills. (2) To the extent that the old knowledge is faulty, the learning of new knowledge will be compromised. (3) Declarative (what) and procedural (how) knowledge are different, and the processes of learning them are different. (4) Learning declarative knowledge involves building mental representations or models. (5) Practice with timely and appropriate feedback is required for all procedural learning. (6) Retention and the ability to utilize knowledge (meaningful learning) is facilitated by building connections (links) between old knowledge structures and the new knowledge being learned. (7) The ability to construct multiple representations of the new knowledge is an important component of meaningful learning. (8) Some knowledge and skills, when acquired, are context-specific while other knowledge and skills may be more readily transferred to a new domain. (9) Collaborative or cooperative effort can yield more individual learning than individual effort alone. (10) Articulating explanations, whether to peers, teachers, or one's self, facilitates learning.

Examples of learning are all around us. The neighbors new baby is learning to speak Hindi from its grandmother. Your brother's baby is learning to walk. Your daughter has learned to ride a two-wheeled bicycle. Your son has learned all the presidents in chronological order. Your sister has gone back to school and is learning to be a lawyer. Your spouse has learned to use a . . .

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