Helping Students to Learn Tak S. Ha CELT http://home.ust.hk/~cttsha/TA_Workshop_Slides.htm Workshop Focus • Helping students on a one-to-one basis • Help students learn difficult concepts • Help students learn how to solve difficult problems • Focus on micro-strategies Outline • Nature of difficulties students experience • Your own experience of helping others • Students’ misconceptions • Constructivist views of learning Difficulties students experienced • Somethings are difficult to learn. What makes them difficult? • Complexity • Incompatible with our daily experience Your own experience • Tell us about your experience in helping others to learn – What methods did you use? – Was it effective? – What did you observe? – What difficulties did they have? Ways helping students • Know your students • Engage your students in active learning tasks • If a student is poor in the fundamentals, get them to work hard on them. • Challenge your students with conceptual conflict. Misconceptions • Research showed that misconceptions are very common among students. • Typical examples - naïve concepts of force Correcting misconceptions • Classroom instruction often fails to correct them. • Conceptual change came about when students found the new concepts intelligible, plausible and fruitful (Posner and Hewson, 1981) • Knowledge in pieces (diSessa) Some useful references • Dall’Alba, Walsh, Bowden, Martin, Masters, Ramsden, & Stephanou, 1993; • McDermott, 1984; • Clement, 1983; • McCloskey, 1983; • Gunstone & White, 1981. Constructivism • “Learning by doing” • Knowledge cannot be transmitted from the teacher to the learner like pouring water to a jar. • Students learn through engaging actively in a process of knowledge construction. • Prior knowledge impacts the learning process. Some useful websites • A constructivist view of science education - an introduction. [http://www- perg.phast.umass.edu/perspective/Constructivism. html] • Essays on constructivism and education (http://www.inform.umd.edu/UMS+State/UMD- Projects/MCTP/WWW/Essays.html) • Radical Constructivism (http://www.univie.ac.at/cognition/constructivism/) References • Chi, M. T. H., Glaser, R. and Rees, E. (1982). Expertise in problem solving. In R. J. Sternberg. (Ed.) Advances in the psychology of human intelligence. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Erlbaum. • Clement, J. (1983). A conceptual model discussed by Galileo and used intuitively by physics students. In D. Gentner & A. L. Stevens (Eds.) Mental Models. Hillsdale,NJ:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. • Dall’Alba, G., Walsh, E., Bowden, J., Martin, E., Masters, G., Ramsden, P., & Stephanou, A. (1993). Textbook treatments and students’ understanding of acceleration. Journal of research in science teaching. 30(7) 621-635. References • Gunstone, R.F., & White, R.T. (1981). Understanding of gravity. Science education. 65, 291-299. • Heller, P.M. & Finley, F. N. (1992). Variable uses of alternative conceptions: A case study in current electricity. Journal of research in science teaching, 29(3) 259-275. • McCloskey, M. (1983). Naïve theories of motion. In D. Gentner & A. L. Stevens (Eds.) Mental Models. Hillsdale,NJ:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. • McDermott, L.C. (1984). Research on conceptual understanding in mechanics. Physics today. • Newell, A., & Simon, H.A. (1972). Human problem solving. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.