Helping Students to Learn

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					Helping Students to Learn

Tak S. Ha
Workshop Focus
• Helping students on a one-to-one basis
• Help students learn difficult concepts
• Help students learn how to solve difficult
• Focus on micro-strategies
•   Nature of difficulties students experience
•   Your own experience of helping others
•   Students’ misconceptions
•   Constructivist views of learning
Difficulties students
• 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
• If a student is poor in the fundamentals, get
  them to work hard on them.
• Challenge your students with conceptual
• Research showed that misconceptions are
  very common among students.
• Typical examples - naïve concepts of force
Correcting misconceptions
• Classroom instruction often fails to correct
• 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.
• “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
Some useful websites
 • A constructivist view of science education - an
   introduction. [http://www-
 • Essays on constructivism and education
 • Radical Constructivism
• 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

• 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.
• 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.