How Learning Happens
There is a large amount of research on how people learn, and that research should influence how we teach. This session breaks that information down, provides experiences for field instructors to make sense of the information, and shows instructors how they can apply that knowledge to their teaching. In this session, participants are presented with evidence from research to support the view that learners come to education settings with prior knowledge, beliefs, capabilities, and skills, and that understanding and building on their mental frameworks is critical to teaching and learning. This session provides information about the persistence of individually held views about particular science concepts and what instructors can do to help learners adjust those frameworks by providing new experiences and information to deepen learners’ understanding. Although all BEETLES sessions combine theory with practice, this session is heavier on theory, and provides a unifying set of theoretical underpinnings of the pedagogical approach. It works well after staff have already experienced a few other sessions.
Goals for this session are:
- gain a working knowledge of what the research tells us about how people learn.
- learn a variety of strategies that research has shown to be effective in helping learners.
- become aware of, build on and modify their understandings.
- provide an opportunity to reflect on ideas about teaching, learning, and scientific conceptual understanding.
- experience a variety of instructional strategies through a model lesson, then reflect upon those strategies and their impact.
- gain awareness of how students can hold onto inaccurate ideas despite instruction on the topic.