PDI-10—One-Day Work Session: Using Cognitive Science to Improve Science Learning in Earth Science
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Salon F, Marriott Rivercenter Hotel
Provider: The 21st Century Center for Research and Development in Cognition and Science Instruction, A partnership between the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, Research for Better Schools and the 21st Century Partnership in STEM Education (PSTEM), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Robert Morris University
Framing Questions / Outcomes
- What has cognitive science learned about learning in the last 15 years? What is the evidence?
- How are materials which use cognitive science principles constructed and how does it feel to learn how to use them?
- What changes can using cognitive principles make in student learning and its aligned assessment?
- What do teachers need "to know and be able to do" to bring cognitive science principles of learning into their work?
- What role does teacher's deep content understanding play in the classroom and student learning?
This work session is based on work done by the 21st Century Center for Research and Development in Cognition and Science Instruction, which is a national center funded by the US Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences. In this session we will disseminate our work over the past three years whose focus is to improve the teaching and learning of science. During middle school, the relative international performance of the U.S. in science drops off sharply, and children’s identities solidify to include or exclude science. A popular hypothesis argues that teachers’ science content knowledge is the most salient factor in terms of addressing these issues (Shulman, 2000). However, cutting edge theoretical research in cognitive science suggests an alternative hypothesis that applying the principles of analogical reasoning, diagrammatic reasoning, the role of background knowledge in learning, and repeated assessment to middle school science curriculum and instruction is the key to improving science education (Bransford & Schwartz, 1999; Chi, 2005; Hegarty, Kriz, & Cate, 2003; Schunn, 2011; Cromley 2011). This session will combine both approaches by using the four cognitive learning principles we use within our work along with earth science content taught at an adult level. Attendees will gain an understanding of the current recommendations from the Institute for Education Sciences,(The US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Research) for organizing instruction to improve student learning. They will actively experience learning science by using activities from our science curriculum modifications to the Holt and FOSS science programs.
Donna Cleland describes this session:
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