Applying Cognitive Learning Theories to Engage and Motivate Students in STEM Classrooms

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Applying Cognitive Learning Theories to Engage and Motivate Students in STEM Classrooms . Stephen Tonks Educational Psychology May 15, 2013. Cognitive Science & STEM Ed. Learning is constructive , not receptive Motivation and beliefs are integral to cognition - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Applying Cognitive Learning Theories to Engage and Motivate Students in STEM Classrooms Stephen TonksEducational PsychologyMay 15, 20132

Sept 062Cognitive Science & STEM EdLearning is constructive, not receptiveMotivation and beliefs are integral to cognitionSocial interaction is fundamental to cognitive developmentKnowledge, strategies, and expertise are contextual

*Bruning, Schraw, Norby, and Ronning (2004)31. Learning is ConstructiveConstructivism: People combine existing knowledge with new information to build new knowledgeLearning = constructing meaningStudents need to make their own discoveries and thus construct their own knowledgeDuckworth (2006) on Piaget: Create a classroom where students can discover

*Piaget & others4Sept 064Constructivism emphasizes the importance of the knowledge, beliefs, and skills an individual brings to the experience of learning. It recognizes the construction of new understanding as a combination of prior learning, new information, and readiness to learn.Individuals make choices about what new ideas to accept and how to fit then into their established views of the world (Brooks & Brooks, 1995). Learners are active

What do you see?

5

Sept 065What do people see? map; side of a cow; a bearded man

WE ALL SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY!What each person 'sees' (or 'observes') depends more on what is already stored in that person's brain than on light being emitted (or not) from the image.We project onto phenomena what we already know about them.We each construct a unique mental image by combining information in our heads with the information we receive from our sense organs (in this case, our eyes). Learning from our environment is an active, rather than a passive, process.

Gestalt theory; 'a whole is different than the sum of its parts.

Constructivism in the ClassroomAny amount of active helpsBackground knowledge is HUGEA range of experiences and many experiences help students learnExperiences become background knowledgeExpending effort & deep processing aids memory

6Sept 066Any amount of active helpsTalking with a partnerSolving problems in groupsCreating problems in groupsDemonstration or video with discussion

Rehearsal & repeating: shallow processingOrganizing & expending much effort: deep processingWhat helps our memory?-Practice, sleep, exercise, healthy diet3. Social Interaction is FundamentalCognitive skills evolve from social interactions with parents, teachers, etc.Culture uses tools for thoughtSpeech, writing, mathematical & scientific conceptsRelatedness as a psychological needIn classrooms: Groupwork, scaffolding, peer tutoring, reciprocal teaching, CUT SOME OF THESE?

*Vygotsky; Deci & Ryan74. Cognitions are Contextual

Cognitive growth occurs in a sociocultural context that influences the form it takesTransfer of advanced skills is difficultEXPAND?Knowledge, strategies, expertise

*Vygotsky8Knowledge, strategies, and expertise are contextual

82. Motivation & Beliefs are IntegralMany modern motivation theoriesSelf-efficacy (Bandura, etc.)Mindset Theory (Dweck)Achievement Goals (Pintrich, etc.)Self-Determination TheoryThree Psychological Needs

*Deci & Ryan9Self-Determination TheoryThree Psychological NeedsAutonomyRelatednessCompetence

InnateFulfillment = GoodDeprivation = Bad10A-B-C (for easy recall)Environment can change motivation

*Deci & Ryan

Humans are growth oriented and tend to work towards organization

Back to SDT: Humans strive for an integrated self, but many environmental factors hinder as well as support this10Perceived AutonomyStudents need to feel that they have some control over their own learning

11Mark Twain on AutonomyWork consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.

12If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.12Autonomy SupportHow toProvide choicesEncourageGive rationalesHow not toGive ordersUse bribesMake threats13Giving students SOME control over their own learningOpposite of controlling behavior

Why Support Autonomy?Conceptual understandingRetention of contentAchievementIntrinsic motivationPositive affect14Now, Apply It!Take one concept that you teach, and apply an idea from today

15In groups, either across disciplines or withinI will walk to each group and discuss as wellReport out and discuss as group15NO ROOM!MetacognitionProblem solvingMake things memorable!NoveltyExpert-novice research (Schunk, p. 283)16

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