Thursday, August 28, 2014

Re: Teaching and Learning

Some blog followers might be interested in a discussion list post “Re: Teaching and Learning” [Hake (2014)]. The abstract reads:

************************************
ABSTRACT: GS Chandy (2014) in his Math-Teach post titled “Re: Khan Academy 2.0” at http://bit.ly/1tGPvAN wrote: “At its core, teaching has to be about helping the student to learn.”

To which math education guru Robert Hansen responded at http://bit.ly/YYpwJJ: “teaching is about teaching things. That is pedagogy. In an ideal world, every student would be able to learn every thing the teacher teaches. It is only (relatively) recently that teaching took on the role of learning, or better known as remediation, and quite frankly, not only does it suck at it, the more you make teaching about learning, the less you make it about teaching, until such point, it isn't about teaching at all. Or learning.”

For a more informed view of the relationship of teaching to learning see “From Teaching to Learning: A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education” [Barr & Tagg (1995)] at http://bit.ly/8XGJPc. They wrote: “A paradigm shift is taking hold in American higher education. In its briefest form, the paradigm that has governed our colleges is this: A college is an institution that exists to provide instruction. Subtly but profoundly we are shifting to a new paradigm: A college is an institution that exists to produce learning. This shift changes everything. It is both needed and wanted.”
************************************

To access the complete 41 kB post please click on http://bit.ly/VQx4MP.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University; Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands; President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII); LINKS TO: Academia http://bit.ly/a8ixxm; Articles http://bit.ly/a6M5y0; Blog http://bit.ly/9yGsXh; Facebook http://on.fb.me/XI7EKm; GooglePlus http://bit.ly/KwZ6mE; Google Scholar http://bit.ly/Wz2FP3; Linked In http://linkd.in/14uycpW; Research Gate http://bit.ly/1fJiSwB; Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs http://bit.ly/9nGd3M; Twitter http://bit.ly/juvd52.

Boy #1: "I taught my dog to whistle."
Boy #2: "I don't hear him whistling."
Boy #1: "I said I taught him. I didn't say he learned it."
- Cartoon at http://bit.ly/1rCyR71

REFERENCES [URLs shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 28 Aug 2014.]
Hake, R.R. 2014. "Re: Teaching and Learning" online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/VQx4MP. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.




Thursday, August 14, 2014

Piaget’s Stages? #2

Some blog followers might be interested in a discussion list post “Piaget's Stages? #2” [Hake (2014)]. The abstract reads:

*********************************************
ABSTRACT: Eric Nelson’s (2014a) post “Piaget's Stages?” of 7 August 2014 on the CLOSED! PhysLrnR archives at http://bit.ly/1orXcKo initiated a thread which on 12 August 07:36-0700 had grown to 23 posts on the PhysLrnR archives at http://bit.ly/nG318r .

[NOTE: To access the archives of PhysLnR one needs to subscribe :-(, but that takes only a few minutes by clicking on http://bit.ly/nG318r and then clicking on “Subscribe or Unsubscribe.” If you're busy, then subscribe using the “NOMAIL” option under “Miscellaneous.” Then, as a subscriber, you may access the archives and/or post messages at any time, while receiving NO MAIL from the list!]

In one of the 23 posts, now updated and placed online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/Y8ZumO, I point to generally laudatory opinions on Piaget's work by experts Philip Adey, John Anderson, Howard Gardner, Alan Kay, Anton Lawson, Robert Sternberg, Ernst von Glasersfeld, and David Klahr.

In addition, aside from his initializing post, Nelson (2014b,c) made two other contributions at http://bit.ly/1ouGsSQ and http://bit.ly/1uP1Zp7 in which he pointed to the work of Kirschner, Sweller, & Clark (KSC) as the definitive word from cognitive science on pedagogical methods. However, not everyone would agree with Nelson’s tribute to KSC, as I indicated in “Vague Labels for Pedagogical Methods Should Be Supplemented with Operational Definitions and Detailed Descriptions” [Hake (2014b)] at http://bit.ly/1jPnKxo .
*********************************************


To access the complete 61 kB post please click on http://bit.ly/Ya4c3G.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University; LINKS TO: Academia http://bit.ly/a8ixxm; Articles http://bit.ly/a6M5y0; Blog http://bit.ly/9yGsXh; Facebook http://on.fb.me/XI7EKm; GooglePlus http://bit.ly/KwZ6mE; Google Scholar http://bit.ly/Wz2FP3; Linked In http://linkd.in/14uycpW; Research Gate http://bit.ly/1fJiSwB; Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs http://bit.ly/9nGd3M; Twitter http://bit.ly/juvd52.

“When we say force is the cause of motion we talk metaphysics, and this definition, if we were content with it, would be absolutely sterile. For a definition to be of any use, it must teach us to measure force; moreover, that suffices; it is not at all necessary that it teach us what force is in itself, nor whether it is the cause or the effect of motion.” - Henri Poincaré (1905)


REFERENCES [URLs shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 14 Aug 2014.]
Hake, R.R. 2014. "Piaget's Stages? #2," online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/Ya4c3G. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

Poincaré, H. 1905. Science and Hypothesis, Walter Scott Publishing; online at http://bit.ly/9hVfA8 thanks to the “Mead Project.” A Wikipedia entry on Poincaré is at http://bit.ly/b4jGVS.







Monday, August 11, 2014

Can the Cognitive Impact of Calculus Courses be Enhanced? Updated on Aug 2014

Some blog followers might be interested an essay “Can the Cognitive Impact of Calculus Courses be Enhanced? Updated on Aug 2014 from a Talk at USC on 24 April 2012” [Hake (2014)]. The abstract reads:

***************************************************
ABSTRACT: I discuss the cognitive impact of introductory calculus courses after the initiation of the NSF's calculus reform program in 1987. Topics discussed are:
A. What’s calculus?
B. Calculus, language of nature and gateway to science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics.
C. A typical calculus-course problem (even dogs can solve it).
D. NSF’s calculus reform effort, initiated in 1987.
E. Assessments bemoan the lack of evidence of improved student learning.
F. A glimmer of hope – the Calculus Concept Inventory (CCI).
G. Typical question of the CCI type (dogs score at the random guessing level).
H. Impact of the CCI on calculus education – early trials.
I. Conclusion.
J. Appendix #1: The Lagrange Approach to Calculus.
K. Appendix #2: Math Education Bibliography.

I conclude that Epstein’s CCI may stimulate reform in calculus education, but, judging from the physics education reform effort, it may take several decades before widespread improvement occurs - see the review “The Impact of Concept Inventories On Physics Education and Its Relevance For Engineering Education” [Hake (2011c)] at http://bit.ly/nmPY8F (8.7 MB).

With over 500 references and over 600 hot links this report can serve as a window into the vast literature relevant to calculus reform.
***************************************************

To access the complete 2.8 MB essay please click on http://bit.ly/1B9dyvD.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University; Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands; President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII). LINKS TO: Academia http://bit.ly/a8ixxm; Articles http://bit.ly/a6M5y0; Blog http://bit.ly/9yGsXh; Facebook http://on.fb.me/XI7EKm; GooglePlus http://bit.ly/KwZ6mE; Google Scholar http://bit.ly/Wz2FP3; Linked In http://linkd.in/14uycpW; Research Gate http://bit.ly/1fJiSwB; Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs http://bit.ly/9nGd3M; Twitter http://bit.ly/juvd52.

REFERENCES [URLs shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 11 Aug 2014.]
Hake, R.R. 2014. “Can the Cognitive Impact of Calculus Courses be Enhanced? Updated on Aug 2014 from a Talk at USC on 24 April 2012,” online at http://bit.ly/1B9dyvD.The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

“Mathematics is the gate and key of the sciences. . . .Neglect of mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since he who is ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences or the things of this world. And what is worse, men who are thus ignorant are unable to perceive their own ignorance and so do not seek a remedy.” - Roger Bacon (Opus Majus, bk. 1, ch. 4) http://bit.ly/dzjbWv

“To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature ... If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in.” - Richard Feynman (1965, 1994) in The Character of Physical Law
http://amzn.to/19vE4AO

Friday, July 25, 2014

Elizabeth Green’s “Why Do Americans Stink at Math?”

Some blog followers might be interested in a discussion-list post “Elizabeth Green’s ‘Why Do Americans Stink at Math?’ ” [Hake (2014)]. The abstract reads:

***************************************************
ABSTRACT: Elizabeth Green, in a NYT Magazine article titled “Why Do Americans Stink at Math?” at http://nyti.ms/1o02vui wrote: “With the Common Core . . . . . .[[ http://www.corestandards.org/, compatible with the reform math education methods]]. . . . teachers are once more being asked to unlearn an old approach and learn an entirely new one, essentially on their own. Training is still weak and infrequent, and principals - who are no more skilled at math than their teachers - remain unprepared to offer support. Textbooks, once again, have received only surface adjustments, despite the shiny Common Core labels that decorate their covers. . . . . Left to their own devices, teachers are once again trying to incorporate new ideas into old scripts, often botching them in the process. . . . . . . No wonder parents and some mathematicians denigrate the reforms as ‘fuzzy math.’ In the warped way untrained teachers interpret them, they are fuzzy.”

Green's article has prompted at least two threads on discussion lists. One initiated by Wayne Bishop on the OPEN! Math-Teach archives at http://bit.ly/eOTrs1. Bishop at http://bit.ly/1Agrtzv wrote: “Other than ‘Americans Stink at Math’, almost everything [Green] says is wrong. Decades-old (century?) math ed mythology.”

Another initiated by John Clement on the CLOSED! July PhysLrnR archives http://bit.ly/WQjkCL. Clement at http://bit.ly/1onL1Nr wrote: (paraphrasing): “Green's very good article is about how the Japanese reformed their math teaching and are now beating us. Their method resembles ‘Interactive Engagement’ methods in Physics Education Research.”
***************************************************

To access the complete 57 kB post please click on http://bit.ly/1lERqiv.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University. LINKS TO: Academia http://bit.ly/a8ixxm; Articles http://bit.ly/a6M5y0; Blog http://bit.ly/9yGsXh; Facebook http://on.fb.me/XI7EKm; GooglePlus http://bit.ly/KwZ6mE; Google Scholar http://bit.ly/Wz2FP3; Linked In http://linkd.in/14uycpW; Research Gate http://bit.ly/1fJiSwB; Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs http://bit.ly/9nGd3M; Twitter http://bit.ly/juvd52.

REFERENCES [URL shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 25 July 2014.]
Hake, R.R. “Elizabeth Green’s ‘Why Do Americans Stink at Math?’ ” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/1lERqiv. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Assessment of Undergraduate Student Learning

Some blog followers might be interested in a discussion-list post “Assessment of Undergraduate Student Learning” [Hake (2014)]. The abstract reads:

********************************************************
ABSTRACT: Norman Stahl (2014) of the LrnAsst list has called attention to the AAC&U (2014) report “68 Institutions in Nine States to Pilot New Approach to 
Learning Outcomes Assessment” at http://bit.ly/1o6Xfsn. The report states (slightly edited):

“ ‘The calls are mounting daily for higher education to be able to show what students can successfully do with their learning,’ said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. ‘The Multi-State Collaborative is a very important step toward focusing assessment on the best evidence of all: the work students produce in the course of their college studies.’. . . . . . . . . . For more information, see ‘VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education’ (AAC&U, 2014b) at http://bit.ly/1pn6s3u; and ‘MSC: A Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment’ (SHEEO, 2014) at http://bit.ly/1mhWSXv. . . . . .”

This response with its over 50 references and over 80 hot links can serve as a window into the literature of undergraduate learning assessment. It consists of two parts:

PART I: An expurgated and annotated version of a letter in support of the AAC&U’s assessment of undergraduate learning titled “It's Time to Get Serious About the Right Kind of Assessment” by Daniel F. Sullivan (2014) at http://bit.ly/1mg77Rn. Sullivan is President Emeritus of St. Lawrence University, Senior Advisor to the AAC&U President; and Chair, AAC&U Presidents’ Trust.

PART II: A review of assessments of undergraduate learning prior to the AAC&U effort. Updated and revised from “The Physics Education Reform Effort: A Possible Model for Higher Education?” (Hake, 2006a) at http://bit.ly/9aicfh.
********************************************************

To access the complete 115 kB post please click on http://bit.ly/1tTx5PF.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University. LINKS TO: Academia http://bit.ly/a8ixxm; Articles http://bit.ly/a6M5y0; Blog http://bit.ly/9yGsXh; Facebook http://on.fb.me/XI7EKm; GooglePlus http://bit.ly/KwZ6mE; Google Scholar http://bit.ly/Wz2FP3; Linked In http://linkd.in/14uycpW; Research Gate http://bit.ly/1fJiSwB; Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs http://bit.ly/9nGd3M; Twitter http://bit.ly/juvd52.


“What we assess is what we value. We get what we assess, and if we don’t assess it, we won't get it.” - Lauren Resnick [quoted by Grant Wiggins (1990)]

“Physics educators have led the way in developing and using objective tests to compare student learning gains in different types of courses, and chemists, biologists, and others are now developing similar instruments. These tests provide convincing evidence that students assimilate new knowledge more effectively in courses including active, inquiry-based, and collaborative learning, assisted by information technology, than in traditional courses.” - Wood & Gentile (2003)

REFERENCES [URLs shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 16 July 2014.]
Hake, R.R. 2014. “Assessment of Undergraduate Student Learning,” post of 16 Jul 2014 16:40:53-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. Online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/1tTx5PF. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

Wiggins, G. 1990. “The Truth May Make You Free, But the Test May Keep You Imprisoned: Toward Assessment Worthy of the Liberal Arts,” AAHE Assessment Forum: 17-31; online as a 61 kB pdf at http://bit.ly/1ySgrzV.

Wood, W.B., & J.M. Gentile. 2003. “Teaching in a research context,” Science 302: 1510; 28 November; online as a 209 kB pdf http://bit.ly/1spTOkx, thanks to Bioquest.



Friday, June 20, 2014

Re: James Hansen’s ‘Too Little, Too Late? Oops?’

Some blog followers might be interested in a discussion list post “Re: James Hansen’s ‘Too Little, Too Late? Oops?’ ” [Hake (2014)]. The abstract reads:

**************************************
ABSTRACT: Climate scientist James Hansen (2014) http://bit.ly/omiMY3, in his report “Too Little, Too Late? Oops??” at http://bit.ly/1m15lmz wrote (paraphrasing):

“Many queries received: is Obama's climate effort ‘too little, too late?’ Closely related query: are we at an ‘oops’ moment, a realization that we have pushed the climate system too far, so consequences such as ice sheet disintegration and large sea level rise are now out of our control? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The answer re ‘too little?’ is obvious from the fact that governments, ours included, are allowing and encouraging industry to go after every fossil fuel that can be found. Rather than dwelling on that fact, let's consider the action needed to avoid ‘too late’.

Citizens Climate Lobby http://citizensclimatelobby.org/ just released a study ‘The Economic, Climate, Fiscal, Power, and Demographic Impact of a National Fee-and-Dividend Carbon Tax.’ A 3-page summary by Danny Richter is at http://bit.ly/1ypEENy.

According to their comprehensive analysis of the impacts of a carbon fee-and-dividend (CF&D) in the United States, with 100% revenue distribution of the money to the public in equal shares as direct payments: the fee would start at $10/ton of CO2 and increase $10/ton each year; 100% of the revenue is returned to households, equal amounts to all legal residents. This approach spurs the economy, increasing the number of jobs by 2.1 million in 10 years. Emissions decrease 33% in 10 years, 52% in 20 years.

Contrary to the wails of fossil-fuel-industry kingpins, the fossil fuel CF&D stimulates the economy, modernizes infrastructure and saves 13,000 lives per year via improved air quality. GDP increases, with fee-and-dividend causing a cumulative GDP increase of $1.375 trillion.

Why do these results differ from previous studies concluding that a carbon tax would be costly? The main reason is that other studies do not have 100% recycling of funds to the public; instead part of the money is taken as a tax, to increase the size of government.”
**************************************

To access the complete 37 kB post please click on http://bit.ly/1w3Arx1.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University; LINKS TO: Academia http://bit.ly/a8ixxm; Articles http://bit.ly/a6M5y0; Blog http://bit.ly/9yGsXh; Facebook http://on.fb.me/XI7EKm; GooglePlus http://bit.ly/KwZ6mE; Google Scholar http://bit.ly/Wz2FP3; Linked In http://linkd.in/14uycpW; Research Gate http://bit.ly/1fJiSwB; Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs http://bit.ly/9nGd3M; Twitter http://bit.ly/juvd52.

REFERENCES [URL shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 20 June 2014.]
Hake, R.R. 2014. “Re: James Hansen’s ‘Too Little, Too Late? Oops?’ ” Post of 20 Jun 2014 09:08:40 -0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. Online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/1w3Arx1. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Threats to At-Risk Students: Stereotype & The Belief in Fixed Intelligence

Some blog followers might be interested in a discussion list post “Threats to At-Risk Students: Stereotype & The Belief in Fixed Intelligence” [Hake (2014)]. The abstract reads:

*********************************************
On 30 May 2014, there were:

(1) three threads containing 33 posts on the POD archives at http://bit.ly/SjUBE9 concerning Leonard Geddes’ Learnwell Projects piece “Why Good Students Do ‘Bad’ in College” http://wp.me/p3GGxn-t; and

(2) one thread containing 15 posts on the PhysLrnR archives at http://bit.ly/SkeKKo concerning Paul Tough’s NYT piece “Who Gets to Graduate” http://nyti.ms/1nD3Z1E.

The above posts primarily concern two threats to at-risk students: (a) the “Stereotype Threat” – see Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do [Steele (2011)] http://amzn.to/1hhk1yc; and (b) what might be called “The Belief in Fixed Intelligence Threat” – see Mindset: The New Psychology of Success [Dweck (2007)] at http://amzn.to/1wzVqZA.

These two threats have been recently discussed in a Physics Today article “Psychological insights for improved physics teaching” [Aguilar, Walton, & Wieman (2014)] at http://stanford.io/1tXfxPc.
*********************************************

To access the complete 49 kB post please click on http://bit.ly/1pFKkO6.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University; Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands; President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII); LINKS TO: Academia http://bit.ly/a8ixxm; Articles http://bit.ly/a6M5y0; Blog http://bit.ly/9yGsXh; Facebook http://on.fb.me/XI7EKm; GooglePlus http://bit.ly/KwZ6mE; Google Scholar http://bit.ly/Wz2FP3; Linked In http://linkd.in/14uycpW; Research Gate http://bit.ly/1fJiSwB; Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs http://bit.ly/9nGd3M; Twitter http://bit.ly/juvd52.

REFERENCES [URL shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 31 May 2014.]
Hake, R.R. 2014. “Threats to At-Risk Students: Stereotype & The Belief in Fixed Intelligence.” Post of 30 May 2014 20:13:16-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. Online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/1pFKkO6. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.