Saturday, October 3, 2015

Week 7

Sampson & Gleim:

o   Sampson and Gleim investigated the argument-driven inquiry (ADI) instructional model as a means to promote understanding of biological concepts. The ADI instructional model has a few key goals: to engage students in inquiry and to create a class atmosphere that values evidence and critical thinking. The steps of the ADI instructional model include identifying the task, a lab, producing an argument, arguing, investigating, reporting, and revising. This process emphasizes the self-driven desire in students to attempt to explain natural phenomenon, argue for one’s explanation, and revise one’s explanation based on peer critiques. Integrating science into the curriculum really stuck out to me, and one quote stood out in particular that involved the need for students to acquire chances to either succeed or fail. Realizing that failure is just as important as success is key for students since failure is often associated purely with its negative side, but there is no success without failure and failures offer students chances to learn from mistakes.
o   Thinking ahead to teaching in the future, I like the aspects of the ADI instructional model immensely. Creating the desire for students to resolve natural phenomenon rather than simply replicating textbook or teacher understanding is key. I’m curious though how to motivate students to identify tasks, or perhaps whether various identified tasks is a possible improvement in situations with unmotivated students.

Reiser, Berland, & Kenyon
o   Reiser, Berland, and Kenyon investigated how argumentation influences students’ explanations. One example that I think showcased their investigation well was when students were considering why paper and a book fall differently. Students identified the “strength” of an object as its weight and said that the book had a greater “strength.” However, when the instructor crumpled the ball, some students thought that its “strength” increased while others didn’t agree. This discussion led to a new consensus, that the ball retained its size and therefore its “strength” when crumpled but that its shape changes, for the paper no longer drifts to the floor when crumpled. It was interesting to investigate how argumentation changed students’ explanations. I’ve realized before that new ideas and refined explanations can come through discussion with peers, but these clear examples demonstrated how student thinking changes through argumentation.
o   Thinking ahead to teaching in the future, emphasizing argumentation in the classroom through both probing questions from the instructor and from discussions amongst students can lead to refined explanations. I also was interested by the discussion of not simply replicating authoritative knowledge, either from textbooks or teachers, because students are often simply asked to regurgitate knowledge from either textbooks or teachers’ lectures, so moving away from that mentality is key to promote deeper understanding of material.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely agree with you about the importance of moving students away from rote regurgitation of textbooks/lectures towards deeper understanding of new material. However, while I like this idea in theory, I can't help but get hung up on the fact that a lot of my high school and undergrad science classes hinged on my ability to recognize direct lines from Powerpoints or textbooks when they came up on tests. That being said, maybe we need to rework how we assess students in the sciences to promote this deeper understanding of material. By shifting emphasis on defending arguments and creating models, maybe we can grade students more on incorporating class info and making feasible explanations instead of their ability to memorize facts.