A node (page) about one topic or subject, containing information, opinion, links, or the like. This is the right category for writings that aren't formal enough to belong under "Publications" (e.g., an essay about constructivism or a description of classroom response systems), topical collections of links, etc.

Transfer of Learning

How people "transfer" knowledge from the learning context to other contexts

Transfer of learning is among the most important problems in education today. Students, especially in science, are all too often unable to apply what they learn to novel contexts both in, and outside the classroom. Making headway on the transfer problem is important since all of education is predicated on the premise that what is taught in one course will be used in relevant situations in other courses, as well as out of school and in the workplace. Research suggests, however, that lack of transfer is pervasive and persistent, and that promoting more transfer is a difficult enterprise given the complexity of factors that affect it.

Neural Networks

A perspective on neural network dynamics, complexity, and cognition

Neural network (NN) modeling has developed as a major component of science's attempt to understand the brain. The fundamental question is, how do the brain's formidable information-processing abilities emerge from the self-organizing behavior of a collection of relatively simple neurons? NN modelers aspire to develop artificial systems with some brain-like abilities. Much of the progress in NN modeling has been made by physicists, who have extensive experience formulating and analyzing complicated mathematical models [1-4].

Early PER Findings

Early results from Physics Education Research, relevant to physics instruction

This document is quite old (early 1990s) and mentions nothing about all the relevant research since then. It's also lacking references. Caveat emptor.

The areas of cognitive research we will focus on are: (1) the prevalence and virulence of misconceptions; (2) the differences between the ways that experts and novices store domain-specific knowledge and solve problems; (3) the importance of goal-free activities; and (4) the effects of "meta-communicating" with students about the learning process. Each area has critically affected the development of our approach, and therefore, each area is reviewed to help you understand the construction of our materials and how they should be implemented.

Knowledge Structure

A qualitative model for the storage of domain-specific knowledge and its implications for problem-solving

Extracted from a booklet accompanying a workshop for high school science teachers.

Physics Education Research

Formal, rigorous research into the teaching, learning, understanding, and application of physics knowledge
Although the field of Physics Education Research (PER) has some overlap with Education, Cognitive Science, Psychology, Computer Science, and other disciplines, it has its own distinct identity, concerns, perspectives, and approaches.

SRRI's Physics Education Research Group (PERG) does PER.

Wikipedia has [an entry on Physics Education Res

Question Driven Instruction

Question-driven instruction (QDI) means having students wrestle with rich, meaty, meaningful questions and problems as a context for sense-making and a vehicle for learning, not just as assessments.


Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment
Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment (TEFA) is a pedagogical approach for using classroom response technology to conduct effective, interactive, student-centered instruction in classes with anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of students. It has been tested in multiple science disciplines, and to a lesser extent in mathematics and social sciences, at both university and secondary-school levels1.

Collaborative Group Techniques

Methods for teaching via small-group cooperative learning work
This document has been excerpted from Supplement A of the "Teacher's Guide to accompany Minds•On Physics: Motion" (cf. Minds•On Physics).


A philosophical viewpoint on how the mind forms and modifies its understanding of reality
According to Ernst von Glasersfeld, our resident philosopher and expert on constructivism:

Constructivism was introduced in the modern era by Jean Piaget as a way of thinking about cognition and knowledge, not as a metaphysical theory about what might exist.

Classroom Response Systems

In-class technology for engagement, interactivity, and formative assessment
A classroom response system is technology that allows an instructor to present a question or problem to the class; allows students to enter their answers into some kind of device; and instantly aggregates and summarizes students' answers for the instructor, usually as a histogram.
Syndicate content