Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chapter 4 summary...Why Is It So Hard for Students to Understand Abstract Ideas?

This chapter discussed the fact that it is difficult for the mind to understand abstract ideas, and the importance of providing opportunities to interconnect old information with new, so that deep knowledge can be achieved. Students, in order to really obtain deep knowledge need to be able to apply it in many different contexts. The author explained that a student may be faced with a problem and be taught how to solve it. When faced with a similar problem that requires the same methods to solve, some students may be able to transfer that knowledge and still solve the new problem (deep knowledge), while other students may not be able to transfer the knowledge to the solve the new problem (shallow knowledge). Connecting the information a student already knows to information we want them to learn is extremely important in helping that student achieving deep knowledge. We need to constantly monitor our teaching methods to be sure we are providing this connection within our lessons, and structuring them so students must work toward deeper knowledge rather than being able to use surface knowledge to complete assignments.
It was also stressed that although deep knowledge is our goal, we must remember that deep knowledge is not easy to achieve and not forget that shallow knowledge is still a step toward deep knowledge. We need to give them plenty of opportunities to practice skills and apply new knowledge in a variety of ways so that we can help them continue to transfer information, thus attaining deeper knowledge.

Animoto Sigman