CogSciSci2018/PanelPracticals

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CLT Cognitive Load Theory

  • CLT doesn't necessarily imply what we think it does
  • Working memory means it's practical work is more difficult for students than adults.

Domain of Observables vs Ideas

  • Thinking as they work : Bill used practicals as suggested in the book, which helped developed better ideas.
  • Objective of Getting Practical was to improve effective of practicals.
  • The practicals don't need to be the way the science is taught.
  • The practical can be part of the science, experience is part of the development of the schema.
  • A teacher explain a practical helps learning.

Grab a test tube and do it

  • Bill does research projects as part of the end of year science curriculum for Y7 & 8. But it's no use to "learn the KS3 content". Ordering equipment, planning, research. Repeat - improve - reporting poster. Over 3 - 4 weeks - science takes a long time. Rigorous - 12 lessons of work.
  • Ruth - context: open ended practical was leading to poor results. "People in these positions make our classrooms their playgrounds."

Gatsby report

  • Enquiry led learning: can't develop scientific knowledge through constructive learning techniques.
  • Learning about phenomena through enquiry: science does develop its domain knowledge through inquiry.
  • Can't even derive Kirchhof law through student constructive enquiry.
  • Teach them first - then prove it back to me. Inquiry skills.

Motivated - reduce cognitive load?

  • Mark - challenge of load is a motivator. Scientists need to be overloaded in order to develop new science. But does that apply at level of a young student.
  • Oliver - working memory is different for different people. Mark - you can increase your working memory:
  • Bill - Practical work is an excuse to do not any work.

Practical work should be designed for a context

  • If there is no curriculum then enquiry led learning can be good.
  • 4 yo developing model of a beach and "teachable moment". Secondary science is the exception in UK. Unassessable - so NC means can't do these things. Responsibility lies with teachers to develop the correct mix to allow enquiry where appropriate.
  • Objective led practical are necessary.
  • A practical can be assigned to a learning point. Ammeters great for sig-figs. Hookes Law always works: 4. Inference is relative to the topic - liminality. Half life coins etc. Key practicals are going.
  • Intrinsic motivation at KS3 - we have a relationship through the natural world that students don't have (Feynman - flower). Value of theory through experience and allow students to access this. Motivation from success - so practicals are always not the best way. Opportunity cost - can't just use the motivation as a reason.