Imagine yourself in a kindergarten classroom. In the bright walls and pleasant conversations, the students bustle and explore different concepts related to shadow and light from station to station.

At a station, a little boy named David is holding a stick to form a shadow against a light bulb, and uses Unifix Cubes to measure the length of the shadow from different angles.

He brought the lamp close to the ground: the shadow stretched out. He raised the lamp higher from the ground: the shadow became shorter. Well, he thinks. When I move the light, the length of the shadow changes.

In a busy room full of energetic five-year-olds, as a teacher, he walked by David and said: “Keep on working hard!” Or ask a simple question, such as “When you move the light, the shadow will What happened?” Then answer “Interesting!” and then go to another student.

However, this method is unlikely to support David’s learning. Asking a short question will only suggest shallow processing-in this case, David may answer, “My shadow has changed.” If you don’t stop to think carefully or “deep processing” why the shadow moved , He may not remember this light bulb moment or its meaning.

Cognitive scientific research shows that when learners process information deeply or “diligently”, the information is more likely to be stored in their long-term memory. This is like the difference between scuba diving and snorkeling. By asking better questions, teachers can prompt David to explore the concept in depth: “Which shadow is longer? Shorter? Why?”

These questions stimulate deep thinking to ensure lasting learning. Without trying to prompt or follow up, the teacher asked David whether he understood the reason for the shadow change and whether he could remember the information in the future.

Need students to work hard

The point here is Teachers should put forward questions and design tasks that require students to think carefullyThis kind of “teacher action”, which we like to call “teacher action”, is one of the ways Deans for Impact conducts a lot of research on how people learn in a way that teachers can use.

Our goal is to change the preparation of educators, so that every teacher performs well on the first day, and over time embarks on the path of becoming great. We do this by contacting leaders of education preparation programs; helping them change their plans; sustaining these changes over time; and influencing policies that affect their work.

In particular, one of our ways to promote change is to create a network of plans aimed at achieving common improvement goals, such as the Science Design Learning Network, a collaborative project composed of 10 educational preparation plans to ensure that future teachers understand how Use their teaching as a basis. Learn about decision-making in science.We published A new report summarizing the data and stories of the previous two years of hard work This month.

In order to guide the work of the LbSD network, we extracted the six principles of learning science that are important for teachers to understand and practice. Then, we specified what it would look like when teachers put these principles into practice. The resulting frame looks like this:

Although some people may think that stimulating hard thinking is too complicated for novices to focus on, we have seen exciting results in the LbSD network. For example, Sandy Rogelberg, a research assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has been thinking hard with undergraduates during the first semester of the elementary teacher education program. Rogelberg showed the shadow scene to the teacher candidates, and then asked them to ask David questions to encourage them to think hard. Candidates have questions such as “Why do you think the shadow is shorter when you put the lamp on the ground instead of on the ground?”

After planning their questions for David, the candidates grouped and took turns to play the scene-one candidate as a teacher, another as a student David, and a third as an analyst taking notes and providing feedback. In these role-plays, or “thinking hard rehearsals,” candidates practice asking thinking questions as if they were in a real classroom. They also practice listening to students’ answers, and then ask a second hard-thinking question to deepen or perfect students’ understanding.

Although any teacher will prove that this kind of real-time decision-making is a core part of their daily work, many teacher candidates cannot experience or practice it until the last semester, while students are teaching. Because Rogelberg focuses on learning science in her curriculum, future teachers at her institution can begin to develop skills to think hard years in advance. This approach is paying off: by the end of the semester, nearly 30% of the teacher candidates in the Rogelberg course were able to correctly identify the student/teacher dialogue, prompting them to think hard.

Rogelberg and other faculty and staff making such course improvements use data collected through the LbSD network to measure the effectiveness of their changes and identify areas for further improvement in the course in the coming years. As these improvements continue, we are measuring the resulting changes in the beliefs and skills of teacher candidates. Before the intervention, less than 20% of teacher candidates in the LbSD network we observed in the classroom prompted students to think hard. After two years of redesigning the plan, we have observed that 60% of candidates do this.

This is an exciting improvement that will bring tangible benefits to children. When students like “David” are taught by teachers, their teaching decisions are based on our best scientific understanding of students’ learning styles, and they will build a solid foundation, which is necessary to generate more glorious moments.

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