Paradigm shifts!

Had an absolutely marvelous time in the Conceptual Change class this semester. I had several important paradigm shifts resulting from class discussions. I am summarizing these below:

– Thinking about prior experience rather than only prior knowledge. As we often use the word, “knowledge” often refers to explicit learning only. Whereas “experience” often includes implicit learning as well.

– What we had previously considered “noise” in think aloud transcripts – descriptions about what students know intuitively or implicitly but cannot explicitly explain – may now be very important. Just as biologists are now finding what they thought was “junk” DNA is not junk at all, we might be the same kind of revolution in happening with regarding to analyzing think aloud transcripts. Perhaps all that “it’s just common sense” or ” I’m not sure how I know this” might be leading us to uncovering habits of mind. Maybe when students say this it’s not a cop out after all. Maybe there are trying to tell us something inexplicable.

– With regards to our ontological schema training project: might the lack of interlevel connections being made during heat transfer instruction help us explain our results?

– Using Schon’s idea of “transformative metaphors” to actually see conceptual change happening! Can we identify an “aha moment” by looking at analogies or metaphors people make when explaining certain phenomenon?

What question is upper most on my mind?

– How do we study this amazingly complex process we call “learning”? How best to strike a balance between simplifying and oversimplifying?