There’s a transition underway in how students learn, and consequently in how teachers should conduct their classrooms. Gone are the days in which a teacher should “instruct” the class, lecturing from the front of the classroom and furiously scribbling on a blackboard. Today’s teacher should serve as a facilitator of the learning process.Â With the ease of access to information via books and the web, students no longer need to sit at the instructor’s feet as she shares her wisdom. Rather, the instructor should create an environment, both physical and experiential, so that students are capable of transforming raw data and information into knowledge and wisdom.
If you recall, the underlying topic of my PhD application to Northwestern’s Learning Science program was designing learning environments. This general idea was recently supported in researching intelligent tutors for my class on cognitive modeling.Â Without going into much detail, the dominant cognitive theory (ACT-R) states that learning occurs through the interpretiveÂ use of declarative knowledge and results in procedural knowledge, or “production rules.” Tutoring, or teaching, then should aim to create experiences to acquire the production rules of a competent problem-solver. (More detail in my slides.)
Do you know of other research, pedagogy, etc. that supports (or contradicts) this idea of transition? How might we as students, educators, or citizens make room for such a positive transition to occur?