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Applying Cognitive Science to Education : Thinking and Learning in Scientific and Other Complex Domains - Frederick Reif

Applying Cognitive Science to Education

Thinking and Learning in Scientific and Other Complex Domains

Paperback Published: 13th August 2010
ISBN: 9780262515146
Number Of Pages: 496
For Ages: 18+ years old

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Many students find it difficult to learn the kind of knowledge and thinking required by college or high school courses in mathematics, science, or other complex domains. Thus they often emerge with significant misconceptions, fragmented knowledge, and inadequate problem-solving skills. Most instructors or textbook authors approach their teaching efforts with a good knowledge of their field of expertise but little awareness of the underlying thought processes and kinds of knowledge required for learning in scientific domains. In this book, Frederick Reif presents an accessible coherent introduction to some of the cognitive issues important for thinking and learning in scientific or other complex domains (such as mathematics, science, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, or expository writing). Reif, whose experience teaching physics at the University of California led him to explore the relevance of cognitive science to education, examines with some care the kinds of knowledge and thought processes needed for good performance; discusses the difficulties faced by students trying to deal with unfamiliar scientific domains; describes some explicit teaching methods that can help students learn the requisite knowledge and thinking skills; and indicates how such methods can be implemented by instructors or textbook authors. Writing from a practically applied rather than predominantly theoretical perspective, Reif shows how findings from recent research in cognitive science can be applied to education. He discusses cognitive issues related to the kind of knowledge and thinking skills that are needed for science or mathematics courses in high school or colleges and that are essential prerequisites for more advanced intellectual performance. In particular, he argues that a better understanding of the underlying cognitive mechanisms should help to achieve a more scientific approach to science education.Frederick Reif is Emeritus Professor of Physics and Education at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, Berkeley.

An excellent example of the contributions that scientists, provided they are willing to cross some disciplinary boundaries, can make to solving important real-life problems.... a veritable gold mine for all those who teach physics or mathematics at high-school or college level. They will find introductory questions for activating students' prior knowledge about standard curricular content as well as stimulating ideas for engaging students in meaningful activities, e.g., through reciprocal teaching or written self-explanations. However, the book's merits go far beyond practical advice. A broad range of academics will find Applying Cognitive Science to Education intellectually stimulating.

-Science
Challenging. Illuminating. Rewarding. A masterpiece of organization and clarity... a privilege to read.

-American Biology Teacher * Reviews *
An excellent example of the contributions that scientists, provided they are willing to cross some disciplinary boundaries, can make to solving important real-life problems.... a veritable gold mine for all those who teach physics or mathematics at high-school or college level. They will find introductory questions for activating students' prior knowledge about standard curricular content as well as stimulating ideas for engaging students in meaningful activities, e.g., through reciprocal teaching or written self-explanations. However, the book's merits go far beyond practical advice. A broad range of academics will find Applying Cognitive Science to Education intellectually stimulating.

-Science * Reviews *

Complete Contentsp. vii
Prefacep. xiii
Basic Issuesp. 1
Performance, Learning, and Teachingp. 3
Intellectual Performancep. 11
Good Performancep. 27
II-A Usabilityp. 27
Important Kinds of Knowledgep. 31
Specifying and Interpreting Conceptsp. 43
Interpreting Scientific Conceptsp. 61
Managing Memoryp. 85
II-B Effectivenessp. 101
Methods and Inferencesp. 103
Describing Knowledgep. 119
Organizing Knowledgep. 137
II-C Flexibilityp. 163
Making Decisionsp. 165
Introduction to Problem Solvingp. 189
Systematic Problem Solvingp. 201
Dealing with Complex Problemsp. 229
II-D Efficiencyp. 255
Efficiency and Compiled Knowledgep. 257
II-E Reliabilityp. 271
Quality Assurancep. 273
Prior Knowledgep. 287
Unfamiliar Knowledge Domainsp. 289
Naive Scientific Knowledgep. 311
Learning and Teachingp. 333
Developing Instructionp. 335
Designing the Learning Process: Goalsp. 343
Designing the Learning Process: Meansp. 357
Producing Instruction to Foster Learningp. 377
Implementing Practical Instructionp. 401
Traditional Instructional Methodsp. 403
Innovative Instructional Methodsp. 417
Some Educational Challengesp. 439
Referencesp. 451
Indexp. 465
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262515146
ISBN-10: 0262515148
Series: A Bradford Book
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 496
Published: 13th August 2010
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.7 x 15.9  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.65