I have my own experience as a learner and at least 9 solid years of experience teaching dance and chemistry. Tell me you've taken a dance class that was pain-free. You're training your body to move in new ways that are unfamiliar. You may get your foot stepped on (in a ballroom dance class) or reach for your toes (in a ballet class). These painful experiences create muscle memory and your body will attempt to avoid this pain by either correcting your steps or limbering up your hamstrings.
In science, these pains are invisible but no less real. As the mind stretches to comprehend new paradigms of atomic theory and reactivity patterns of elements, it will balk at the complexity and abstraction associated with this mode of thought. This is like your tight hamstrings that have trouble loosening up to accommodate your port-de-bras. When the mouth articulates a name like "Avogadro" or a phrase such as "Kinetic Molecular Theory," the tongue and lips may fumble at the new words. These experiences are no different than forgetting to break-on-two.
I wanted to do some reading about "learning" to see what other people thought about it. After all, I am of the "educational variety" and want to know the professional buzzwords that are currently being tossed around. But when I hear the word "pedagogy" it's like my brain turns to jell-o.
|Plant a seed...be a teacher!|
I can understand the definition of "pedagogy" is the art and science of teaching. This is how my students must feel when they first enounter the word "stoichiometry." It's a strange-sounding word with a lot of consonants and vowels that represents a pretty complex idea. My approach to pedagogy is to challenge students, kind of like punching a bop bag, and then let them recover before challenging them again. I don't know if this is supported by neuroscience, I've just found that students can take only so much pain before they give up.
Besides the "how" of teaching, there are students' learning styles to consider. After all, it's not so important to talk at students (lecture) but more important to focus on how students acquire new skills and ideas. This depends on individual's learning styles. Since each individual is a hybrid of all these styles, it's important to be a dynamic teacher that can cater to all of these styles. Cognative psychologist Daniel Willingham argues that this theory pigeonholes students unnecessarily and that the content you are trying to cover should determine the mode of delivery. Either way, I try to be mindful of employing all of these styles in the course of a semester. I have also read that when students are more aware of their learning preferences, they can employ metacognition to enhance their success in any course.
Why study STEM? Quantitative science is essential to understanding the world around you!
Competencies / Learning Objectives
Buzzwords in Pedagogy