- Oct 2022
Wieman, Carl. “How to Become a Successful Physicist.” Physics Today 75, no. 9 (September 2022): 46–52. https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.5082
The details here are also good in teaching almost all areas of knowledge, particularly when problem solving is involved.
How might one teach the practice of combinatorial creativity?
Cognitive-science research shows that people improve learning efficiency by practicing the set of specific cognitive tasks required for their area of expertise.11. K. A. Ericsson, R. T. Krampe, C. Tesch-Römer, Psych. Rev. 100, 363 (1993); https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.100.3.363A. Ericsson, R. Pool, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, HarperOne (2017). Although that approach is based on learning research, it is uncoincidentally quite similar to the ideal master–apprentice method for traditionally teaching a craft (see figure 1).
The master-apprentice model of teaching and learning in which the master breaks down a problem into a set of subskills which the apprentice solves and practices with regular feedback for improvement is broadly similar to best pathways shown in cognitive science research on improving learning efficiency for building expertise.
- problem solving
- physics education
- decision making
- cognitive apprenticeships
- deliberate practice
- imitation for learning
- cognitive science
- teaching problem solving
- Jul 2022
CHAPTER ICHARACTER AND CIRCUMSTANCEIn the following pages I describe the craft of a social in¬vestigator as I have practised it. I give some account of myearly and crude observation and clumsy attempts at reason¬ing, and then of the more elaborated technique of note¬taking, of listening to and recording the spoken word and ofobserving and even experimenting in the life of existinginstitutions.
While she leaves note taking specifically to Appendix C, Beatrice Webb mentions her "more elaborated technique of note-taking" in the second sentence of the book.
- Apr 2022
In these sessions, students didn’t listen to a description ofcomputer science concepts, or engage in a discussion about the work performedby computer scientists; they actually did the work themselves, under the tutors’close supervision.
The process seen in cognitive apprenticeships seems more akin to the sorts of knowledge transfer done in primary oral indigenous cultures by passing down stories and performing (song, dance, art, etc.) knowledge.
It shouldn't be surprising that cognitive apprenticeships work well given their general use by oral cultures over millennia.
link to: Writing out answers will show gaps in knowledge Performing actions will show gaps in knowledge
crucial difference between traditional apprenticeships and modern schooling: inthe former, “learners can see the processes of work,” while in the latter, “theprocesses of thinking are often invisible to both the students and the teacher.”Collins and his coauthors identified four features of apprenticeship that could beadapted to the demands of knowledge work: modeling, or demonstrating the taskwhile explaining it aloud; scaffolding, or structuring an opportunity for thelearner to try the task herself; fading, or gradually withdrawing guidance as thelearner becomes more proficient; and coaching, or helping the learner throughdifficulties along the way.
This is what’s known as a cognitive apprenticeship, a term coined by Allan Collins, now a professor emeritus of education at Northwestern University. In a 1991 article written with John Seely Brown and Ann Holum, Collins noted a
In a traditional apprenticeship, a learner watches and is able to imitate the master process and work. In a cognitive apprenticeship the process of thinking is generally invisible to both the apprentice and the teacher. The problem becomes how to make the thinking processes more tangible and visible to the learner.
Allan Collins, John Seely Brown, and Ann Holum identified four pedagogical methods in apprenticeships that can also be applied to cognitive apprenticeships: - modeling: demonstrating a task while focusing on describing and explaining the steps and general thinking about the problem out loud - scaffolding: structuring a task to encourage and allow the learner the ability to try it themself - fading: as the learner gains facility and confidence in the process, gradually removing the teacher's guidance - coaching: as necessary, the teacher provides tips and suggestions to the learner to prompt them through potential difficulties
- Aug 2019
Passion, character, and initiative are a requirement. A long resumé is not — as long as you care about the right things, we can help build your skillset. This is true for those we hire, and it is equally true for our apprentices.
- Jan 2015
I have been worried for a little while now about the construction industry in Australia turning their apprentices (heavily subsidised by Govt) into "sub-contractors" once there is no more subsidy available when the apprenticeship is completed.
It means that (often) young people are turfed into the business world with little business acumen, still treating themselves as "employees" of the company/tradesman who indentured their skills learning. Unable to negotiate their own income and terms because of limited financial planning skills.
If apprentices are to be shoved into this world, they are doomed to fail unless they are provided with the adequate business governance learning and advice. Understanding their legal and fiscal obligations as a sub-contractor is vital and being able to say NO to companies who demand rights to monopoly over their contractual services is imperative.