The Psychology of concept attainment

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T.M.Haja Sahib

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By 'level of understanding the student has' he seemed to me to mean 'the level of intelligence' the student has. What else do you think he had in mind ?
 

Besoeker

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Added: T.M. Please include one space after each punctuation mark, just like you would after the end of each word. It would make the reading of your posts much easier.
I have previously asked him to do that. Obviously this medium isn't working too well for teaching that point. :p

Slightly more seriously, I don't think there is a one size fits all approach to teaching.
I've run a number of training courses, usually, over one or two days. Knowing what level to pitch it at was always difficult. I can't reasonably expect to impart everything I've learned over the course of decades in two days. Nor is there any need to. Picking out the bits that need to be covered and in what depth needs quite a lot of preparation in my experience.

At a different level, I coached my three children (and half the neighborhood kids is felt like at times - I should have charged an entry fee at my front door) through mathematics. This was quite different. The agenda was to pass exams and there was a well-defined syllabus.
Judging by the results, either they were bright or I made a reasonably good fist of it.
 

ActionDave

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I don't think there is a one size fits all approach to teaching.
I've run a number of training courses, usually, over one or two days. Knowing what level to pitch it at was always difficult. I can't reasonably expect to impart everything I've learned over the course of decades in two days. Nor is there any need to. Picking out the bits that need to be covered and in what depth needs quite a lot of preparation in my experience.
There it is Bes. I approach learning the same way you approach teaching.
 
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T.M.Haja Sahib

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There are three methods of learning. Sensory, audible and tactile. Each of us respond differently to each method. If you covered all three in two weeks, Good Job!
The basic approach : Presenting a summary of subject followed by at least minimum number of questions about the subject applies irrespective of any sensory preference for learning. Isn't ?
 

Besoeker

Senior Member
Location
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By 'level of understanding the student has' he seemed to me to mean 'the level of intelligence' the student has. What else do you think he had in mind ?
"what level of understanding do you want the student to have" is what Woodturner put.
To have. Not has.
I would take the intent of his statement to mean "what level of understanding do you want the student to attain?".
That, of course, would determine the content of what you taught the student.
 

woodturner9

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Location
Pennsylvania
If one teaching period is,say,one hour,teaching the subject may be only 40 minutes and remaining period should be devoted to asking each student the essential minimum number of questions about the subject being taught.
I agree. It is only through "testing" that the instructor can confirm the students understood the material and that the students can determine where they need more help.

One change in students over the years is that attention spans are much shorter now. The research suggests that students can only actively listen to a lecture for 10 to 15 minutes. The approach that seems to work for me is to lecture for 10 minutes, give the students an in-class exercise and help them solve that problem for 3 to 5 minutes, then lecture another 10 minutes, etc. Our classes are either 50 minutes or 110 minutes - obviously this works better in the longer classes.

I do not believe this is followed by any instructor,because the instructor is usually in a hurry to finish the course syllabus.
There always has been and always will be pressure to achieve the course objectives - both from the school and from accreditors such as ABET. However, in my opinion, it's better to teach them a little less in the course of a semester and have them understand it than to cover the syllabus and not have them really understand any of it.
 

woodturner9

Member
Location
Pennsylvania
"what level of understanding do you want the student to have" is what Woodturner put.
To have. Not has.
I would take the intent of his statement to mean "what level of understanding do you want the student to attain?".
That, of course, would determine the content of what you taught the student.
Yes, that is the point I was trying to make - and "attain" better describes what I meant than "to have". Different groups of students in different programs of study have different needs and may not need the same depth of knowledge as another group.

For example, we teach a course we "affectionately" :lol: refer to as "EE for non-EEs". It's a basic circuits and passive filters course taught primarily to industrial engineering students. These students need to learn enough about circuits to be able to read a schematic, identify common types of filters, etc. They won't be designing circuits and don't need to know how to calculate the Q of a filter, for example.

In the EE program, we teach the circuits course over two semesters, and in much greater depth. An EE needs to know how to design a filter, for example, and needs to know the significance of and how to calculate Q.
 
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T.M.Haja Sahib

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The level of understanding a student is required to have is already prescribed by the course description and that is self-evident (or it so seemed to me). The Psychology of concept attainment describes a method of how to do it.
 

Besoeker

Senior Member
Location
UK
Yes, that is the point I was trying to make - and "attain" better describes what I meant than "to have".
Perhaps it does but how you put it seemed quite clear to me. I was just trying to help TM's understanding of the point.
Different groups of students in different programs of study have different needs and may not need the same depth of knowledge as another group.

For example, we teach a course we "affectionately" :lol: refer to as "EE for non-EEs". It's a basic circuits and passive filters course taught primarily to industrial engineering students. These students need to learn enough about circuits to be able to read a schematic, identify common types of filters, etc. They won't be designing circuits and don't need to know how to calculate the Q of a filter, for example.

In the EE program, we teach the circuits course over two semesters, and in much greater depth. An EE needs to know how to design a filter, for example, and needs to know the significance of and how to calculate Q.
I quite agree with that.
I also think that the qualities and experience of the lecturer or teacher has a considerable bearing on on how well a subject is taught and how well it is understood.
We had an excellent physics teacher at secondary school - that's about the equivalent of high school on your side of the pond.
I think it was when I was about 14 or 15 we were going to do an Ohm's Law experiment in the lab.
"What are we going to be doing today?" he asked the class.
"Prove Ohm's law, sir" was my response.
He gave me a look that would have withered an artificial flower.
"No, we are not!"
"We're going to verify it."
That, I thought, was a valuable lesson that has stayed with me for decades.

Another guy who I thought was excellent at is subject was my college lecturer on rotating machines. He had worked for a manufacturer designing machines and it was obvious even to us mere students that he knew his stuff.
And he had done stuff.

And worked here:
 

mlnk

Senior Member
T.M., Please do not say no teacher does this.... I test students at the end of every session. It eliminates anxiety about testing and I see if they are learning.
 

bullheimer

Senior Member
Location
WA
i guess it would be better to show an example of the complete 'whatever' you are trying to teach, before you just start teaching the various components of same... if that's what your gettin at.

i believe the best way to teach is chaining. the u.s. navy just throws everything at you all at once and must subscribe to your 'concept attainment' methodology. they claimed that you would retain enough in A school that when you went to your FRAMP, whatever it was, that you would somehow magically recall what you blazed over in A school. i personally think this way of teaching was a total PANTLOAD. I did not feel like i learned much of anything after i finished A school. i would rate it an absolute FAILURE:thumbsdown:
 
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T.M.Haja Sahib

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bullheimer:
I think you have a point. This way of teaching should be linked to the personality of the student being taught. He should have 'it' in him/her. Otherwise, it will not work. Many people may learn things best by demonstrations or by other means.
 
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