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  • Carol Dweck, who is now at Stanford,

  • conducted a research experiment

  • where she compared 7th graders in two different groups.

  • One group, she taught study skills to,

  • and the other group,

  • they taught a mini-neuroscience class

  • about how their brain worked.

  • They followed those two groups

  • throughout their middle school math grades

  • and noticed that the group

  • who had the mini-neuroscience course

  • was much more successful in their math grades

  • than the group that had the conventional study skills,

  • like being organized

  • and using note cards.

  • The reason, they believe,

  • that the group had the mini-neuroscience course

  • did so much better

  • is that they were picturing the formations

  • and the connections in their brains occurring

  • while they were learning.

  • They were also able to have a certain level of resilience,

  • knowing that their brain was more of a muscle

  • and not a stone that couldn't grow any larger.

  • Having this resilience,

  • having students understand

  • that their brains can continue to grow,

  • allows them the confidence to struggle with situations,

  • to wrestle out that information

  • to come to deeper understanding.

  • So, how does this look in my classroom?

  • How do I attempt to get students

  • to struggle with information and wrestle with it

  • so they come up with deeper levels of understanding?

  • Primarily, I use unanswered questions.

  • For example, I'll give students a jar

  • and say it's 500 grams,

  • and inside that sealed jar

  • is a moist paper towel with about six to seven seeds.

  • What do you think will happen

  • to the mass of the container

  • as those seeds begin to grow?

  • And the students will then write

  • on a little half-sheet of paper

  • what they think is going to happen and why.

  • Depending on the class,

  • I will have the students sometimes work in partners

  • to kind of combine ideas,

  • see what they think of each other's reasons,

  • maybe work in groups of four

  • and then groups of eight

  • and come to consensus.

  • But, sometimes, I'll have the students pass in

  • all that information without conversing about it,

  • and I will then read their explanations

  • so that they are anonymously presented ideas

  • that no student can rely upon

  • the other smart students

  • to say, 'Oh, I agree with Sally

  • because she's always got the right answer.'

  • That rarely happens in my class.

  • At this point, I will probably stop the conversation

  • after I've read these out loud

  • and leave students wondering.

  • Wondering, what is the right answer?

  • What evidence is good evidence?

  • Because I want them,

  • when they leave the classroom,

  • to continue to want to know more,

  • to continue to want to make more connections.

  • So, in addition to unanswered questions,

  • I will often pose problems and projects

  • for students to work on.

  • And, when I have them work on

  • these problems and projects,

  • I'll give them about 15 to 20 minutes to brainstorm

  • how to solve the problem

  • or how to go about completing the project.

  • And this 15 to 20 minutes happens

  • well before I expect a lot of work

  • to be done on the project.

  • I don't want them to try to produce too much

  • because I want them to try to figure out in their brains,

  • give themselves a chance

  • to struggle with the information overnight,

  • while they go about their daily activities.

  • For example, I might give a project

  • where you need to explain or teach a 6th grader

  • the simple concept of endosymbiosis.

  • And the students then have

  • a whole bunch of questions generated

  • related to this project.

  • They have things that they need to know

  • from me,

  • from other resources.

  • But I have not given them

  • the questions and the answers to memorize,

  • their brain is actively seeking out

  • the understanding of this concept

  • so that they can teach it to others.

  • We would like to, as teachers,

  • think that students love everything that we teach them,

  • and we think that they understand everything

  • and want to engage with our content

  • outside of the school day.

  • Students don't do that.

  • Most students don't do that.

  • So, through mass one-way text messaging,

  • I'm able to resend them the question

  • or the topic from that day.

  • To get them to re-engage

  • and touch the content one more time.

  • And, hopefully, get that seed planted in their brain

  • so that they want to think about it more,

  • so that their brains come up with

  • those "Ah-ha!" moments at obscure times.

  • My goal is for students to generate the story,

  • their story,

  • of the content that I teach.

  • I would love for them

  • to completely understand my story

  • and understand it deeply,

  • but I know if I just get them to understand it

  • as I understand it,

  • that will simply ooze out of their brains,

  • and they will not have information and the knowledge

  • that is applicable in other situations.

  • They will not have knowledge

  • that they can ask more questions about.

  • They are simply understanding to please me,

  • and then it's gone.

  • "It's not that I'm so smart,

  • it's just that I stay with problems longer."

  • We, as teachers, need to encourage and facilitate

  • students staying with problems longer.

  • Thanks.

Carol Dweck, who is now at Stanford,

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A2 TED-Ed unanswered neuroscience teach understand group

【TED-Ed】Using unanswered questions to teach - John Gensic

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/04/24
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