Plenary I:
Take Home Lessons from How People Learn

Plenary I
Take Home Lessons from How People Learn

Thursday, October 30, 2003
3:00 - 4:00 pm

Bernard L. Madison, Department of Mathematical Sciences– University of Arkansas

The messages of How People Learn will be viewed through the eyes of a STEM faculty member who has considerable experience in research, administration, and curricular reform. This novice in learning theory will recount how these messages were missing from his preparation for teaching and how they relate to current difficulties in students learning mathematics. He wonders why these messages are not reflected more in our teaching while we have applied the highest standards of rigor and evidence to our research. The reason is not that the messages are counter-intuitive or even difficult to understand. Quite to the contrary, the messages are believable and reasonable, but their application to teaching poses challenging questions and problems that do not have the clear and precise answers or solutions that we expect in our research. Nonetheless, the messages should be taken home and applied. The session following the plenary will give participants a chance to discuss how to do this.