Archive for February 24th, 2009

Cal provar que els alumnes aprenen més, per justificar canvis!!!

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

L’etern problema: si un vol canviar el procés d’ensenyament/aprenentatge, els col·legues li demanen que demostre que els alumnes aprendran més.
Però la “prova” de que aprenen més es basa en exàmens que…
…típicament mesuren objectius educatius de baix nivell (allò que s’anomena habilitats cognitives de nivell baix) com ara la memorització de fets i de definicions, en lloc d’habilitats cognitives de nivell superior com ara el pensament crític, la resolució de problemes no algorítmics, etc.

Total:  una excusa perquè res es moga i seguir com estem :)

En les paraules d’un expert en PER (Physics Education Research, o REF – recerca per a l’ensenyament de la física), Richard Hake:

Some physicists may be interested in “Re: The Burden of Proof #2″ [Hake (2009)].  The abstract reads:
ABSTRACT:  Kevin Carey in his post “The Burden of Proof,” quoted portions of Paul Basken’s (2009) report “Engineering Schools Prove Slow to Change” on a Carnegie Foundation study that bemoans “a faculty culture resistant to change.”  Carey objects to blaming the slowness of change in engineering schools on “culture” because, in his view, “the more autonomy faculty are given in the classroom, the greater the burden of proof to demonstrate that their choices are *actually working*, with that proof being based, in significant part, on some evidence of what students learn.”
But the problem is that most faculty fail to discharge their burden of proof of student learning because they (and administrators) are immersed in a culture that relies on course exams and Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET’s) to gauge student learning – both of which typically measure lower-level educational objectives such as memory of facts and definitions rather than higher-level outcomes such as critical thinking and non-algorithmic problem solving.

How then can faculty measure their students’ higher-level learning from start to finish of a course? As demonstrated by the physics education reform effort, by direct formative evaluation of students’ *domain-specific* learning through pre/post testing using: (a) valid and consistently reliable tests of conceptual understanding *devised by disciplinary experts,* and (b) traditional courses as controls.

Such definitive evaluation of the cognitive impact of courses has: (a) increased student learning in some U.S. introductory physics courses (including large enrollment classes at California Polytechnic at San Luis Obispo, Harvard, MIT, North Carolina State, and the University of Colorado); (b) is gradually gaining a foothold in introductory astronomy, biology, chemistry, economics, engineering, geoscience, and math; and (c) has the potential to gradually enhance the effectiveness of higher education generally, including that in engineering.
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REFERENCES
Hake, R.R. 2009. “Re: The Burden of Proof #2,” AERA-L post of 23 Feb 2009 14:57:57-0800; online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <http://tinyurl.com/d4yy45> and also at <http://hakesedstuff.blogspot.com/2009/02/burden-of-proof-2.html>.