The following are some possible modifications to UTeach PBI currently under consideration for the sections that I teach over the next couple of semesters. The idea is that there will be a fairly slow but consistent evolutionally modification to the course:
1) modification to the field experience to be more consistent with PBI
2) introduction of the LEGACY cycle for designing of a curriculum semester project
3) addition of more substantive (in quality and quantity) course readings
4) incorporation of engineering/STEM into the content of the course
5) introduction of a formative assessment instrument to assess knowledge of previous UTeach course objectives upon entering PBI
6) incorporation of mentorship activities with existing PBI teachers
7) review by the students of some national PBI curriculum
8) a section of the course dedicated to online teaching pedagogy
9) utilization of in class survey's to provide regular feedback
10) expansion of potential STEM faculty willing to teach PBI
11) introduction of various lesson plan formats (other than 5E's)
12) Learning progressions and educative curriculum incorporated (Cesar)
13) More detailed discussions on the differences between: problem based learning, project based learning, case based learning, challenge based instruction, anchored instruction
14) In class conducting of a project based unit (Mission to Mars)
15) Instruction of class to include more opportunities for projects.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The following article appeared in The Daily Texan and was written by Vidushi Shrimali. Dr. Collins work has made significant impacts on education, artifical intelligence, and cognitive psychology. In addition to his lecture, Dr. Collins visited Dr. Joan Hughes Instructional Technology graduate course, met with numerous faculty members, and had wonderful interactions with some of our students. Please see his full bio at the end of this article. -Dr. Petrosino
In an age where adults blame new gadgets and social networking sites as the cause for students’ misconduct and poor educational performance, Allan Collins, a professor at Northwestern University, is encouraging students and teachers to use iPhones and Web sites, including Facebook, not only as entertainment, but also in the classroom.
Anthony Petrosino, a professor in the College of Education, asked Collins to speak at UT after he saw a posting on Collins’ Facebook page about his tour for “Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology,” a book Collins co-authored with peer Richard Halverson. Collins spoke at the University on Tuesday as part of UTeach’s Lecture Series.
“[His book] spoke [about] a lot of issues and topics we are grappling with,” said Petrosino.
“Collins’ work already has a huge influence on our graduate and undergraduate program. There are very few classes we offer in which an article by Dr. Collins is not present.”
Collins spoke on the benefits of what he calls new education, a growing internal movement that turns to technology to provide individualized instruction.
“We don’t let [students] use books, calculators or the Web when taking a test. But what matters in the real world is how well you can mobilize different sources like the Web to try to solve problems,” Collins said.
Collins summarized the history of education in three eras.
“In the apprenticeship era, education was personal, resource intensive, and engaging,” Collins said. “In the schooling era, education was mass-oriented, efficient and bureaucratic. In the lifelong-learning era, education is becoming customized, highly interactive and learner-controlled.”
In new education and virtual and online high schools and colleges like the University of Phoenix, books are at least supplemented, if not replaced, with the Web, and students are given more freedom to choose what they learn.
Children as young as three or four years old use hand-held devices similar to the Kindle or iPhone, with stories, animations and voice recordings to practice reading skills, and students of all levels and ages have access to Web tutors and computer-based learning software that will allow them to work at their own pace and pursue individual interests.
Collins suggested questioning the current education systems, including the system of a high school, and replacing them with home schooling or a form of more individualized education.
“One of the problems with school is that we teach these things that in no context are relevant to real life,” Collins said. “Most students learn calculus and have no clue why they are going to use that in real life. I certainly didn’t and most teachers don’t.”
Brad Armosky, an employee at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University, pointed out that university professors have the opportunity to pursue alternative teaching methods that elementary education teachers cannot.
“At university, if a faculty member wants to try something new, if it works, great. If it doesn’t, faculty and students can make up for it, no harm done. K-12 teachers can’t afford to take such a risk. They can’t say, let me try something totally new, using a level of technology we can’t use. If it doesn’t work, the two, three days you invested in the present topic, the kids didn’t learn what they needed to learn. What are the repercussions of missing that piece of information?” Armosky said.
Dr. Collins Bio:
Allan M. Collins is an American cognitive scientist and Professor Emeritus of Learning Sciences at Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy. Collins' research is recognized as having broad impact on the fields of cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, and education.
Collins is most well known in psychology for his foundational research on human semantic memory and cognition. Collins and colleagues, most notably M.R. Quillian and Elizabeth Loftus, developed the position that semantic knowledge is represented in stored category representations, linked together in a taxonomically organized processing hierarchy (see semantic networks). Support for their models came from a classic series of reaction-time experiments on human question answering.
In artificial intelligence, Collins has been recognized for his work on intelligent tutoring systems and plausible reasoning. With collaborator Jaime Carbonell, Collins produced the first documented example of an intelligent tutor system called SCHOLAR CAI (computer-assisted instruction).Knowledge in SCHOLAR was structured analogously to the then theorized organization of human semantic memory as to afford a variety of meaningful interactions with the system. Collins' extensive research program pioneered discourse analysis methods to study the strategies human tutors use to adapt their teaching to learners. In addition, Collins studied and developed a formal theory characterizing the variety of plausible inferences people use to ask questions about which their knowledge is incomplete. Importantly, Collins developed methods to embed lessons learned from such research into the SCHOLAR system, improving system usability and effectiveness. Subsequently, Collins developed WHY, an intelligent tutoring system that used the Socratic method for tutoring causal knowledge and reasoning. In conjunction with this project he developed a formal computational theory of Socratic tutoring, derived from analyses of inquiry teaching dialogues.
As a cognitive scientist and foundational member of the field of the learning sciences, Collins has influenced several strands of educational research and development. Building upon his work on intelligent tutoring systems, Collins has conducted numerous projects investigating the use of technology in schools and developing educational technologies for assessing and improving student learning. Collins has gradually shifted towards the situated cognition view of knowledge being embedded in the activity, context, and culture in which it is developed and used. In response to conventional practices that often ignore the influence of culture and activity, Collins and colleagues have developed and studied cognitive apprenticeship as a effective alternative educational practice. In addition, Collins was among the first to advocate for and outline design-based research methodologies in education.
Education and Professional Appointments
- B. A.,University of Michigan, 1959 (Accounting)
- M. A., University of Michigan, 1961 (Communication Sciences)
- Ph. D., University of Michigan, 1970 (Cognitive Psychology)
- Senior Scientist, BBN Technologies, 1967 - 1982
- Principal Scientist, BBN Technologies, 1982 - 2000
- Professor, Education & Social Policy, Northwestern University, 1989 - 2005
- Co-Director, U. S. Department of Education’s Center for Technology in Education, 1991 - 1994
- Research Professor, School of Education, Boston College, 1998 - 2002
- Visiting Scholar, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2001 - 2005
- Visiting Senior Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2005 - 2006
- Professor Emeritus, Education & Social Policy, Northwestern University, 2005 - present
Academic Honors and Service
- National Academy of Education, Elected Member
- Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Inaugural Fellow, 1990
- American Educational Research Association, Inaugural Fellow, 2008
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship, 1974
- Sloan fellowship
- Founding chair of the Cognitive Science Society, 1979 - 1980
- Board member of the Cognitive Science Society, 1980 - 1987
- Founding editor, Cognitive Science, 1976 - 1980
- Editorial board, Cognitive Science, 1980 - 2000
- Editorial board, Discourse Processes, 1977 - 1987
- Editorial board, Cognition and Instruction, 1981 - present
- Editorial board, Journal of the Learning Sciences, 1990 - present
Noted and Representative Publications
- Collins, A. M., & Quillian, M. R. (1969). Retrieval Time from Semantic Memory. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 8, 240-247. (citation classic)
- Collins, A. M., & Loftus, E. F. (1975). A Spreading Activation Theory of Semantic Processing. Psychological Review, 82, 407-428. (citation classic)
- Collins, A. M., & Michalski, R. S. (1989). The logic of plausible reasoning: A core theory. Cognitive Science, 13, 1-49.
- Collins A. M., Brown J. S., & Newman S. (1989). Cognitive Apprenticeship: Teaching the Craft of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, in Knowing, Learning and Instruction: Essays in Honor of Robert Glaser, edited by LB Resnick, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.
- Brown, J. S., Collins, A.M., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18 (1), 32–42.
- Collins, A. M. (1992). Towards a design science of education. In E. Scanlon & T. O’Shea (Eds.), New directions in educational technology (pp. 15-22). Berlin: Springer.
- Collins, A. M., & Ferguson, W. (1993). Epistemic forms and epistemic games: Structures and strategies to guide inquiry. Educational Psychologist, 28(1), 25-42.
- Greeno, J., Collins, A. M., & Resnick, L. (1996). Cognition and learning. (pp. 15-46) In D. Berliner and R. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of Educational Psychology. New York: Macmillan.
- Bielaczyc, K. & Collins, A. M. (1999). Learning communities in classrooms: A reconceptualization of educational practice. In Reigeluth, C. M. (Ed), Instructional-design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory : 269-292.
- Collins, A.M.; Joseph, D., & Bielaczyc, K. (2004). "Design research: Theoretical and methodological issues". Journal of the Learning Sciences13 (1): 15–42.
Picture: Sara Young
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Blanton PBI Summary
Four UT PBI teams taught a total of 18 8th grade students from Bedicheck middle school. The students arrived at approximately 10:00am, but the Blanton Museum does not open until 11:00 on Saturdays, so the UT PBI teams showed the students examples of art around the UT campus area. Three of the groups went to the state capitol while the final group went to the central UT library where several sculptures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York are on display. Once the museum opened, all teams returned to the Blanton for a variety of lessons integrating math and art. After an hour and a half in the museum galleries, all of the groups reunited for presentations. Each middle school group presented what activities they participated in and what concepts they learned to everyone as a whole. Once presentations were completed, the middle school students returned to McKinney Falls State Park to continue their field experience.
McKinney Falls Field Experience:
For the PBI Field Experience at McKinney Falls State Park, 16 UTeach PBI Teams (consisting of a total of 32 PBI student teachers) engaged 8th grade students in problem-based field investigations. Half of the UTeach PBI teams taught in the morning, and the other half taught in the afternoon. Investigation topics included assessing water quality (biomonitoring and chemical testing), measuring streamflow, calculating potential hydro power production, using algebra to predict how a boat will move across a flowing stream, interpreting geologic history, making topographic maps, identifying plants and patterns of succession, designing experiments, and evaluating the purposes of a state park. After the investigations, the students presented what they learned, including a description of their methodology and articulation of their findings and conclusions.
Each UTeach PBI team was video taped and observed by a couple of their colleagues and either the PBI Professor, an UTeach Master Teacher, a PBI Teaching Assistant, an UTeach apprentice teachers (who had PBI last semester), or an 8th grade math or science teacher. The observers provided the UTeach PBI Teams with extensive feedback. The UTeach PBI Teams will utilize this feedback, along with their analysis of student artifacts and review of the videotapes, to revise their lesson plans and reflect on the field teaching experience.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Dr. Ann Rivet is an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the Mathematics, Science and Technology Department at Teachers College Columbia University. The focus of her work is on examining factors that influence change in the teaching and learning of science within urban school systems, and more specifically, in what ways do the respective roles of curriculum materials and professional development provide support to teachers and school organizations in adapting and enacting change in their science programs, particularly in the context of large scale reforms. Dr. Rivet has extensive experience with the development and evaluation of project-based science learning environments. She has participated in several design projects with colleagues from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan, addressing issues of both instructional design and assessment of student learning within inquiry-oriented curriculum contexts. Her prior research looked specifically at the role of contextualizing features of project-based science programs at the middles school level, and how the design of those aspects of the curriculum support the activation of students’ prior knowledge for learning and lead to more robust understandings of the science content. Dr. Rivet also serves as the Earth Science content-area specialist in the Science Education Program at Teachers College with expertise in student understanding and learning within the multi-disciplinary context of the Earth Sciences, specifically in the areas of students’ prior conceptions of earth science phenomena, interpretation and use of representations, and students’ development of understanding of the Earth from a dynamic systems perspective. Her work has been published in several leading journals including the Journal of Research in Science Teaching and the American Educational Research Journal, and she has presented her work at multiple national conferences, including the American Educational Research Association and the International Conference of the Learning Sciences.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Project-based Instruction Fall 2009
1) Now that you have had the opportunity to guide your field investigation, please re-write the investigation.
2) For your reflection of the experience, please respond to the following, using evidence from your videotapes, observer notes, comments and collegial comments as well as the student artifacts (pre- and or post-tests, worksheets, field journals, presentation rubrics, etc.) that you collected during your lessons. This is a model for the final portfolio.
a) Describe 2 things about your teaching that you think went well and provide evidence (see above) to demonstrate the successes.
b) Describe 2 things that did not go well the FIRST TIME and provide evidence to demonstrate the lack of success. Discuss what conversations you had with your observers and how their comments were incorporated into the changes you made for the second teaching. Finally, describe what happened the 2nd time when you made these changes and provide evidence for the success (or lack of success) you encountered.
c) Describe 2 things that you would change if you could teach these lessons again and INCLUDE these changes in your revised plan submitted under #1 above. Discuss what prompted your decision to make these changes, including conversations with or written suggestions from your observers.
d) Describe at least 2 specific lesson components that occurred on Thursday and Friday that prepared your students well or that they were able to utilize in the investigation on Saturday.
e) Describe at least 2 aspects (changes/additions/deletions) of Thursday &/or Friday that would have better prepared your students for Saturday.
f) If you had a follow up day with your students in the classroom what would you do?
g) How could this “mini-project”, your lessons and field experience be used either as a launch or a significant piece of a bigger unit?
Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Quick Summary of Jasper: The Jasper series is based on the assumption that thinking is enhanced by access to powerful concepts and not simply through access to a general set of thinking skills. Therefore, Jasper is designed to teach thinking in contexts that are rich in content as well as in the need for general strategies.
Jasper's close cousins are case-based learning, problem-based learning, and project-base learning. More specifically, Jasper series represents an example of problem-based learning that has been modified to make it more useable in K-12 settings. These modifications include the use of a visual story format to present problems, plus the use of "embedded data" and "embedded teaching" to seed the environment with ideas relevant to problem solving. Jasper is also designed to set the stage for subsequent project-based learning. Its overall goal is to help students transform "mere facts" into "powerful conceptual tools."
Picture: Students solve Rescue to Boone's Meadow in PBI.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Next students were put into their Field teams. They then worked on their three-day planner for the field experience (two days in the classroom followed by one day in the field). Students turned in what they had thus far for the three-day planner. These will be evaluated and returned to students for editing and revisions to submit to classroom teachers at the end of next week.
Picture: Using a GPS system in the field. This particular system can then hook up via the Internet to GoogleMaps and tell you exactly where you are and where you went.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Students are introduced to structures which can be used to make problem based scenario using groups. Each member of the group is given a specific color of pen with which to write thus allowing the teacher to monitor who is contributing to the solving of the problem. Also students are introduced to how to conduct a Know/Need to Know assessment as part of a problem based scenario.
The culminating discussion is about assessment during a problem based scenario as well as how to expand or elaborate a relatively straight forward problem based scenario into even more complex problem.
Picture: Use of the Blanton Museum on campus for some PBI units ideas.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009