Design&Education: First Principles of Instruction

“People are fully literate in a domain if they can recognize [the equivalent of reading]
amd produce meaningful new [the equivalent of writing] within the domain.”
James Gee

Central Statement: You cannot teach unless you know how to learn.
Thus the study of cognitive theories.

There was response and further building upon the models that were demostrated.
Today we shall focus on the David Merrill Article: First Principles of Instruction: Synthesis

Merrill’s First Principles:

Real world problems
Build on existing knowledge
Demonstrate to the learner, an application of the knowledge
Applied by the learner
Intergrated into real world situations

Surrounding the Problem: Activation, Demonstrations, Application and then Intergration.
All of these aspects relate back to the problem.
This is a cyclical relationship that facilitates learning.

For this course:
The Problem: How to make the students more effective teachers using their design skills.
Activation: Personal experiences with learning, Situating yourself in the world of design
and education.
Demonstration: Observation of classes and then observation of each other’s teaching style.
Application: Designing own materials, syllabi and activities.
Integration: Mini cycles of integration and Application in the revising and testing of syllabi and
practice lessons. Final integration with students who teach boot camp and for those who eventually
go onward to teach other classes.

When developing your syllabi, keep this structural flow in mind.
Not all classes will be structured like this, but for our first version, we could use this.

Bransford Article :

First Principles:

1. Work with pre-existing knowledge
2.Teach the Subject matter in depth, showing the foundational theories at work and show some
structural knowledge.
-Same concept over different contexts
3. Metacognitive Teaching
-metacognition: students in the learning process, can gauge their own process in learning.

Principles 2 and 3 are techniques that are associated with teaching experts.
Experts are not necessarily smarter or better. They are however better versed in search techniques
associated with the subject matter. Experts know their level of knowledge and have the knowledge
to acquire knowledge that would fill in the gaps.

i.e. I know that I cannot get the general twitter feed, but I know that I can look it up on the api

A departure in some ways from the Merrill. Not necessarily contradictory, but different.
The book and these principles are derived from extensive research from observing schools.

An example: The “How to feed yourself class (Cooking 101)”

Teaching the Subject matter in depth:
Different manners of ingredient acquition.
Different varities of the same ingredient (peas: frozen, canned, fresh)
Spice complements.

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