How People Learn, Bransford

5. Herbert Simon (1996) said that the meaning of ‘knowledge’ has shifted from being able to remember and repeat information to being able to find and use it.

5. “Fundamental understanding about subjects, including how to frame and ask meaningful questions about various subject areas contributes to individuals’ more basic understanding of principles of learning that can assist them in becoming self-sustaining, lifelong learners.”

8. “Many curricula have emphasised memory rather than understanding”

10. “an infant’s brain gives precedence to certain kinds of information: language, basic concepts of number, physical properties and the movement of animate and inanimate objects.”

10. “People construct new knowledge and understanding based on what they already know and believe.” As such, preconceptions and misguided beliefs must be addressed before attempting to teach.

16. “To develop competence in an area of inquiry, students must; (a) have a deep foundation of factual knowledge, (b) understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework, and (c) organise knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application.”

61. Students can be “learning orientated” or “performance orientated”. Those who are learning oriented like new challenges , the performance oriented are more worried about making mistakes than learning.

61. Motivation to learn:
>social opportunities; feeling like one is contributing to others
>acknowledged usefulness of skills gained; when they can use information learned to impact others

62. “How tightly learning is tied to contexts depends on how the knowledge is acquired.” It is more successful when a subject is taught in multiple contexts. Teaching in multiple contexts makes the student “more likely to abstract the relevant features of concepts and develop a flexible representation of knowledge.”

66. Transfer of knowledge is a dynamic process that “requires learners to actively choose and evaluate strategies, consider resources, and receive feedback.”

73. “The ultimate goal of learning is to have access to information for a wide set of purposes.”

74. A huge difference between school ad the ‘real world’ is that schools base achievement very much off individual skills and work whereas many jobs require teamwork and sharing of knowledge. Also, every day settings involve the use of tools to solve problems, rather than the ‘mental work’ required by students. Third, contextualised reasoning is used over abstract reasoning, which is often taught in schools. Help students by placing abstract examples into concrete contexts.

77. John Dewey, “School should be less about preparation for life and more like life itself.”

78. Students need frequent feedback.

81. “What a child can perform today with assistance she will be able to perform tomorrow independently.”

103. Very young children persist in tasks often for the sole reason that “success and understanding are motivating in their own right.”

132. “Today, students need to understand the current state of their knowledge and to build on it, improve it, and make decisions in the face of uncertainty.”

136. “Learner centred environments include teachers who are aware are aware that learners construct their own meanings , beginning with the beliefs, understandings and cultural practices they bring to the classroom.” If teaching is a bridge between the student and the subject matter, a good teacher watches both sides of the bridge.

138. “Children are capable of sophisticated levels of thinking and reasoning when they have the knowledge necessary to support these activities.”

139. “Expose students to the major features of a subject domains they arise naturally in problem situations.”

Give a need or reason for the practical use of ideas and knowledge.


REF: Bransford, J. (2000). How people learn: brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press.


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