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Flashcards in Expertise Deck (14)
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Why should we study how experts think and what they do?

Shows results of successful learning
- Can use knowledge to solve new problems
- Can teach expert skills and though processes

Goal of achieving expertise (novice -> expert)

They have insight into domains that others may not

They are often our teachers (but not always the best ones!)


What is an expert? (Common Assumption)

"An expert is someone who knows all the answers"


Experts (as compared to Novices)


Have more declarative and procedural knowledge on a subject [quantitative difference]

Notice and use meaningful patterns

Organize their knowledge differently [qualitative difference]
- Organize information by concepts, not appearances
- More likely to use hierarchical structure
- More likely to have abstract generalizations


Features of Expert Knowledge

Fluent Retrieval & Meaningful Patterns
- Chess Master example
- Information Processing
- Meaningful patterns of knowledge

Content/Access & Organization of Knowledge
- The Physics Expert example
- Information Processing


Connecting Transfer and Expertise

We often think concretely, but for transfer we need to think abstractly

Abstract thinking separates Experts from Novices
- Ex. Algebra word problems: Experts classify problems by their abstract structure, but novices classify problems by surface structure (just like the Physics Expert in previous slides) (Silver, 1981)
- Ex. Computer commands: Experts classify words by computer functions, novice classify by conventional word meanings (Kay & Black)


Content Knowledge= Good teacher? EXPERT BLIND SPOT

Content Knowledge: "What"

Pedagogical Knowledge: "How"

Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Situated Cognition



Content Knowledge
- "What" to teach
- Subject knowledge necessary to be an expert in that discipline

Pedagogical Content Knowledge
- "How" to teach a specific subject
- NOT Content knowledge + teaching knowledge
- Teaching strategies differ across disciplines


Pedagogical Content Knowledge Example: Teaching Hamlet

- Introduce Hamlet focusing on a word by word reading of play and discussion of modernism

- Assignments with in-depth analysis of soliloquies, memorization of long passages and a final paper on the importance of language in Hamlet


- Begin unit without ever mentioning the name of the play

- To grasp the outline and ideas of the story, the teacher had them imagine their parents had recently divorced and that their mother had taken up with a new man

- This new many replaced your father at work and may have helped oust him from that job

- Now, the teacher had students consider what circumstances might drive them so made that they would contemplate murdering another human being


Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Form of practical and contextualized knowledge of

- How to structure and represent academic content for direct teaching to students

- The common conceptions, misconceptions, and difficulties that students encounter when learning particular content

- The specific teaching strategies that can be used to address students' learning needs in particular classroom circumstances


The Expert Teacher (acc. to Stein)

"In general, teachers with more explicit and better organized knowledge tend to provide instruction that features conceptual connections, appropriate and varied representations, and active and meaningful student discourse"


The Novice Teacher (Stein)

- Novice -> Expert is a developmental process

- "On the other hand, teachers, with limited knowledge have been found to portray the subject as a collection of static facts; to provide impoverished or inappropriate examples, analogies, and/or representations; and to emphasize seatwork assignments and/or routinized student input as opposed to meaningful dialogue"


Experts and Teaching

Expertise in a particular domain does not guarantee that expert will be good at helping other people learn

- Issues with expert blind spot

- May lack pedagogical content knowledge


Key Principles of Expertise

- Fluent Retrieval (Chess)

- Meaningful Patterns (Chess)

- Context and access to knowledge (Physics)

- Organization of knowledge (Physics)

- Expertise and Pedagogical Content knowledge (Teachers)

- Adaptive Expertise and Flexible approaches (Historians)


Why should we care?

If we know how experts think and work, it can inform instruction and teaching

How knowledge is organized
- Start with broader, conceptual understanding

Conditionalized Knowledge
- When, where, how to apply knowledge

Content vs. Teaching Expertise
- Just because you know it, doesn't mean you can teach it