Lifting the lid - time for a revolution in pedagogic thinking?

Delany, David (2010) Lifting the lid - time for a revolution in pedagogic thinking? [Conference Proceedings]


Expert-novice performance differences are overwhelmingly due to differences in the quality of domain-specific knowledge structures (Ericsson and Charness, 1994). Unlike novices, experts' conceptual representations of their domains are highly integrated and organised around fundamental principles (Chi et al., 1981). However, within the prevailing 'black box' or 'input-output' pedagogic paradigm students' conceptual understanding is typically only assessed indirectly using question and answer formats of various levels of sophistication. As a basis for mainstream 'industrial-scale' education the black box approach is arguably a lamentably indirect and inefficient method of accessing the quality of students' knowledge. Moreover, from an institutional perspective the approach is inherently non-scalable in that the quality of assessment generally declines with increasing student/teacher ratios. The black box paradigm typically promotes surface over deep learning, dependent over independent thinking, unskilled over skilled learning, near over far learning transfer, and moreover, fosters the development of routine as opposed to adaptive expertise. We propose an alternative framework - the skilled cartographic paradigm. Within this approach teachers and learners 'take the lid off' the black box to expose the knowledge structures within. More specifically, students are instructed in skilled learning: the systematic and explicit construction and 'debugging' of their own knowledge structures using metacognitive and critical thinking skills. The cartographic paradigm is specifically designed to facilitate the development of adaptive expertise - the ability to apply meaningfully learned knowledge in a flexible and creative manner (Hatano, 1982). Elite performers invariably exhibit adaptive as opposed to routine expertise. We argue that the cartographic paradigm is a direct, efficient, and transparent approach to teaching and learning that scales readily with both increasing student numbers and level of expertise i.e. from novice to expert to elite expert. An Accelerated Learning course based on the skilled cartographic paradigm is currently run for academics in Trinity College Dublin.

[thumbnail of Research Teaching Linkages 3rd Annual Conference 2010.pdf]
Research Teaching Linkages 3rd Annual Conference 2010.pdf

Download (12MB) | Preview


Downloads per month over past year

View Item