Looking at Learning...Again, Part 1

Eight one-hour video programs and user guide.

Understanding how children learn best is an important step toward improving mathematics and science teaching. This series features seven leading educators - Eleanor Duckworth, Joseph Novak, Hubert Dyasi, Constance Kamii, Howard Gardner, Mitchel Resnick, and William Schmidt - who share their ideas on how children really learn. Explore how technology affects learning, learn to elicit and build on students' ideas, and develop strategies for inquiry-based teaching.

Program guides and supporting materials: (PDF)

Produced by:
Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory
in partnership with the Annenberg Foundation (1999)

Workshop 1 - The Many Faces of Learning
In this introductory workshop, you will meet the guest educators featured in the series and hear why they think it is important to continually examine the learning process. You will also have an opportunity to reflect on your own personal beliefs about learning and see clips of classrooms that will be presented in more detail in later workshops.
Workshop 2 - Eleanor Duckworth, Intellectual Development
Explore the power of the mind and consider the notion that every child can learn everything. Harvard Professor Eleanor Duckworth discusses the importance of teaching for a deep and lasting understanding and explains why it is important to give students time to work through their own ideas and experience confusion in order to achieve such understanding.
Workshop 3 - Joseph Novak, Conceptual Thinking
In this workshop, the focus is on concept maps as tools for helping students learn. Joseph Novak, Professor of Biological Science, explains how students learn by assimilating new concepts into their already existing frameworks and takes a teacher step-by-step through the design and process of concept mapping. You will see concept maps being used in a variety of ways in mathematics and science lessons and will even have an opportunity to make some concept maps of your own.
Workshop 4 - Hubert Dyasi, Inquiry
Science Education Professor Hubert Dyasi discusses inquiry-based learning in science and explains why it is essential in all subjects. In this workshop, you will see several classrooms where inquiry learning is taking place and explore numerous strategies you can use in your own classroom.
Workshop 5 - Constance Kamii, Idea-Making
Student idea-making in mathematics is the subject of this workshop. Professor Constance Kamii, who studied under Jean Piaget for 12 years, explains how you can adapt your teaching to help students construct their own mathematical ideas. You will see video of students engaged in "mind mathematics" articulate and defend their strategies to classmates, and you will consider the value of using games to facilitate mathematics teaching and learning.
Workshop 6 - Howard Gardner, The Mind's Intelligences
This workshop considers Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences and shows his theory being applied in a range of classrooms. As Gardner shares his thoughts on educational reform, you will learn how to create learning environments that support the full spectrum of students' abilities.
Workshop 7 - Mitchel Resnick, Design, Construction, and Technology
MIT Professor Mitchel Resnick guides this workshop exploring technology as an aid for learning. He discusses the impact of technology on learning when students design and construct tools to support their own inquiries. Teachers demonstrate technology in their classrooms and provide a sneak peek at Resnick's newest learning tool - the cricket.
Workshop 8 - The International Picture
This workshop offers an opportunity to investigate various aspects of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), other than the test scores themselves. Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology William Schmidt presents differences in curricula, textbooks, and teaching practices around the world, and a group of community members discuss how the TIMSS results reflect societal and cultural values.

Copyright (c) 1999 Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory