kitchen table math, the sequel: On Teaching/Learning STEM Fields

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On Teaching/Learning STEM Fields

From Becoming an Expert Statistician (or Mathematician or Programmer):

First, it kicks off with a quote from Douglas Kranch ("Teaching Novices Online: Does Presentation Order Matter?"):

“Expertise develops in three stages. In the first stage, novices focus on the superficial and knowledge is poorly organized. During the end of the second stage, students mimic the instructor’s mastery of the domain. In the final stage, true experts make the domain their own by reworking their knowledge to meet the personal demands that the domain makes of them.”

And later ends with:

If you want to learn programming, statistics, chemistry then DO that. Don’t just read about how to do it and for the love of God, don’t do something else, like stupid charts of TV shows or biographies of women mathematicians and pretend you’re doing STEM education.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely fantastic words!


Anonymous said...

From Fred Pohl's autobiography, "The Way the Future Was":

"The first [question I get at conventions] is, 'How do I become a writer?' The answer is, you write. There is no other way. Intending to write, talking about writing, studying how to write, do not do the job; you actually have to keep on putting words down on paper."

I think that Fred misses that one can also *practice*, which is not quite the same as studying. But his general point is good.

-Mark Roulo