I wrote a post while at the ISEF, but there were network problems at the hotel. So here I sit today on the last day of classes preparing to restate an impression.
I had the opportunity to interview Jason and Pratishka and during the discussion, (recorded). I noted a very important element that both thought were critical to their success: the opportunity to learn techniques, mess around, learn equiptment, BEFORE actually conducting a study. Both students were given these opportunities by their mentors before a formal project was in place. Both thought the process was critical to their success because they had developed the necessary expertise to conduct a sophisticated project.
This leads me to think about Brown, et al. and the situated congition model. In situated congition, students learn best in an authentic setting working on real problems. OK, no problem, I thought this theoretical model was a fit with the research program model from the first time it was discussed in my Learning and Cognition class. But what stands out is the “cognitive apprenticeship” aspect. In order for students to be truly successful in a stituated session, they must advance from neophytes/novices, to some level of expertise.
Interesting . . . .