The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education
and the University of Maine
Sam Pazicni, Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry, University of New Hampshire
“From theory to practice: Research on the teaching and learning of chemistry”
Our research explores teaching/learning issues in the chemistry classroom and develops intervention strategies rooted in theory so as to circumvent these issues. This seminar will focus on two such issues: low comprehension ability and illusions of competence.
According to the structure-building framework, a model of comprehension that describes how new information is incorporated into one’s existing knowledge base, low-skilled comprehenders are at a distinct academic disadvantage for several reasons. First, low-skilled comprehenders have poorer access to recently comprehended information. Second, they develop too many mental substructures during comprehension, creating fragmented knowledge that is difficult to retrieve. Third, low-skilled comprehenders inefficiently suppress irrelevant information. Our work demonstrates a robust and generalizable correlation between measures of comprehension ability and performance in general chemistry. We also designed a multiple-quizzing strategy consistent with the structure-building framework that effectively closes the achievement gap between low- and high-skilled comprehenders.
The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias that plagues a particular population of students – the unskilled. This population suffers from illusory competence, as determined by inaccurate ratings of their own ability/performance. These mistakenly high self-ratings (i.e. “illusions of competence”) are typically explained by a metacognitive deficiency of the unskilled – they simply can’t recognize their own mistakes. Our work confirms the Dunning-Kruger effect in general chemistry and explores the efficacy of a self-assessment strategy to aid low-skilled students.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium
Room 165, Engineering and Science Research Building
Refreshments will be served in the ESRB Lobby at 2:45 pmPosted in Archives, Calendar, News, People