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How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School
videotaped models is to illustrate effective approaches to teaching more generally, not just of teaching a particular unit. This learning is more likely to occur with multiple examples that allow for variation in the delivery of the lesson, holding constant the underlying principles of effective teaching.
Second, the classroom dynamics and level of preparation of the students can vary significantly from one school to the next. It may be difficult for a teacher to find relevant instruction in a videotape of a class that does not resemble the one in which she or he teaches. Finally, the art of teaching requires flexibility in responding to students’ inquiries and reflections. Multiple cases can demonstrate flexibility in response to the particular students being taught while attending to a common body of knowledge.
Whether providing multiple models does indeed achieve these purposes is itself a research question worth pursuing. Such research should test the effect of each additional model provided on the level of understanding of key learning and teaching concepts, as well as the amount of variation between models that optimizes the flexibility of understanding that viewers achieve.
Once pilot versions of these lessons are designed, rigorous field-testing, with time built into the research plan for revision and retesting, should be undertaken. Video-based materials already developed and in use as part of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards training and assessment development process should be considered as possible candidate materials for further study as part of this process.
The model lessons should be organized in widely accessible video and multimedia libraries that could serve multiple purposes:
The lessons could be used as anchors for discussions of pre-service and in-service teachers and administrators, as they try to understand and master the pedagogy to accompany the new forms of learning described in this volume.
The lessons could be instructive in administrative training programs. School administrators responsible for hiring and evaluating teachers need models of good practice that can inform their evaluations.
With some modified annotations, the lessons could inform parents about teaching techniques that promote learning for understanding. Changing classroom teaching can be problematic if new methods run counter to parents’ perceptions of the learning process. The model lessons could help parents understand the goals of the espoused approach to teaching.
5. Conduct extensive evaluation research through both small-scale studies and large-scale evaluations to determine the goals, assumptions, and uses of technologies in classrooms and the match or mismatch of these uses with the principles of learning and the transfer of learning. Because many computer-based technologies are relatively