I’m hosting Professor Avi Berman for a talk at the LKL next week:
Avi Berman: Attempts of a Mathematician to do Research in Maths Education
Thursday 5 February 2009, 12:30pm – 2:00pm
LKL large seminar hall
The effects of teaching linear algebra involving technology-enabled feedback on pedagogical development of lecturers and on conceptual understanding of their students.
Because of logistic constraints and a long-term tradition, large-group frontal lecturing is the main form of teaching undergraduate mathematics. Unfortunately, the traditional lecture, as inspirational as it might be, does not allow many opportunities for developing students’ conceptual understanding through active learning, and supplies lecturers with limited feedback on how effective their teaching is. What the students actually learn when attending lectures remains chiefly a black box for contemporary research and little is known about the pedagogical development of university professors through lecturing. The talk will describe an effort to address this lacuna in the context of a university linear algebra course.
Avi Berman holds the Israel Pollak Academic Chair at the Technion, where he is a Professor of Mathematics and Head of the Department of Education of Technology and Science. He also heads the Israeli Society for Promotion of and Research on Giftedness. His research interests in Mathematics are Nonnegative Matrices and Spectral Graph Theory and in Education – Mathematical Giftedness and University Teaching.
Entry is free, but we would appreciate your registration for administrative purposes:
Christian Kohls just sent me the programme for the e-Learning Patterns workshop in March, and it’s looking really good. Some of the names I spotted: Helen Sharp, Ulrike Cress, Davinia Hernándes-Leo, Till Schümmer, Frank Fischer, Andreas Harrer, Yannis Dimitriadis (random list).
I’m facilitating a workshop on “cases to patterns” and also giving a talk on “Patterns for building patterns communities”. Here’s the draft abstract for my talk:
The construct of design pattern is often summarised as “the core of a solution to a problem in context”. What, then, is the problem that design patterns solve, and in which contexts?
As design patterns break new grounds in educational research and practice, challenging questions arise: how do we engage new audiences in the pattern paradigm? How do we adapt the form and modes of use of patterns to make them useful in diverse realms of practice? Why do we have such a strong conviction in the value of design patterns?
The tradition of design patterns refers to concepts such as “timelessness” and “expertise”. These are problematic in a world of accelerating change. Yet another fundamental principle is accentuated; the need to establish robust design languages capable of capturing the complexity of problems in our environment and offering verifiable solutions. I argue that design-level discourse is imperative in many critical domains of human activity, and that patterns should play a central role in such discourse. Over the last few years, my colleagues and I have been developing a methodology for participatory workshops for practical design patterns. This methodology has emerged from the “Learning Patterns” project, and is being refined by the “Pattern Language Network” project.
In this talk, I will describe the methodology, its history and future plans, and provide some illustrative examples. I will also highlight some of the fundamental questions which is provokes.