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(2) Hello,

I am Dr. Valentin Voroshilov.

I’ve been in the field of education for many years playing many different roles.

I was born and grew up in Russia. I had a pretty good career in Russia, but when I got a chance to move my family to the US, I took that chance. After starting again from the bottom I have regained most of my previous career achievements. I am pretty proud of this, considering I had no formal education in English and no professional network to support my efforts.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(3) I would like to start my presentation from two statements:

Physics is a science.

Teaching physics is not.

Of course, these statements are based on a certain definition of “science”.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(4) Personally, I do not like descriptive definitions like the one on the left (this is the top Google search result for “definition of science”). In fact, such a definition does not really allow to distinguish a science from a religion. I prefer operational definitions, like the one on the right. In particular, this definition allows us to see when a school of thoughts becomes a science.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(5) For example, Astronomy dropped Astrology and became a science when Kepler finished his analysis of huge amount of data collected before him, and wrote his famous laws. Of course, in reality there is always back and forth between theorizing and data collecting, or as we call it today – data mining, but in the end,

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(6) every science is based on a solid foundation of the results of intensive data mining.

If teaching physics is not a science, can it become such?

Of course. All we need is to mine a lot of reliable and comparable data.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(7) I want to stress the latter word – comparable. Educational data mining is a young field. It starts producing a large amount of data.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(8) However, having a lot of data without being able to make a comparison is like using different currencies without establishing exchange rates.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(9) The history of physics shows us a means for establishing the comparability we need – such means are called standards.

We would have never had a hadron collider built in Geneva if after an almost hundred year long journey physicists would not agree on a set of common standards.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(10) There are standards in education, too. But when an educator says “a standard”, he or she means something very different from what it meant in physics. In education, a standard is a description of “the learning goals for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level”. However, people using the same educational standards still can use different measuring procedures leading to incomparable results.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(11) Based on those results all we can conclude so far is that: if we take two large groups of similar students, and one group of students will have a more extensive or divers learning experience (for example, more contact hours, or more time spent on certain exercises, or training through more different exercises, etc.) students from that group, on average, will demonstrate better learning outcomes than the students in a controlled group.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(12) This conclusion becomes almost obvious if we employ the notion that a brain is basically a muscle, or a collection of muscles, the development of which strongly correlates with the variety and intensity of exercises it goes through.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(13) In order to move beyond the obvious we need to adapt to teaching physics the same approach which had been adopted to doing physics. We need a standard which, like in physics, is an actual object, or a feature of an object, accompanied by a specific procedure which allows comparing similar features carried by other objects with the one of the standard (that is why “a standard” is also called “a prototype”, or “an etalon”). For example, a standard of mass is an actual cylinder. A verbal description such as: “A standard of mass looks like a cylinder “with diameter and height of about 39 mm, and is made of an alloy of 90 % platinum and 10 % iridium” would not work as a standard, because it is impossible to compare the mass of an object with a sentence.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(14) I believe that “a standard” for measuring learning outcomes must satisfy the following five conditions:

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(15) I want to stress that at this point this is mostly my belief. There is no solid logical proof that such standard can be developed in education. And right now, everybody in this room either has a strong feeling “no way, that is impossible”, or “mmm, there might be something in it worth to pursue”.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(16) In a way, it is like choosing between “big dreams are achievable” and “we have to aim at reasonable goals”.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(17) Obviously, that was a joke. However, I do believe that the time has come to create a coalition of individuals and institutions who would see as an achievable goal developing the universal standard for measuring learning outcomes in physics (for starters). So far I am the only member, but I welcome everyone!

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(18)
Well, when I said that all I have is just a belief – I lied. I have developed a methodology which should lead to designing such a standard. The approach is following “a driving exam” approach

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(19) and is based on the four fundamental principles.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(20)

 

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(21) The last principle is the most important one.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(22) Using the fourth principle and the new terminology, we can classify all problems based on the structure of the internal connections between the quantities involved in constructing their solution.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(23) For example, here are samples of problems which are congruent or similar to each other.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(24) It is very important, that

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(25) For the three shown problems, the root problem sounds like the one at the bottom of the screen.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(26) To help us to classify all root problems we can use the so-called MOCC.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(27) A complete set of root problems can be used to describe desired and different levels of learning outcomes of physics students.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
(28) The first step toward the association would be agreeing on the set of root problems and classification them based on the difficulty.

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf

(29) The link on the screen leads to a detailed description of what MOCC is and ways to use it (http://teachology.xyz/mocc.htm).

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf
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Text Box: Thank  you!

 

Text Box: Dr. Valentin Voroshilov

 

LINKS:   html:  http://www.teachology.xyz/prnes.pdf