What Do Feelings Have To Do With Science?

Learning which actions and emotions feel good and which feel bad happens at a young age. Some people believe this serves an evolutionary purpose–We tend to feel bad about lying because close relationships and trust are important for the continuity of our species. But sometimes, society teaches us to experience emotions in unhealthy ways. For instance, school has taught us to be ashamed and afraid of confusion and uncertainty. The purpose of an exam is to demonstrate what we know, not to articulate what we don’t. But those who are truly intimate with science disciplines know that confusion is what Read More …

Student Explanations in the Context of Computational Science and Engineering Education

[The following blog post refers to the article found here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07370008.2018.1539738] When we started our investigation of the learning benefits of integrating computation within engineering domains, we realized that students experienced difficulties throughout the learning process.  As part of a design-based research study in a materials science and engineering course, first-year engineering students were exposed to computational assignments designed to introduce programming concepts as well as disciplinary concepts. Specifically, we confirmed what we had called the transparency paradox: while some students asked for additional transparency to access the underlying models that were represented by some simulations, students struggled to deal with Read More …

Graphing Science Concepts

[The following post refers to the newly-published article found here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07370008.2018.1539736] Imagine you are a typical eighth grade student. Maybe you know a lot of science facts and terminology, but haven’t quite put it all together yet. You’re given the following graphing challenge: in the graph space below draw four x’s in places that would represent objects that would sink in water and four o’s in places that would represent objects that would float in water. When you’re done, draw a line to separate all possible x’s from all possible o’s. Go ahead, sketch it out on some scratch paper. How Read More …

Flexibility in Prospective Teachers’ Mathematical Thinking

By Chepina Rumsey and Ian Whitacre (Newly published article here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07370008.2018.1491580) As educators who prepare prospective elementary teachers (PTs) to teach math, it’s easy to get stuck in the idea that the PTs are lacking critical knowledge and mathematical understanding. At the same time, we tell our PTs to be wary of labels and of making assumptions about what their future students know. We ask them to look beyond “low” versus “high-achieving” groups and beyond labels like “smart” and “weak at math.” Rather than focusing on what children do not understand, we encourage PTs to start with what the children do Read More …

“I want to focus on helping others in the real world”: The challenges of research methods learning in psychology

[By Kieran Balloo] Research methods is a challenging topic to teach to undergraduate psychology students. Firstly, it’s a difficult topic, so few students seem to breeze through it. Secondly, it is arguably further removed from psychology than other areas, such as developmental and social psychology. Research methods underpin what we do in psychology, rather than necessarily being an area of psychology in and of itself. This tends to confuse some students; they wonder why they are learning it when they chose psychology to ‘help people’. Finally, research methods includes numbers and everyone hates numbers (apparently). It is this last point Read More …

Just Throwing It Out There: How Hedging and Joking Can Make Space for Sensemaking in Science Classrooms

Luke Conlin [This blog post relates to a piece recently published online, accessible here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07370008.2018.1496918] On the first day of your first physics class in college, you sit down with three strangers.  You feel uneasy with physics; it is something you hope to get through but do not dare to hope to excel at.  You are expecting math – hard math – and you feel self-conscious about your algebra skills.  You open the book and the first question asks you “(a) What do you think are the benefits of discussing your mistakes in physics? (b) Discuss your answer with your group.” Read More …

Making Meaning of Scholarly Work: Author Blog Posts

We would like to announce the opportunity for authors to promote and share their publications in Cognition and Instruction to a wider audience through this Blog. Look out for upcoming posts from authors past and future sharing behind the scene stories behind their manuscripts, the ways they hope their research is taken up in informal and formal learning environments, and updates to the vintage C&I pieces you’ve come to love. First post from Dr. Jasmine Y. Ma framing how her recent publication Multi-Party, Whole-Body Interactions in Mathematical Activity came out of the question of: “what might happen if we think of learners’ Read More …

Our New C&I Blog!

Welcome to our new C&I website and blog, a space that our new editorial team hopes to make the center of more ongoing and vibrant discourse around the topics of relevance to our scholarly community. We plan to include multimedia add-ons to articles, and more text-based commentaries. Please connect with our editorial assistant via email if you have any ideas for content or would like to submit to the blog.