One problem for teachers facilitating interdisciplinary STEM projects is how to lift student rigour and sophistication in each subject as well as the interdisciplinary whole. This problem is compounded by differences in terminology within STEM subjects, which make it appear to students like they are being required to do very different forms of thinking and makes it hard for them to make connections between subjects.
This seminar will introduce the Models of Engaged learning and Teaching, or MELT for short, to capture the sophisticated thinking within each subject in terminology used by that subject, and to show the connections between subjects. Participants will make their own modifications to MELT to capture the different ways of, for example, commencing project work in each subject. MELT then can be used to maintain the differences between subjects but amplify the connections between the sophisticated thinking in STEM, and lift student rigour in approach towards projects. . For example in Science it may be formulating a research question, whereas in Engineering it may be defining problem, in maths as establishing problem parameters and in technology determining customers’ needs.
In this seminar, you will work on your own MELT for each of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to enhance communication and commonality of purpose in STEM learning.
The open-access Springer book, the Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching: Connecting Sophisticated Thinking from Early Childhood to PhD, spans not only educational sectors but learning paradigms and subjects/disciplines.
The book uses the seven questions of MELT as its seven chapters’ titles.
Chapter 1 ‘What is our purpose?’ concludes (p25):
The billion human brains that will be born between 2023 and 2030 need something different from the learning and education that has occurred so far across 100,000 years of human history. That billion will inherit the leadership of the earth somewhere from 2040, with all of the accumulated problems caused by humanity until that time. Those billion need diverse learning environments that resonate with their complex learningcapacities, that connect to multiple educator perspectives and theories, and that enable them to address local and global issues in ways that do not cause more problems than they solve.
But do you think the broad adaptation and use of the MELT can help forge those connections and instill a greater sense of purpose for education in the coming years? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
This webinar is on the Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching, or MELT for short, and begins the conversations around the open-access Springer book of the same name. The MELT not only foster, but rely on, the professional judgement of teachers to design and implement learning that students get their teeth into…. (continues below)
Date: 2 December 2020
Time: 2.30pm-3.30 pm Adelaide (4-5 am Coordinated Universal Time)
The first mechanism for this teacher engagement is adaptation of one’s own MELT, so that it is fit-for-context. It was not an academic decision to create that mechanism but an organic one. As the archetypal MELT, the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework, was piloted and evaluated in numerous universities from 2006 to 2016, what emerged alongside the use of the RSD were frameworks based on its parameters but adapted by educators to fit their context. These models included the Work Skill Development framework, the Clinical Reflection Skills Framework, the Optimising Problem Solving framework; the Digital Skills Development framework, Research Mountain a song for ECE and the i-Talitali framework out of the University of the South Pacific. These and other MELT, as we called them retrospectively, share the same parameters but use appropriate terminology and configuration to speak into their context. The combination of something in common, something different is one of the features of the MELT that can help forge connections across disparate contexts to help students see, not a lot of individual educational trees, but their own forest of learning.
This webinar introduces the MELT and the Open Access Springer book by that name. Some of the authors of the above MELT will briefly discuss the thinking underlying the development of their model.
In counting and Accounting, zoo visits and Zoology, single subjects and STEM, the Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching- or MELT for short- are for fluid, connected and sophisticated thinking early childhood to PhD.
Maybe this is too expansive, but we’ve got a lot of problems, and we need a better way of connecting people’s thinking about them across the years of education, areas of study and approaches to problem solving, critical thinking and researching.
The MELT share and ask seven questions, and these are used to structure the book’s seven chapters. Chapters use a story, an example from history or current cases of use to bring the concepts in MELT to life. Each chapter features a title page in cartoon format, with Einstein, a young child and a beaver, each making utterances that epitomise aspects of the chapter.
In the foreword I claim the skills that 6 year olds playing in a tree by the seashore in a Pacific village are the same as those that PhD students need and use. What changes is the level of sophistication, depth of content knowledge and degree of rigour required, but the cognitive skills and affective elements are the same in nature.
But what do you think? I’d love you to comment about the above, or any feature of the book.
Here are some resources for Facilitating the development of students who think critically & creatively, based on the Masterclass webinar run by School of Education, University of Adelaide, 15April, 2020
The article acknowledges the work fantastic done by Sophie Karanicolas, Cathy Snelling and Clinton Kempster in their innovative use of the RSD in their degree.
This work resulted in amazing graduates who were interviewed one year after the degree, when employed. A striking feature is how passionate the graduates are about the skills that they developed in the degree and then used with patients.
This is the first article on the RSD work that richly unearths the affective domain of attitudes, values and emotions, and shows the intimate connections to the more cogntive aspects of learning and work.
Blooms Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain is famous, but the Affective Domain is not so well known, yet Bloom’s separation of cognitive and affective domains has had a powerful and pervasive influence across education.
Yet Krathwohl, Bloom and Masia (1964) noted, ‘the fact that we attempt to analyse the affective area separately from the cognitive is not intended to suggest that there is a fundamental separation. There is none.’
This article highlights the intimate connections of cognitive and affective domains, as well as of university learning and skills used in workplaces.
While the role of emotions, values and attitudes in learning is hard to deny, the question remains about how to effectively deal with the affective domain to maximise learning. What do you think and what do you do?
A lot of the materials are currently the same, but the new structure is designed to capture a lot more examples of practice across primary, secondary, undergraduate, post graduate and further education.