Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Complex Cognitive Processes"

    According to Moreno “teachers can improve students’ decision-making skills by examining not only the outcomes of students’ decisions but also their thinking process, to ensure that the decisions are not flawed by one of these illogical mechanisms” (Moreno, 251). I think teachers should teach their students how to think or at least guide them/help them make good decisions when thinking of specific topics. Being a teacher is like being a students’ parent. A parent would tell their child they are making a bad choice or they would choose for the child, where a teacher can steer the student in the right direction. However, just because a teacher steers the student into the right direction does not mean that the student can't change their mind. I believe that students can be resistant to changing their ideas because depending on the topic or subject it could be something that goes against their beliefs or contradicts everything they have grown up learning about. According to the book “misconceptions are extremely hard to change…providing the right explanation does not change students’ ways of thinking” (Moreno, 245). The only example I can think of is with evolution. For a student who is Christian or Catholic, the evolution theory goes against everything those religions believe in. Just because a teacher can give the student scientific facts about evolution will not make them believe it over their own religious beliefs.
         As a student I hated when I would get a teacher who only knew how to solve a problem one way. When I become a teacher it will be important to show my students different ways to solve a problem just in case one way doesn’t work for them, they have other options to choose from. The two that stood out the most to me in the book were being able to use real-world settings in order to solve a problem. I think that if a problem has that “real-world setting” students will be more interested because the problem then has a meaning; it’s not just another homework problem. The other one was one I always had trouble with in school “analyzing problems before attempting to solve” (Moreno, 269). It is important that students take the time and read the question and understand what it is asking before solving. As students try to conquer problems in different ways it reminds me of having motivation and putting forth the effort to solve problems. This can also be said when discussing how an individual can become an expert in a domain. Anyone can become and expert, it is not something that will come automatically; it will take hard work and dedication. But as long as that individual stays motivated they can become an expert.

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