All students come to our courses with prior knowledge learned from previous classes and daily life experience. This knowledge (some of which may be accurate and some of which may be inaccurate or insufficient) shapes their perceptions and attitudes about our courses and content. In short, this prior knowledge can be a major influence on how and what students learn. But, how do we know what students already know and how can we leverage that knowledge in helping students learn new content? Further, how do we help students move beyond potential disciplinary misconceptions or flawed mental models that might inhibit their learning? In this workshop, participants will examine strategies for learning about students’ prior knowledge and will discuss how to activate that prior knowledge appropriately in learning new material.
Facilitator: Dr. Meg Gregory, Assistant Director, Educational Development, The Center for Teaching and Learning