[Oz-teachers] Expert Learners

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Wed Jan 26 13:27:37 EST 2011

Tony forwards,

> http://www.iste-community.org/profiles/blog/list

Thanks Tony .. for example, perhaps a useful reminder ..

"How can we help novice learners become more expert learners?"


**Novice Learners versus Expert Learners**

Let’s look at the difference between novice and expert learners ..

■Novices typically don't plan, monitor, and reflect on their learning

◦These metacognitive skills include setting goals and subgoals; 
identifying approaches; monitoring one's progress to the task; revising 
goals where necessary; and, reflection after task completion.

■Expert learners use 'multiple representations'

◦to build a fuller, more complete understanding. And, of course 
multimedia allows for this - text, graphics, sound, dynamic models.

■Novices typically don't generate numbers of potential solution strategies

◦Novices, when presented with a task, typically jump at the first idea 
that comes to mind. Expert learners, on the other hand, tend to generate 
and evaluate a number of potential approaches to the problem.

■Novices engage in knowledge-telling rather than knowledge-transformation

◦One 5th grade girl, Larissa, was planning to do her project on potato 
production in Prince Edward Island. She was reminded, in a collaborative 
journal-writing environment, that the class had studied acid rain for the 
last month. Larissa was challenged to make sense of that and to determine 
if acid rain had had any impact on potato production. This improvement in 
her strategy was more representative of 'expert' behaviour.

■Expert learners make multiple passes at knowledge

◦Many sources should be ‘read’ - books, videos, Internet, PLN (Personal 
Learning Network – Facebook, Twitter).

■Experts view 'mistakes' as opportunities to learn

◦'Debugging' strategies are invoked when things go wrong. Therefore, you 
backtrack through your thinking - a means to 'think about one's 
thinking'. Experts recognize this.  Novices typically don't.

■Experts are able to transfer their learning to other domains

◦Novices don't naturally transfer their understandings to other tasks or 
to other subject domains.

■Experts realize that the ‘social context’ is important to learning

◦That learning takes place in a social context is a significant issue. 
This is why collaboration or 'cooperative learning' has become so 
popular - but it has to be more than social collaboration. Cognitive 
collaboration needs to be encouraged. As students communicate their 
ideas, they learn to clarify, refine, and consolidate their thinking. 
Schoenfeld has said that, ‘Groups are not just a convenient way to 
accumulate the individual knowledge of their members. Groups give rise 
synergistically to insights and solutions that would not come about 
without them.’



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