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Examining the adequacy of students' priors and teacher's role in attention to critical features in designing for productive failure
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Paper presented at the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2012, Sydney, Australia, 2-6 July, 2012
This paper describes two classroom-based studies that examine the productive failure learning design from the following perspectives: (i) the adequacy of students' prior knowledge, and (ii) the necessity of teacher-led discernability of critical conceptual features. The entire investigation, set in the domain of monohybrid inheritance, involved 138 ninth and tenth grade science students. In the first study, students were either provided or not provided with monohybrid inheritance pre-requisites for their complex problem-solving activity. The second study compared a teacher-led with a student-led comparison and contrast during the consolidation phase. Findings of the first study suggested that students may not have adequate priors to generate representations and solution methods that explore multi-level conceptions. Findings of the second study suggested that teacher involvement in the compare-and-contrast may be beneficial for better knowledge assembly.
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