P1007: Working memory, mathematics, and chemistry [WITHDRAWN]

Author: Eric A. Nelson, Retired

Co-Author:

Date: 8/7/14

Time: 10:35 AM10:55 AM

Room: LTT 101

Related Symposium: S72

Cognitive science tells us that to be successful in general chemistry, students need to have “memorized to automaticity” the facts and procedures of math computation. This fluency in fundamentals is necessary to overcome the measured and proven limits of human working memory when dealing with information that has not been internalized and conceptually organized in an individual’s long-term memory. However, between 1990 and 2010, when the nature of working memory was poorly understood, most (but not all) US states imposed K-12 math standards on instruction that discouraged the memorization of math facts and procedures, and this has left most students in the current generation poorly prepared for the rigor and pace of college physical science courses. We will discuss the findings of cognitive science and state data on student computational skills and what can be done to improve student achievement and retention in introductory STEM courses.

P196: How cognitive science favors (and probably requires) flipped instruction [WITHDRAWN]

Author: Eric A. Nelson, Retired

Co-Author:

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 12:10 PM12:30 PM

Room: LTT 101

Related Symposium: S21

Chemistry education is inter-disciplinary: half chemistry and half how the student brain works and in particular how it solves problems in well-structured domains. Recent cognitive science suggests that student learning in chemistry involves 4 components: motivation, thorough memorization of facts, automation of problem-solving procedures, and the organization of facts and procedures into a conceptual framework that powers the fluent recall needed for problem solving, in that order. This presentation will argue that flipped instruction which uses contact time with students to promote interest and conceptual understanding, and study time to automate the mastery of facts and procedures, is a well-suited and perhaps even necessary approach to teaching for the current generation of students.