ERIC Number: ED362235
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Learning Cycle and College Science Teaching.
Barman, Charles R.; Allard, David W.
Originally developed in an elementary science program called the Science Curriculum Improvement Study, the learning cycle (LC) teaching approach involves students in an active learning process modeled on four elements of Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development: physical experience, referring to the biological growth of the central nervous system; social interaction; physical maturation; and self-regulation, the active process of forming concepts. The LC approach consists of three phases. The first phase is exploration, in which students are engaged in motivating activities that require physical experiences and social interaction to provide a basis for the development of specific concepts. In the second phase, concept introduction, the instructor builds on students' exploratory experiences to introduce the main concepts of the lesson. The final phase, concept application, provides students with an opportunity to study additional examples of the main concepts or to challenge themselves with new tasks requiring extrapolation from earlier lessons. Implementing the LC requires a shift in educational philosophy from the view of students as empty vessels to be filled with large amounts of information to the use of strategies emulating scientific methodology and incorporating recent cognitive science findings. Flow charts of the LC process, graphs, are included. (Contains 21 references.) (MAB)
Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Cognitive Processes, College Science, College Students, Higher Education, Instructional Innovation, Learning Processes, Learning Strategies, Piagetian Theory, Science Course Improvement Projects, Science Curriculum, Science Instruction, Student Centered Curriculum, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Learning Cycle Teaching Method
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development on Teaching Excellence and Conference of Administrators (15th, Austin, TX, May 23-29, 1993).