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ERIC Number: EJ1171581
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Teacher Knowledge for Active-Learning Instruction: Expert-Novice Comparison Reveals Differences
Auerbach, A. J.; Higgins, M.; Brickman, P.; Andrews, T. C.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v17 n1 Article 12 Mar 2018
Active-learning strategies "can" improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) undergraduates' abilities to learn fundamental concepts and skills. However, the results instructors achieve vary substantially. One explanation for this is that instructors commonly implement active learning differently than intended. An important factor affecting how instructors implement active learning is knowledge of teaching and learning. We aimed to discover knowledge that is important to effective active learning in large undergraduate courses. We developed a lesson-analysis instrument to elicit teacher knowledge, drawing on the theoretical construct of teacher noticing. We compared the knowledge used by expert (n = 14) and novice (n = 29) active-learning instructors as they analyzed lessons. Experts and novices differed in what they noticed, with experts more commonly considering how instructors hold students accountable, topic-specific student difficulties, whether the instructor elicited and responded to student thinking, and opportunities students had to generate their own ideas and work. Experts were also better able to support their lesson analyses with reasoning. This work provides foundational knowledge for the future design of preparation and support for instructors adopting active learning. Improving teacher knowledge will improve the implementation of active learning, which will be necessary to widely realize the potential benefits of active learning in undergraduate STEM.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1504904