International speaker on science and mathematics learning

25 March 2010

For the second in a series of learning science seminars, the CoCo Research Centre welcomes Professor Stella Vosniadou, director of the Cognitive Science Laboratory at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and adjunct professor at the University of Adelaide.

The problem of conceptual change in the learning of science and mathematics and the role of instructional analogies

I will briefly describe the problem of conceptual change and the'framework theory' approach to conceptual change developed in the context of science learning research.I will then give a brief report on some of the studies being conducted in my lab that attempt to find out whether the framework theory can be fruitful in the case of mathematics learning and teaching. Finally, if we have time, I will describe some recent text comprehension studies and the use of text instructional analogies as a means of improving the quality of reading materials and promoting conceptual restructuring.

About Professor Vosniadou

Stella Vosniadou is professor of cognitive psychology in the Department of Philosophy and History of Science at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She is the chair of an interdisciplinary graduate program in 'Basic and Applied Cognitive Science' and director of the Cognitive Science Laboratory in the same university. Her research interests are in the area of conceptual development and conceptual change. She has studied the process of knowledge acquisition mainly in the areas of physical science and mathematics and has explored the implications of her psychological studies for education and the design of learning environments. Amongst others, she is the editor with Andrew Ortony of Similarity and Analogical Reasoning (Cambridge University Press), and with Daniel Kayser of Modeling Changes in Understanding: Cases Studies in Physical Reasoning (Elsevier). She is the author of How Children Learn, published by the International Bureau of Education of the UNESCO. She has edited (with Robert Glaser, Erik DeCorte and Heinz Mandl) Psychological and Educational Foundations of Technology-Based Learning Environments (Springer Verlag) and she is the currently editing the 'Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change' (Erlbaum). Professor Vosniadou has been past president of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), past chair of the International Relations Committee of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and a consultant to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the Program of International Student Assessment (PISA). She is the current editor of the Journal of the Greek Psychological Association and a member of the Governing Board of the Cognitive Science Society. She is the chair (with Daniel Kayser) of the 2nd European Cognitive Science Conference, which took place (under the auspices of the Cognitive Science Society) in Delphi, Greece in May 2007.

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