Teaching Toward Expertise

These notes accompany the slides of the Teaching Toward Expertise presentation at Loyola Marymount University on 2006-09-28. These notes reside at http://www.cs.lmu.edu/~ray/talks/teaching.html.


The purpose of the presentation is to briefly look at our current understanding of how experts think and act and discuss teaching strategies that guide students toward achieving expertise (or proficiency).

Expanded Outline

        What the talk is and is not about
        Preparatory Questions
        Teaching Resources
        Teaching 101
    Learning, Understanding and Expertise
        What is an Expert?
        Ten-Year Rule
        The Expert Mind
        Mistakes and Misconceptions
    Teaching for Expertise
        What we have covered so far
        Good news and bad news
        Preparatory Questions
        Teacher-Student Relationship
        An Amazing Example
        What we are doing in CMSI
    Wrap Up
        Parting Shots

Remarks on the Slides, with References

  1. Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira
  2. The Incredibles has a (refreshing!) anti-mediocrity message.
  3. Bloom's Taxonomies: Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development Gardner's Multiple Intelligences
  4. These people have a lot of raw talent plus...
  5. The steps are crucial. "...it is possible for enthusiasts to spend tens of thousands of hours playing chess or golf or a musical instrument without ever advancing beyond the amateur level and why a properly trained student can overtake them in a relatively short time" (Phillip Ross).
  6. Norvig's quote is from this article, where you will find references to the cited work of Benjamin Bloom and John Hayes
  7. There's an an article in Psychology Today on the Polgár sisters.
  8. Misconceptions from Howard Gardner's The Unschooled Mind, Chapters 8 and 9, include
  9. There are biological differences that may influence how some cognitive tasks are approached, but that need not in any way impact outcomes.
  10. Watch the entire Alan Kay video at Google video or at archive.org.
  11. The Dewar-Bennett Mathematical KEG is online.
  12. Garlikov's Socratic Method teaching transcript ranks #2 on Google when searching for "socratic method", right under Wikipedia's article.
  13. Read about Carol Dweck's work (here)


Thanks to

Errors and gaffes in the presentation are mine, not theirs.

Ray Toal