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Principal Objects Of Knowledge (Pok's) In Colloquial Approach Environments

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.501.1 - 5.501.8

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Pedro E. Arce

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3413

Principal Objects of Knowledge (POK’s) In Colloquial Approach Environments

Pedro E. Arce

Chemical Engineering and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute, GFDI Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

1. Introduction and Motivation

Does the following describe your class: Students unhappy about their lack of understanding of core material despite your efforts to present such material in a well (i.e., hierarchical and sequential manner)? Students are visibly discouraged about assignments and about their weak ability to apply your “masterfully” delivered lecture. Students are strongly complaining about the fact that “this way” of presenting ideas does not allow them to differentiate what is the most important “stuff” from what is not. If this is what you see after working very hard in organizing, re-structuring, and polishing the material up to the point that you could even recognize when there is a missing step in the text you wrote on the blackboard, then you probably realize that “masterfully” organized pieces of material do not work very efficiently. They do not work effectively in helping the students “capture” the “good stuff” from those pieces that may be necessary but are not essential!

Then, obviously, in the framework mentioned above, something must be changed in the way you present class material in order to impact the ability of the students to identify the core part of a piece of material. This core must be identified from the other parts that play a secondary role in the understanding of the whole. The first step is, perhaps, to promote an active learning environment and make sure that everybody is involved in the class (see, for example, Arce-Trigatti and Arce, this meeting). Second, the organization of the material must be constructed in such a way that allows the students to be engaged in the process of building blocks of knowledge. This type of organization departs substantially from the one that presents the material from a “bottom up” strategy and in a highly polished fashion!

In my class activities (or I should say my learning practices) the “Colloquial Approach” (Arce, 1994a) plays a very important role in the promotion of active learning environments. Within this style of teaching, the identification of

Arce, P. E. (2000, June), Principal Objects Of Knowledge (Pok's) In Colloquial Approach Environments Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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