From the Lab to the Classroom: Continuing the Discussion

Doris Alvarez

The Distinguished Educator Advisory Panel –San Diego, a component of The Educator Network, met on September 13 with continued discussion of exploring how translation from the science laboratory to the classroom can be accomplished.  Using the David Daniels Model of Steps to Translation, the group discussed with Ryan Gallagher and Paula Tallal, a research study, “Social/emotional function, academic skills, and brain maturation during adolescence: Focus on adaptive interventions,” that took place three years ago with Ryan’s students.  The study focused on adaptive interventions, in this case a computer program that helped students with mathematics.  Terry Jernigan, who was the Principal Investigator of the project was unable to attend the meeting but worked closing with Paula Tallal.

Ryan and Paula were asked to talk about the concerns, dilemmas or difficulties faced in classroom design or implementation, the data collected and what they would do differently. 

The discussion was a rich one and led to further observations on the divide between scientific research, on the one hand and classroom research on the other.  Tom Fehrenbacher stated it best, “Sometimes it is like ships passing in the night.” 

The group also reviewed all of the scientific presentations they have had in the three years we have been meeting.  They were asked to look at the list and determine if any of the presentations made could be potential translation projects for their classrooms.  We will continue this discussion in November. 

Finally, the group was asked to think about how curriculum guides address spacing effects in their pedagogical sections.  This item was a question that Hal Pashler posed to us.  We will come back to this item in our next meeting. 

The Colorado DEAP group had intended to meet in October with Hal Pashler as the featured presenter.  Unfortunately, Hal had to cancel so we will reconvene in November.    Mike Mozer and Hal are working with two DEAP classroom teachers in Colorado on a computer-developed program to teach language and science.  The teachers will ask for some time at the next All Hands meeting to present their research program as a model for translation. 

Doris Alvarez