Expert Ways of Seeing - Transforming Novices through Visual Learning

"Teaching in the expert mode allows the student to skip the often painful process of making the switch from novice to expert modes of cognition on their own. They learn to integrate the two modes from the beginning of their studies." Bruce Kirchoff


Full recording: voice, text chat, slides.


All Math 2.0 events are free and open to the public. Information about all events in the series is here:

Wednesday, August 18th 2010 we will meet in the LearnCentral public Elluminate room at 6:30pm Pacific - 9:30 pm Eastern time. WorldClock for your time zone.


To join:
  • Follow this link:
  • Click "OK" and "Accept" several times as your browser installs the software. When you see Elluminate Session Log-In, enter your name and click the "Login" button
  • You will find yourself in a virtual room. An organizer will be there to greet you, starting about half an hour before the event.
If this is your first Elluminate event, consider coming a few minutes earlier to check out the technology. The room opens half an hour before the event.


Presentation Outline
1) Visual learning in botany & math
2) Foundations in cognitive psychology
3) Software for visual learning in botany
4) Cognitive psychology again
5) Some things to keep in mind

Mathematically Relevant Ideas
1) Mathematicians read equations holistically
2) Mathematics is both a conceptual & a performance skill
3) "Repetitive" practice has a role in math learning
4) Active learning is essential
5) Learning math may be more like learning to read (or learning a foreign language) than is often credited

Thoughtful Questions
1) How can one overcome the limitations on working memory when teaching math?
2) Many computer scientists want to use humans to make computers better. How can we use computers to make humans better?
3) Does repetitive practice have a role in math education?
4) There is an assault on childhood today - how do we teach math in a way that allows children to retain their childhood?

Event Host

Bruce_Kirchoff.jpgBruce Kirchoff is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he teaches courses in plant diversity, flowering plant identification, and evolution. His research combines insights from Biology and Cognitive Psychology to improve the reliability of plant description and classification. As a software engineer he has developed visual, active learning software to rapidly teach plant identification, and is exploring methods of visual teaching in other disciplines, including chemistry and mathematics. In addition to his university work, he has taught courses in meditation, and group communication.