SMS scnews item created by Emma Carberry at Tue 16 Nov 2010 1514
Type: Seminar
Distribution: World
Expiry: 19 Nov 2010
Calendar1: 19 Nov 2010 1500-1600
CalLoc1: UNSW OMB-149
Auth: (carberry) in SMS-WASM

Learning and Teaching Seminar: Cowling and Sweller -- Teaching General Problem-Solving Skills Is Not a Substitute for, or a Viable Addition to, Teaching Mathematics, and Reflections on Teaching in the UK and Australia

Learning and Teaching Seminar Series Session 2, 2010 

Professor Michael Cowling and Professor John Sweller 


Time: 3pm, Friday 19th November Location: Room Room OMB-149 

OMB is the Old Main Building at UNSW - located immediately behind the Red Centre.  It
can be accessed from the Red Centre by a walkway leading from the main central stairs.  

Please join us after the seminar for refreshments in the staffroom Red Centre RC-3082.
Seminar co-ordinator: Diana Combe: e-mail: 


Teaching General Problem-Solving Skills Is Not a Substitute for, or a Viable Addition
to, Teaching Mathematics 

Professor John Sweller, The School of Eucation, UNSW 

Abstract: Problem solving is central to mathematics.  Yet problem-solving skill is not
what it seems.  The field of problem solving has recently undergone a surge in research
interest and insight, but many of the results of this research are both counterintuitive
and contrary to many widely held views.  It is becoming clear that general problem
solving strategies that cover a wide range of largely unrelated mathematical procedures
are neither learnable nor teachable.  In contrast, domain-specific problem solving
strategies are eminently learnable and teachable.  In this talk, I will briefly discuss
relevant aspects of human cognitive architecture and the empirical evidence in support
of these suggestions.  


Reflections on Teaching in the UK and Australia 

Professor Michael Cowling, The School of Mathematics and Statistics, UNSW 

Abstract: The University of Birmingham is a similar institution to the University of New
South Wales, but teaching there is quite different to teaching at UNSW.  The differences
include the different preparation of students in the UK system, more tightly focussed
de- grees, different student expectations, different levels of support provided by the
University, and more.  This talk will try to cover quickly the differences and answer
the question: what can we learn from them.

ball Calendar (ICS file) download, for import into your favourite calendar application
ball UNCLUTTER for printing
ball AUTHENTICATE to mark the scnews item as read
School members may try to .