Chapter 9 of Learner-Centered Teaching is about patterns.
Since patterns exist everywhere, the ability to recognize patterns is a valuable skill.
We should help students recognize the patterns that exist in our own content areas. To a novice, the material presented may seem very random. Build activities and demonstrations which show students how the material is interconnected and organized. Teach students how to use patterning in order to compare and contrast, show how things are similar or different, etc.
Students have been engaged in linear learning activities in the K-12 classroom.
Terry Doyle says that learner-centered teaching is about teaching students to recognize patterns.
- Help students use their own patterns. They can do this by re-wording, reflecting, etc.
- Help students see the patterns, if they cannot. Point out patterns in the course or in the content of the course and relate these to what the students know.
- Help students make the patterns in the course content area more recognizable and familiar.
One approach from cognitive science which can help in developing instructional content is called interleaving. Example problems can be interspersed with actual problem solving to improve learning. Students pay more attention to the examples when they know they will be expected to use the content to solve an immediate problem.