misconceptions

I make bits of headway on a few things, but lately (i.e., today) I just tidied up some, mostly organizing software and files between this home computer and things I’ve had sitting at work. Some things like this seem to work so smoothly, while others don’t, and this always makes me think it should be otherwise and I get that much more frustrated with it.

I was asked if I wanted to include a graphic with the abstract for a talk I’m giving next week. As it turned out, I had almost nothing. But, I did have this something, stolen directly from (with kind permission) Colin Inglefield:

This is a clever RC circuit — actually nothing too special about it, but Colin used it for a talk last semester (on cooking a turkey; yes it was related, though very loosely) to demonstrate a physicist’s model of how one bit of memory could be created. Each switch has a different operation, either placing or removing charge on a capacitor and using the light bulb to detect it. Clever, but to me it indicated how our analogies for learning limit our impressions for how learning can function.
And this relates to diSessa and p-prims and coordination classes. And, it brings me back to the editorial that I actually did read today of Settlage and Goldstein about misconception research. Within that I found myself quoted, but other passages where I couldn’t tell myself from other respondents. It all reminded me that maybe there are too many ideas out there and not enough coordination of them. Or maybe there’s a different problem. At any rate, it all gives me food and fodder for the talk I’m working on . . . and maybe other stuff yet to come.
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