Learning about Learning

Learning about Learning (LAL) activities provide PET students with the opportunity to apply their evolving physics knowledge in the context of examining how the learning of science occurs. Much of the focus is on learning in the elementary classroom. Students explore this by analyzing video segments of elementary students as they work through physics activities that are similar in nature to activities contained within the PET Curriculum. In some LAL activities, PET students also analyze elementary students' diagrams of physical phenomena.

Including LAL activities in PET serves two purposes. First, by evaluating the learning of other students, PET students have the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of their own learning process. Several activities give PET students an opportunity to compare their learning with those of elementary students, and to reflect on their own evolving understanding of science, including both the physics content and the nature of science itself. Second, for those PET students who are prospective and practicing elementary teachers, LAL activities give PET students the chance to apply their physics knowledge in the context of their chosen profession. Students who do not intend to be elementary teachers benefit from these activities by engaging in the analysis of the learning process, and by recognizing the value of human creativity and imagination (including their own) in generating science knowledge.

The learning objectives for LAL activities are objectives for learning about physics learning. PET students are expected to reflect both on how these objectives apply to elementary students, and on how the objectives apply to themselves with regard to their own learning.