“Learning by Jerks in Science”

What is the relationship between learning and jerks in science? This paper asks and answers the question plainly:

Engagement, Wonder, and Learning by Jerks in Science: Perspectives of Pre-Service Elementary Education Students, Medical Students, and Research Science Doctoral Students,” Nancy Pelaez [pictured here], Kimberley D. Ryder, B. Subah Packer and Michael R. Cohen, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Educators of Teachers of Science, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 10, 1997. (Thanks to investigator Jonah Smiley for bringing this to our attention.) The authors report that:

“Understanding in science comes in jerks, sometimes in a flash of insight, and is accompanied by feelings of elation. The breadth-rather-than-depth approach currently used in teaching science in schools rarely allows students the opportunity to experience this process.”