[MUSIC, Title: "Understanding the Differences Between Declarative and Procedural Learning"] [Barb] It's time to bring back one of our very favorite heroes from sports, Julius Yego. Julius, as you'll remember, watched great javelin throwing coaches on YouTube and then went out to practice. We also observed that part of Julius' genius was how he knew to mix explicit instruction with active practice. Watch and practice. And in this way, with vanishingly small amounts of personal coaching, Julius won the World Championship in throwing the javelin! Julius was balancing his learning by learning both DECLARATIVELY, through listening carefully to explanatory lecture and demonstration, and more PROCEDURALLY, through active practice. [Beth] It's clear that we teachers need to help students so they learn through both declarative and procedural pathways. And this is true for pretty much whatever students are learning, whether it's throwing the javelin, learning math or a new language, vocational skills, or even just learning to tie your shoes. Are there tricks we can use to help students learn through both pathways? Yes, there are. But before we get into these tricks, let's take a quick look at some of the most common differences between declarative and procedural learning. Understanding these differences will give you a better appreciation for how each type of learning helps build your students' mastery of the material. As we introduce the differences between the two learning systems, we'd like to bring your attention to the power of graphic organizers to help students— not to mention you—better understand concepts. At this point, we suggest that you create a basic graphic organizer— a foldable—to help you better understand the difference between declarative and procedural pathways. You'll also be using your foldable in the next video as well. To create your foldable, simply fold a piece of paper in half, lengthwise. We teachers call this fold the "hot dog." Or just draw a T-chart. Write "declarative" on the one column and "procedural" on the top of the other. Then you write the key differences under each of the two terms. Okay, let's get started! As you can see here, you are mostly conscious of what you're learning declaratively, just as you are conscious— I hope!—of what I'm saying here right now. But procedural learning... it's a very different kettle of fish. It's little like having a zombie inside you that takes over whenever you do something so often that your brain decides it should be automated. Because you are conscious of what you have learned declaratively, you can be more flexible about it. In contrast, because you are not conscious of what you've learned procedurally—and you've strengthened the links through plenty of practice— those procedural links can be less flexible. Remember that if you've learned something declaratively, it doesn't at all mean that you actually understand the material. For example, a student can declaratively parrot the steps for solving a math problem, but still not really understand what is involved in solving the problem. The slightest shift in the problem and boom! The student is lost. That's because the student doesn't have an experienced understanding gained through plenty of practice that helped build their procedural sets of links. In the same sense, I remember learning the word "enigma". The image the teacher gave to help us understand the concept was a Rubik's Cube. If you'd ask me what an enigma was, I would have answered, "It's like a Rubik's Cube". You would have thought I understood what an enigma was, but in reality, I didn't have a clue. It wasn't until years later that I fully understood the meaning of the word "enigma" and could actually use it in context. It is only then that I got how the Rubik's Cube could even help with the definition. [Barb] Declarative learning involves sequential, step-by-step tasks like this. As a reminder here, following procedures, at least until you've internalized them until you know them by heart, means you're learning step by step. That is, you're learning declaratively. So be careful. Occasionally, the word "procedural" may not mean what you think it means. Real procedural learning— that is, learning that involves the basal ganglia— CAN involve automated step-by-step learning—as when you're learning to play a sequence of notes for a song on the piano. But it can also involve discovering and being able to take advantage of complex patterns. Think about it. If you do a slightly varying activity many times, you'll start to detect the patterns behind those variations. Patterns like how to conjugate different kinds of verbs in a foreign language. Or discerning the differences— sometimes quite subtle— between art styles. Or learning the complex patterns behind solving a Rubik's Cube. Or even internalizing the patterns of the multiplication tables. [Terry] Another difference between the two systems is that you can EXPLAIN what you've learned declaratively. This is mostly because in declarative learning, everything proceeds step by step by step, and we are mostly conscious of each step. But procedural learning can be difficult to explain. And this is because procedural learning often involves a complex set of neural pathways with many hidden layers between the input and the output where our neurons are figuring things out without us actually being aware of how they do the figuring. We can only see the input and the output. PRACTICE is needed to coordinate the many hidden layers of the procedural system. Indeed, those hidden layers are what lie inside the opaque box of our basal ganglia. Developing a feel for patterns through plenty of practice also serves as the seed of our intuition. More about that later. Mathematicians can detect patterns in large part through their procedural systems, even when they can't yet prove the pattern they found. For example, most of us have seen the Pythagorean equation, x squared plus y squared equals z squared, which can be proven in a number of different ways through rigorous step-by-step declarative thinking. But the first intuitive glimmer of that beautiful relationship arose in people's minds BEFORE it was proven. Where does the intuition of the relationship arise? Through the procedural system as it practices and analyzes mathematical relationships in a number of different ways. Remember Fermat's Conjecture, a to the nth power, plus b to the nth power, equals c to the nth power. It's the Pythagorean Equation when n equals 2 and looks simple. But Fermat conjectured that there were no integer solutions for all n greater than two. Fermat intuited that this was true. And he sent a postcard saying he'd proven it, but he left no notes as to how he done it. It took over 350 years before British mathematician, Andrew Wiles— after seven years of work in a 129 page step-by-step proof— showed that Fermat's conjecture was indeed true. His remarkable proof earned him a knighthood in the British Empire. [Barb] But it's not just math, of course. Procedural learning of complex patterns can apply to many different subjects, concepts, or skills. For example, you picked up the extraordinarily complex patterns of your native language largely using your procedural system before you learned the official rules of grammar, which you later learned declaratively. For most children, the declarative system only emerges gradually, just as your largely conscious, working memory increases its capacity. We pick up on people's body language largely through our procedural system, not to mention finesse at cooking or intuition about what's wrong with a car engine that's making a particular whiny hum. Procedural learning takes a long time because it involves a lot of practice. For example, learning to type on a keyboard can take quite a while. But once you've got that basic idea or skill down, you can be super fast, whether it's typing or speaking a foreign language or solving an algebra problem. Declarative learning, on the other hand, can be fast to learn, but slow to use. You can quickly memorize a vocabulary list in the language you're studying by using declarative type memory tricks such as associating a word with a memorable image. But actually using those words in the rapid give and take of a typical conversation, huh, that's a different story altogether! If you haven't practiced plenty of times with those words in a variety of situations, you can find yourself stammering, at a loss for words. [Beth] Declarative learning, as we know, grows from EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION just like what we're giving here in this video. Procedural learning, on the other hand, grows largely through PRACTICE. This is why we encourage you to PRACTICE with the ideas we are presenting in these videos. We have multiple choice questions, discussion forums, and projects available for you to get started with developing your procedural intuition. All righty, hopefully, you have your foldable filled out by now. Think about how these ideas might relate to the subjects you are teaching. What part of what you are teaching relates to declarative learning? What relates to procedural? In our next exciting video, we'll be talking about how to reach, and teach, both procedural and declarative pathways. Can you anticipate some of the techniques we will be suggesting? Take a minute, or three, to jot your thoughts down. Then follow us to the next video to see how good your predictions are. [Beth] I'm Beth Rogowsky. [Barb] I'm Barb Oakley. [Terry] I'm Terry Sejnowski. [All] Learn it, link it, let's do it!