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DATE: MAY 14, 2017


This paper focuses on the theories behind how science classes are now taught, as
opposed to the actual subject matter of these classes. Carol Dweck’s theory about a
fixed vs. growth mindset taught the author that having a growth mindset helps a
student overcome difficult classes, whereas having a fixed mindset sets a student up
for disappointment. A combination of Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve and the
theory of spaced repetition influence how the author studies for classes. Constant
review of information is a more effective way to study than cramming last minute.
Finally, the text explains how John Dewey’s experiential learning model has
influenced Northeastern’s choice to require wet labs for many classes. This
educational system can be carried out using the theory of cognitive apprenticeship, in
which a master teaches a skill to an amateur instead of just dictating instructions.
This theory is applied in labs, when students first see a demonstration, then perform
the experiment themselves, and finally write a lab report and compare results with
others. Co-op is an extension of this theory as well.

Main Points:

 Use of Evidence: Each theory is explained sufficiently and its application to classes
and studying makes sense. The paragraphs about the theories of the forgetting curve
and spaced repetition could be used to explain why many classes have frequent
quizzes and cumulative exams. This information is only mentioned in the
introduction and conclusion.

 Clarity: The text is split into paragraphs well, which helps organize the information.
Some sentences are structured awkwardly, which detracts from the paper. It might
help if very long sentences were split up. Some sentences could also be stated in a
more concise way. For example, the sentence “These two both apply to the section
of scaffolding in the theory which is defined by the support offered by the teacher to
assist students in a task” could be restated as “These actions are categorized as
scaffolding because they involve the teacher assisting the students in a task.”

Minor Points:

For example. it has shaped…” should have a semicolon before “since then. verb tenses are changed mid-sentence. There are points in the text when a semicolon is needed instead of a comma because two independent phrases are connected.  Modeling is spelled differently throughout the text. “I was introduced to Carol Dweck’s … in high school. since then. 2 .  In some sentences.” There are also a few points where commas need to be added.