Learning and Cognition



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Learning and Cognition Cognitive Information Processing
Schema Theory ,Behaviorists Not much interested in how people “think” mentally
Primarily concerned with observable behavior, I.e., what happens before and after learning In this sense, behavioral instruction (direct instruction, programmed learning, etc.) is mostly concerned with what the teacher does ,Cognitivists Concerned with mental processes
How people acquire, process, and use information Pay attention to what goes on at the very moment of learning, not just the results of learning ,Cognitive Theorists Jerome Bruner
Spiral curriculum
revisit at different
stages ,Cognitive Theorists Jean Piaget
developmental stages
learning structured by schemes (templates)
assimilation (adding on) accommodation (changing schemes) ,Cognitive Theorists Both Bruner and Piaget, as well as their successors, hold that:
children are different than adults
children’s thinking/learning develops children’s learning development not necessarily equivalent to physical age or maturation: experiences and social interactions play vital roles ,Cognitive Theorists Lev Vygotsky
learning first occurs on the inter-personal plane via interaction with others
such intra-personal processes as thinking, reflecting, reasoning and problem-solving occur through cooperation and interaction with others in some cultural-social framework
Zone of proximal development (ZPD) boundary of student’s prior knowledge and that for which he or she is not yet developmentally ready but can be assisted by others to get there; the area between what a learner can do independently (mastery level) and what can be accomplished with assistance of a competent adult or peer (instructional level); scaffolding assists in getting from one place to the other
,Cognitive Information Processing Computer model
compares basic biochemical workings of the brain with basic computer design
people, like computers, input information, code and store it for short and long-term retrieval, process and manipulate it internally, and produce outputs ,CIP Stages ,Sensory Memory holds information very briefly (e.g., striking match in dark room)
separate sensory memory for each of the five senses ,Short-term or Working Memory further processing carried out here to make information ready for long-term storage or a response
information is coded conceptually and takes on meaning can handle only a limited amount of information (thought to be 7 bits or chunks, plus or minus 2) for a limited amount of time ,Short-term or Working Memory working memory can be increased through creating larger bits (process of chunking)
as new chunks come into memory, they push out those previously occupying the available spaces unrehearsed information will be lost from working memory in about 15-30 seconds ,From working memory to long-term memory Rehearsal (repetition), e.g., remembering a phone number you just looked up
Encoding: fitting the information into fabric of what you already know outlines, hierarchies, concept trees, mnemonics, self-questioning
,Long-term Memory permanent storehouse/hard drive
unlimited capacity though some “files” may seem to be “erased” (forgetfulness), information in long-term memory is never truly lost unless there is a physical/biological malady ,Long-term Memory episodic memory (specific events)
semantic memory (general information); this is the memory that most concerns educators ,Long-term Memory how information is represented and stored in semantic memory
network models of LTM (mental dictionary; interconnected hierarchies; problem is typicality: e.g. canary more easily recognized as a bird than penguin)
feature comparison models (concepts stored with sets of defining as well as characteristic features) ,Long-term Memory propositional models of LTM (concepts stored as propositions, e.g. “a bird has wings”)
parallel distributed processing (PDP) models of LTM (interlinked frisbee metaphor;

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