This article reviews recent advances in research by members of the Learning Environments Across Disciplines partnership on the design of adaptive technology-rich learning environments as cognitive, metacognitive, and affective tools. In particular, we examine the use of convergent methodologies and how the design guidelines of the learning environments are grounded in instructional theories and empirical evidence.
This article explores challenges in seeking to characterize and compare high-quality mathematics and reading instruction. Using the construct of cognitive demand, we share data illustrating the challenges and our attempts to overcome them.
This article explores how several classroom practices can promote self-reflection and metacognition among elementary students. When built into the existing curriculum, activities such as directed goal-setting, practice with language prompts, written self-reflections, and posttask oral conversations are shown to enrich the learning process by increasing students' awareness of themselves as learners.
A discussion of the benefits of adjusting school schedules to respond to the needs of adolescents for more sleep.
This paper offers an analysis of Meads contributions and contradictions in two sections, one on her ethnography, the other on her legacy applied to the problems of education in the contemporary United States, particularly her rarely noticed contributions to a theory of learning.
The article discusses a brain-mind-cycle theory of critical reflection, learning, and wholetheme education. Application of the theory is illustrated with data from an experimental wholetheme teacher education program.
This article reviews research on teacher efficacy, concluding that teachers who believe they are effective set more challenging goals for themselves and their students, take responsibility for student outcomes, and persist when faced with obstacles to learning. The article suggests that efforts to improve schools should include attention to teacher efficacy.
Examines the shared cognitive dimensions of cultural institutions like museums, libraries, and parks, suggesting they make similar situations for transmitting information. This article encourages a critical understanding of public cultural institutions to enlarge the potential for discourse about their analysis and criticism. Heuristic questions for understanding cultural institutions are presented.
This study investigated how new technology affects the working procedures and mental activity of industrial machinists, examining how machinists learn to use computer numerical control technology. Results indicate areas of cognitive difference requiring further study (e.g., differences in conceptualization, formalization, and perspective, and shifts to logical cues from sensory ones).
This article argues that attempts to identify criteria that mark out higher-order thinking and distinguish it from lower-order thinking are still far from satisfactory. Bloom's cognitive hierarchy is discussed, as are the characteristics of higher-order thinking assembled by Resnick.
This article offers four models of what may be going wrong in the transmission of thinking skills from textbooks and teachers to students. Sources of the problem are identified and possible solutions, alternatives, and strategies of "teaching for thinking" are described.
A study in which Logo programming was used to teach problem-solving skills to fourth to eighth grade students is described.
The verbalized thinking of two sixth grade children while reading is analyzed using schema theory. An outline of a critical thinking theory is given and contrasted with schema theory. Conclusions for reading theoreticians are discussed.
This article argues that the promotion of cognitive development in children is a heavily value-laden enterprise and that educators need to understand this so they can value and nurture an appropriate diversity of competencies in children.
Curriculum not only brings purpose to the reading process by providing a ground for intentionality, it also provides another stage where the possible worlds that the text points to can be identified and experienced as good places for grazing.
The authors purpose here is to argue that imagination is a powerful and neglected tool of learning, and that we need to rethink our teaching practices and curricula with a more balanced appreciation of childrens intellectual capacities.
A reponse to Egan's article, Imagination and Learning. Though in agreement on the lack of an adequate account of educational development, the authors are not in total agreement on the nature of imagination, the meaning of the concrete, or the abstract categories or conceptual tools that (for Egan) account for childrens comprehension of fantasy stories.
The author replies to Greene's response to his article, Imagination and Learning.
The views of Jean Piaget and Rudolf Steiner concerning children's stages of development are compared and related to present-day instructional practices used in the Waldorf schools, which employ Steiner's ideas. Educational principles and practices used at the elementary school level are discussed.
Jean Piaget's belief that children's developmental levels largely determine what they can learn is challenged. Research concerning the existence of cognitive structures in children is critiqued, and problems with administering Piagetian tasks are pointed out. Educators should not restrict children's exposure to learning because, according to Piagetian criteria, they are not ready.
The terms "cognitive" and "psycholinguistic" may have come
to suffer from the phenomenon known as semantic satiation, that
is, a loss of meaning resulting from constant repetition. It would
be useful, therefore, to consider the range of meanings of these
terms at the outset of our discussion.
From the earliest days of psychology as a science there have
been two rather different approaches to human intelligence. One
of these, the developmental approach, has been concerned with
adolescent thought as a special type of mental activity worthy of
study in its own right. The other, the psychometric approach, has
with few exceptions seen adolescent thought as continuous with
intelligence in general and, therefore, undeserving of any special
Before turning to the developmental approach, which will be
the focus of concern for this chapter, we need to compare the two
positions to put the developmental position in proper perspective.
The human brain is probably the most complexly organized matter in the universe. Unravelling its mysteries has occupied the minds of scientists from a variety of disciplines. The three most basic disciplines upon which the brain sciences rest are anatomy, physiology, and chemistry. Each of the individuals in these disciplines is seeking to answer the question, what is the brain and how does it function?
We may define attention, for the purposes of this chapter, as a focussing of consciousness or awareness on some part of the multitude of stimuli from the environment, usually on the basis of learning or training. The study of attention or of the attentive process in neuropsychology includes all of the events from the impinging of stimuli on the receptor organs of the body (including but not limited to the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin) through the central processing of the information in the brain, to the final expression of the process, usually in some motor or muscular act.
Since the days of ancient Greece and Rome, the art of teaching has been influenced by knowledge and beliefs about learning, memory, and related functions of the human brain. Aristotle believed that we remember information only by forming images of it; and that we recall these images by ordering them in sequence, associating them with one another according to the principles of similarity, contrast, and contiguity.
A discussion of the biological basis of motivation is complicated by the fact that there is little agreement among contemporary psychologists about the functional significance of the theoretical construct "motivation." Some believe that motivational processes serve quite specific "directing" functions essential for the organization of behaviors which are likely to correct a "need" (such as energy, water, and so forth), promote the survival of the individual (that is, avoidance or aggression of a potential enemy) or survival of the species (that is, the location and persuasion of a mate, nest building, rearing of young, and so forth).
The purpose of this chapter is to provide the educator with some fundamental understanding of the neuropsychological processes underlying language. Although educators are not likely to be called on to use this knowledge in a clinical setting, I believe an understanding of the neuropsychological processes underlying behavior is essential for teachers. Learning disorders are common problems, and understanding how the brain works has helped investigators develop theories and investigative paradigms that will uncover the pathophysiology of these problems.
Few topics in the neurosciences can match the study of cerebral lateralization in its power to stimulate the imagination of people. Students of a number of disciplines have become captivated by the idea that the right and left halves of the human cerebrum differ in function, and this captivation has led to investigation and to speculation. Some writers have attempted to explain various individual differences among normal people in terms of degree of cerebral dominance or the balance of influence between the hemispheres?
The term "minimal brain dysfunction" (MBD) is now in its midteens and viewed anthropomorphically it is indeed experiencing the turmoil and controversy appropriate to adolescence. Since I am a neurologist, I may be accused of bias toward the term, with "brain" the stressed word, out of enlightened self-interest alone; or it may be objected that the issue of terminology is undeserving of much attention except to neurologists, famous for their obsessive-compulsive personalities.
"Neuroplasticity" is a term that has been used to refer to the capacity of the brain to recover from the effects of damage. One could reasonably include under neuroplasticity changes that underlie learning or adaptation to rearrangement, but as Teuber has stated, "there is trouble enough with the concept of plasticity as defined by claims for repair or readjustment of central connections postnatally in mammals.'' At the human level, it is often difficult to define "damage," let alone the determination of the effects of damage on recovery.