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Theories of Learning: Constructivist Theories. Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos 19 May 2009. Outline. Overview of Constructivism Schema Theory Situated Cognition. Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos. Assumptions of Constructivism.

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theories of learning constructivist theories

Theories of Learning:Constructivist Theories

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

19 May 2009

outline
Outline
  • Overview of Constructivism
  • Schema Theory
  • Situated Cognition

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

assumptions of constructivism
Assumptions of Constructivism
  • Knowledge is constructed as learners make sense of their experience
    • Knowledge constructions may not match reality
  • Learners actively seek meaning in the environment
  • In the learning process, learners create and test theories until a satisfactory explanation is known
  • Knowledge is context-dependent
  • Social interactions are vital to learning

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

types of constructivism
Types of Constructivism
  • Psychological Constructivism: Learning as improving individual knowledge and cognitive abilities
    • Many cognitive theories of learning can also be classified as Psychological Constructivist theories

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

constructivism process of learning
Constructivism:Process of Learning

Schema:Typically a misconception

Develop new schema

(Accommodate)

Test Schema

No

Expected Results?

Yes

Assimilate

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

schema
Schema
  • Schema: Structure for representing concepts in memory
  • Schema Theory: Theory of how knowledge is represented and how the representation of knowledge guides the application of knowledge
  • Incoming information from the environment is organized around previously developed schema
  • Gist: Central idea

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

schema7
Schema
  • Schemas are like:
    • Dramas: Schemas provide the script where the variables (aka characters, setting, and action) are unique to each performance
    • Theories: Interpret phenomenon and make predictions about unobserved events
    • Procedures/Algorithms: Evaluate new information to determine the fit to the schema and then directs future behavior

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

properties of schemas
Properties of Schemas
  • Schemas are developed by prior knowledge and experience
  • Actively build schemas and revise in light of new information
  • Information from the environment is processed and transformed depending on prior schemas
  • Schemas help people understand, interpret, and remember incoming information
  • Facilitates memory because it is easier to remember schema than details
  • Culture influences schemas
    • Memory for knowledge or an event is determined by the cultural context in which it takes place

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

functions of schema
Functions of Schema
  • Organize knowledge
  • Assist recall
  • Guide behavior
  • Enable predictions
  • Make sense of current experiences

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

learning new knowledge
Learning New Knowledge
  • Three reactions to new information:
    • Accretion: Incorporate new information to existing schemata without making changes to the schemata
    • Tuning: Modify schemata to be more consistent with experience
    • Restructuring: Create a new schemata because of inconsistency between old schemata and new information

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

benefits of schema
Benefits of Schema
  • Benefits of connecting new information to prior knowledge:
    • Better retention of information
    • Better ability to access information in authentic situations

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

schema theory in education
Schema Theory in Education
  • Students construct and apply appropriate schema to solve practical problems in various domains
    • Become “expert” problem solvers in school courses
  • Instructional Strategies
    • Reduce extra cognitive load – Irrelevant tasks
    • Increase relevant cognitive load

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

identifying students schemas
Identifying Students’ Schemas
  • Observe
  • Ask for explanation
  • Ask to make predictions
  • Ask to teach another student

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

classroom implications
Classroom Implications
  • Prior knowledge influences what and how a student learns
  • What is remembered is largely a function of what was understood to begin with
  • Students learn best when they link new information with related existing ideas
    • Information is forgotten unless integrated into existing schemata
  • The schemas of students are different from each other and from the teacher
  • Both understanding and memory are driven by meaning
  • Learning should occur in the context in which it will be used

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

types of constructivism15
Types of Constructivism
  • Social Constructivism: Learning as increasing the ability to participate with others in activities meaningful within the culture
    • Culture influences thinking when a more skilled person uses tools and practices from the culture to instruct another toward valued cultural goals
    • Thinking influences culture when members generate new practices and solutions to add to the cultural group’s repertoire

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

situated cognition
Situated Cognition
  • Situated Cognition: Skills and knowledge are tied to the situation where they were learned
    • Knowledge learned outside of a meaningful context is useless
    • Focus on apprenticeships
      • Expert guides novice, beginning with simple tasks and move to more complex tasks

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

situated cognition17
Situated Cognition
  • Situated Cognition: Cognition is adapted to the environment
    • Learning develops in a social context
  • Other theories of learning assume that learning occurs within the learner
    • Learners internalize knowledge
    • Individual person is on the learner
  • Situated Cognition: A culture is the learner
    • Knowledge: Effective living practices within the culture
    • Learning: Developing the ability to use the tools and skills valued by one’s society

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

principles of situated cognition
Principles of Situated Cognition
  • Cognition is social:
    • Other learning theories assume knowledge is “out there” so learning is the process of internalizing knowledge
    • Situated Cognition: Learning requires social participation.
      • Cognition takes place in the social environment
      • Minds are not separate from the culture
  • Knowledge is distributed across the cultural environment
    • Tools, books, and communities
  • Knowledge is effective participation in socially valued endeavors
  • Education should aim to help students to engage meaningfully with the environment

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

slide19

Most Learning Theories

Situated Cognition

Learner

Learner

Culture

Knowledge

Determines

Knowledge

Internalize

Effectively engage in culture

Influences

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

situated cognition20
Situated Cognition
  • What is a community that you participate in?
  • What is your role in that community?
  • What are the tools you use in that community?
  • What is the language that you use in that community?

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

situated cognition in education
Situated Cognition in Education
  • Knowledge does not transfer between tasks
    • Teaching by abstracting concepts is not effective because learning only occurs in authentic situations
    • InertKnowledge: Knowledge that a student has acquired but is not able to be applied to relevant situations
  • Authentic Learning: Students learn a subject in a manner similar to how an expert in that domain practices
    • Create an environment that is as similar as possible to the context where knowledge and skills will be applied

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

situated cognition in education22
Situated Cognition in Education
  • Learning in formal education should focus on acquiring knowledge and skills in contexts that reflect how the knowledge and skills will be useful in real life (Collins, 1988)
  • Students learn subjects by becoming historians, mathematicians, scientists, etc. by cognitive apprenticeships

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

benefits of situated cognition in education
Benefits of Situated Cognition in Education
  • Students are more likely to:
    • Learn about the conditions for applying knowledge
    • Engage in creativity and problem solving
    • Understand the implications of their knowledge
    • Organize knowledge in ways that enable them to apply knowledge to later use

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos

revision
Revision
  • What are the assumptions of a constructivist view of learning?
  • What is the difference between psychological constructivim and social constructivism?
  • What are schemas and how do they influence learning?
  • What are the three ways that schemas are developed?
  • What is the major proposition of situated cognition?
  • What implications does situated cognition have for education?

Dr. K. A. Korb

University of Jos