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Comments on: Knowledge Transformation, Design, and Technology Andy diSessa University of California at Berkeley
Plan The importance of the epistemological effects of technology. Difficulties we have to face in changing educational practice. Two themes: Representation and thought Tacit knowledge Brief comments on each paper
Galileo’s Tribulations From Dialogs Concerning Two New Sciences: Six Theorems… Theorem 1: If a moving particle, carried uniformly at constant speed traverses two distances, then the time intervals required are to each other in the ratio of these distances.
Galileo’s Tribulations Theorem 2: If a moving particle traverses two distances in equal intervals of time, these distances will bear to each other the same ratio as their speeds. And conversely, if the distances are as the speeds, then the times are equal.
Galileo’s Tribulations Theorem 4: If two particles are carried with uniform motion, but each with a different speed, then the distance covered by them during unequal intervals of time bear to each other the compound ratio of the speeds and time intervals.
Summary: Importance • “Material Intelligence”: Representational infrastructure changes the whole landscape of knowledge, and what it means to know. • Computers and dynamic, interactive representations have started a long period of exploration and equilibrium-finding among (a) representations, (b) domains of knowledge, and (c) social configurations in which representation and thought are embedded.
Difficulties • People think education is about instruction. It is, but it is, FIRST about knowledge—what it is, what’s the most powerful knowledge to know, how it develops. • Our scientific understanding of knowledge (tacit knowledge, in particular: enactive and perceptual “knowledge”). • Changing landscape (evolution of computational representations).
Difficulties • Common sense about knowledge “deeply rooted” in the soil of our culture. • The influence and power of the disciplines. • Distributed infrastructure of schooling.
Themes • Representation, thought and knowledge. • Tacit knowledge: The frontier in our epistemological understanding. • Constructivist basis for learning: intuitive knowledge • Nature of engagement in dynamic, interactive representations: enactive and participatory understanding; perceptual understanding.
Codes for Comments + is “Andy’s HIGH approval.” ? is “How do we think about this?” AV is a suggestion of an alternative viewpoint.
Noss, Hoyles, et al. Themes: Transparent, here. (Pre-) Algebraic reasoning (generalization) in represented in an enactive microworld. + The invisibility of “big picture” issues in the curriculum and in our research! (Generalization is NOT abstraction!) + The basic idea of the software: Varying variables!; (pre-algebraic) constraints represented as links CREATED IN ACTION.
Noss, Hoyles, et al. ?? Musings on representation and thought in this case: • Representation and knowledge are intimately intertwined, but … • Representational perspective: How to make kids wise about algebraic representations, per se? One idea…designing their own representations! • Enactive representation of constraints enough? • Knowledge: Other schemes…systematic variation, growth, unit change. (Mari Levin)
San Diego, Cox, & Quinn (Teeth) Themes: Haptically-based knowledge (tacit K.) and technical feedback displays (representation). + Haptics and enactive understanding. Me and physics. But, without easy connections to language, its an enduring slippery fish. ? Success-based feedback vs. substantial feedback: The conversion of technical, symbolic displays into action and perception. What I did; what I need to do.
San Diego, Cox, & Quinn ? Particulars of the model: Teeth as compounded of tetrahedrons? Makes connection to real (continuous) world difficult?
Mercier, Burd, & Higgins Themes: Multi-touch, collaborative strategies? (1) Collaboration as (tacitly) knowledge-driven; (2) moving and spatial positioning as representational activities. + Seamless integration of technology and pedagogy (knowledge goals/construction?)
Mercier, Burd, & Higgins AV Gesture and space as representational students as representational designers! (a) more time; (b) more built-in rep. support for knowledge building (“red herring”; “war reduces trade”) [Refs: ours an others work on students’s rep. design; RikkeMagnussen, MURDER!, Learning Lab Denmark] AV Distanced view of kids activities? Think about what these kids are thinking they are doing and how they strategize interaction.
Scanlon & Conole (PI) Theme: (multi-level: students & researchers). Scripts as representations of action (inquiry); Tacit knowledge as constituting community; Form and role of representations for cross-disciplinary work, incl. common language as a core representational issue. ? Do scripts represent or suggest the right thing? Inquiry is essentially management and decision-making. Represent judgments and action choices?
Scanlon & Conole AV: Are cross-disciplinary teams the right way to go? [“educators” and “technologists” in the early days educational technologists. MERGING disciplines. [Nancy Nercessian] AV: Yes, science is empirical, but it is also theoretical. Clarity of descriptions, consensual terms and claims, …
Laurillard, Magoulis, & Masterman (LDSE) Themes: Tacit knowledge in the practice of design; representational infrastructure for supporting designand learning-by-design. + Learning by design. AV “A Logo or Boxer for teachers.” Boxer as a “computational medium” to enfold as wide a range of tasks and interests as possible. My writing class.
Laurillard, Magoulis, & Masterman AV (Boxer model continued): Certainly adaptation, “toolsets,” but maximize agency and initiative. “… being evaluated with teachers to judge the extent to which it meets their needs and expectations.” An alternative to “experts design; users use.”
Laurillard, Magoulis, & Masterman Disassemble the system into a toolkit that COULD be assembled into what it IS, but also can be re-assembled in many other ways.
Carmichael, Tscholl, & Tracy Theme: The formal or predetermined as supposed-to-be insightful representational infrastructure. "Interference" of tacit knowledge, other "aboutnesses" concerning cases. + Reality as a poor representation of “scientific reality.” (Reductio ad absurdum of immersive reality in learning physics) + The futility of completely bottom-up (short-term) strategies. NOT: evident commonality produces scientific schematization.
Carmichael, Tscholl, & Tracy AV: • Recognize, value, and allow time to pursue alternative perspectives. “The Patterns Game” • Build on the sensibility of the schematization, of the “formal.” • The Bounce Model: Emersion; schematization; emersion; … …