Knowledge -

Knowledge -

KNOWLEDGE What it is and how to get it. What is knowledge? Justified True Belief One has knowledge when: You have a belief That belief is True You have Justified reasons for the belief. This definition almost always works. But... Edmond Gettier makes trouble...

Henry is driving in the countryside, looking at objects in fields. He sees what looks exactly like a barn. Accordingly, he thinks that he is seeing a barn. Now, that is indeed what he is doing. But what he does not realize is that the neighborhood contains many fake barns mere barn facades that look like real barns when viewed from the road. And if he had been looking at one of them, he would have been deceived into believing that he was seeing a barn. Luckily, he was not doing this. Consequently, his belief is justified and true. But is it knowledge?

Learning Theories A learning theory describes how students absorb, process, and retain knowledge during learning. We will consider two philosophical foundations for learning theories. The theories we consider today are based on assumptions about the nature of reality Realism & Anti-realism Realism Philosophical Realism: The view that objects in the external world exist in reality independently of our conceptual schemes.

ExampleDirect Instruction: Teachers should transmit a predefined set of information to students through teacher-organized activities (p. 36). On this view, the teacher is a transmitter of knowledge. Implications for Learners Learning is a process of discovering how the world really is. Given that reality is not influenced by our conceptual schemes, it follows that reality is the same for everyone. Thus: Teachers can transmit an accurate picture of reality to students. Anti-realism Philosophical Anti-realism The view that the external world has no objective form (at least not one we have access to) and that knowledge

is acquired and filtered through our conceptual schemes. ExampleConstructivism: Humans construct all knowledge in their minds by participating in experiences. Learning occurs when someone constructs both mechanisms for learning and that persons own unique version of the knowledge informed by background, experiences, and aptitudes. (p. 36). Implications for Learners Teachers should build inquiry, discovery, and experiential learning into their instruction so that learners can generate their own knowledge through experiences while teachers serve as facilitators. Realist Theories:

Behaviorism Definition: the theory that human and animal behavior can be explained in terms of conditioning, without appeal to thoughts or feelings, and that psychological disorders are best treated by altering behavior patterns. Wikipedia Essential Assumptions 1. All behavior is learned from the environment 2. Psychology should be seen as a science 3. Focus should be given only to observable behaviornot thoughts or emotions 4. There is no essential difference between the ways animals and

human learning Realist Theories: Behaviorism Exemplar: Benjamin Bloom Bloom argued: 1. We know people learn only by observing changes in their behavior 2. Behavior is shaped by stimulus-response connections 3. Reinforcement strengthens responses; if people do something and are reinforced for it, they learn to respond in predictable ways 4. Chains of behavior become skills.

Realist Theories: Behaviorism Behaviorism has influenced education in several ways Reward systems to manage classroom behaviors E.g., students behave well to receive reward; avoid bad behavior to avoid punishment Drill and practice teaching methods E.g., Students work math problems repeatedly until they no longer commit errors Software and Internet-based learning systems (E.g., Khan Academy)

E.g., Students are conditioned to complete lessons in order to earn badges. Realist Theories: Information-Processing Theories Definition: The brain contains certain structures that process information much like a computer. This model of the mind as computer hypothesizes that the brain has three kinds of memory or stores (p. 39). The Minds Stores 1. Sensory registersthe part of memory that receives all the

information a person senses 2. Short-term memory (STM)the part of memory where new information is held temporarily until it is either lost or placed into long term memory 3. Long-term memory (LTM)the part of memory that has an unlimited capacity and can hold information indefinitely Realist Theories: Information-Processing Theories What does this process look like (broadly speaking)? Anything we pay attention to is automatically stored in our STM.

Once there, we have 5 20 seconds to begin the process of transferring it to LTM However, in order for it to stick in LTM, it must be linked to prior knowledge already existing in LTM Failure to transfer it to long-term memory will cause us to lose it Most believe that knowledge in LTMif not used or practicedcan eventually fade. Realist Theories: Cognitive-Behaviorist Theory Combining the two, Gagne made

practical recommendations for teachers and outlined a process (Nine Events of Instruction) to arrange optimal conditions of learning. A Learning Hierarchy 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

6. 7. 8. 9. Gaining attention Informing the learner of the objective Stimulating recall of previous learning Presenting new material Providing learning guidance

Eliciting performance Providing feedback Assessing performance Enhancing retention and recall Realist Theories: Cognitive-Behaviorist Theory What are its implications for education? Instruction based on this theory provides conditions for learning by offering activities matched to each type of skill. Students had to demonstrate that they had learned prerequisite skills by demonstrating

the type of behavior appropriate for the skill. For example, if the skill was using a grammar rule, students had to demonstrate that they could correctly apply the rule in situations that required it. Anti-realist Theories: Social Activism Theories Definition: Roughly, advocates of social activism theories believe that education should demonstrate two primary features: (1) it should be experiential and (2) it should aim at transforming society. Why experiential? Given the assumption that we construct our own realities, it holds that the most resilient and durable forms of learning

derive from personal experience. Why transform society? Theorists of this persuasion tend to prioritize subjectivity (what its like to be me) and our collective role in shaping our society. They believe that education is the principle means through which a society can improve. Anti-realist Theories: Social Activism Theories Social activism theory owns a debt to John Dewey (1859 1952) Curricula should arise from students latent interests Curricula topics should be integrated rather than isolated from each

other Education is a process of growth rather than an end itself Education occurs through its connection with life rather than through participation in curriculum Learning should be hands on and experience based rather than abstract Anti-realist Theories: Social Activism Theories Implications for education? Todays interdisciplinary curriculum and hands-on, experience-based

learning are very much in tune with Deweys lifelong message. However, it is also likely that he would deplore the current standards movement and the use of testing programs to determine school promotion and readiness for graduation. Anti-realist Theories: Cognitive Constructivism Jean Piaget We all desire to understand or make sense of the world around us. Piaget called this equilibrium. Our understanding of the world is arranged into schemas.

When we encounter something new, we use past understandings to explain it. This is done is one of two ways. Accommodation Modification of existing schema to create a new one Assimilation Incorporation of new experiences into existing schema Anti-realist Theories: Cognitive Constructivism Implications for education? Piaget recommended that teachers take an active, mentoring role toward

students. Instead of pushing information at students while they sit and listen passively, share the learning experience and encourage students to be active and engaged. Take your students seriously and respect their ideas, suggestions and opinions. Supplement traditional lectures with relevant, hands-on classroom activities that let students experience the content for themselves. Anti-realist Theories: Sociocultural Development Lev Vygotsky His core ideas Believed that language, society, and culture play the primary role in

shaping childrens cognitive development. Children develop through informal and formal conversations with adults. The first years of life are fundamental for development, since it is where thought and language become increasingly independent. Complex mental activities begin in basic social activities. Children can perform more difficult tasks with the help of a more expert individual. Tasks that are a challenge promote the growth of cognitive development. Anti-realist Theories:

Sociocultural Development Anti-realist Theories: Multiple Intelligences Howard Gardner challenges the traditional view of intelligence: something you are born with; you have only a certain amount of it; you cannot do much about how much of that intelligence you have; and tests exist that can tell you how smart you are.

Rather, he postulates the existence of 8 forms of intelligence. Anti-realist Theories: Multiple Intelligences

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