ERIC Number: ED113206
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Learning with Understanding. Mathematics Education Report.
Simon, Herbert A.
In this paper, Simon describes contemporary information processing approaches to the study of learning and thinking, and discusses the relevance of these studies to the distinction between rote and meaningful learning. Before defining the basic terminology of information processing research, he provides a brief literature review, describing some of the results in the study of capacity and search times for short-term and long-term memory. He then describes the basic methods by which the computer simulates mental activity, and the "thinking-aloud" methods by which human problem solving and computer problem solving are compared in the laboratory. Illustrating his theses with discussion of six types of problems (Katona's matchstick problem, towers of Hanoi, geometry proofs, algebra word problems, understanding instructions, and chemical thermodynamics), Simon describes various approaches to problem solving, and weighs the relative merits of each in terms of memory load, generalizability, and transfer. He distinguishes between the notions of problem solutions as a sequence of states or a sequence of operations. Other issues discussed include the importance of the semantic content of a problem or class or problems and of the schemata available to the problem solver. (SD)
Descriptors: Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Processes, Computers, Information Processing, Learning, Mathematics Education, Memory, Problem Solving, Research
Information Reference Center (ERIC/SMEAC), Center for Science and Mathematics Education, The Ohio State University, 244 Arps Hall, Columbus, Ohio 43210 ($1.25)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.; National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education, Columbus, OH.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, D.C., March 30-April 3, 1975) at the invitation of the Special Interest Group for Research on Mathematics Education