ERIC Number: ED308213
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Role of an Educational Learning Theory: Explaining Difficult Learning.
The possibility of developing a learning theory that is designed to insure its relevance to educational problems is discussed. It is suggested that the constitutive problem for an educational psychology of learning is how one learns things that are difficult to learn. Behaviorist learning theories fail almost entirely to explain why anything is harder to learn than anything else. Questions concerning the means by which learners learn to solve difficult problems restate at a higher level the same issue that all cognitive learning theorists must contend with--the means by which one can design a learning system that works without the need for an executive that is already knowledgeable. Problem solving seems to approach a satisfactory means of modeling this learning process. Findings pertinent to this model, however, are quite preliminary and based mostly on case studies. Thinking-aloud protocols show that learners use four kinds of knowledge: (1) knowledge about knowledge; (2) domain-specific knowledge; (3) analogy to more familiar domains; and (4) expectations about the level of promise that a particular path of inquiry might provide. It is concluded that problem solving links cognitive psychology to learning theory. (TJH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).