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ERIC Number: ED347214
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Portents of Revolution: the Cognitive Sciences and Workplace Literacy. NCEE Occasional Paper No. 8.
Berryman, Sue E.
Cognitive science research indicates that learning through apprenticeship may be more effective than traditional schooling. The following critical mistakes in traditional schooling are outlined: (1) skills are taught in progressively more difficult steps, neglecting to engage higher-order thinking abilities; (2) a skill is broken down into separately practiced subskills, which seldom produces competence in the skill itself; (3) skills are taught in isolation, providing little experience in how they are used in combination; (4) knowledge, skills, and their application are separated, preventing true understanding; and (5) knowledge and skills are taught in a classroom setting unlike settings at work or in real life, impeding the transfer of learning. The following contrasts between in-school and out-of-school mental activity are outlined: (1) school emphasizes individual work while out-of-school situations require group problem-solving; (2) school emphasizes pure mentation while out-of-school situations emphasize the use of tools; (3) school emphasizes symbol manipulation while out-of-school situations emphasize things and events; and (4) school emphasizes generalized learning while out-of-school situations emphasize situation-specific competencies. Successful apprenticeship programs share the following characteristics: (1) focus on the conditions of application of the knowledge and skills being learned; (2) weave together specific declarative and procedural knowledge with the development of general basic skills and problem-solving strategies; (3) take into account the learner's original ideas, stage discrepant or confirming experiences to stimulate questions, and encourage the generation of a range of responses with the opportunity to apply these in various situations; and (4) emphasize learning in context. (FMW)
Descriptors: Apprenticeships, Cognitive Processes, Education Work Relationship, Educational Environment, Educational Improvement, Psychological Studies, Relevance (Education), Secondary Education, Skill Development, Thinking Skills
National Center on Education and Employment, Box 174, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Education and Employment, New York, NY.
Note: Paper presented at the National Workplace Literacy Conference (Rochester, NY, November 6-8, 1989).