ERIC Number: ED389947
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Jan-10
Learning Concepts and Developing Intellectual Skills in Technical and Vocational Education.
Johnson, Scott D.
Instruction should be designed to incorporate learning theories that explain how intellectual skills are developed. Through these appropriate learning theories, students learn to think conceptually, critically, and creatively when analyzing situations, developing solutions to problems, and learning from their experiences. Several critical issues confronting education also need to be examined, including problems with specialized courses designed to teach thinking skills, concerns about the failures of learning transfer, and doubts about the ability of formal education to teach what is needed in the world of work. This analysis supports the incorporation of characteristics of informal learning into formal educational settings to develop intellectual skills. Four elements of informal learning are critical for enhancing conceptual learning and developing intellectual skills: contextual learning, peer-based learning, activity-based practice, and reflective practice. They relate to the learning environment, the social aspect of learning, the learning task, and the learner. Instruction could be developed for each of these elements independently, although combining them would result in a more powerful learning environment. The educational power of informal learning environments is enhanced when knowledgeable and caring instructors incorporate modeling, coaching, and scaffolding needed by the students as well as cognitive learning principles. (Contains 62 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Jerusalem International Science and Technology Education Conference (2nd, Jerusalem, Israel, January 10, 1996).