ERIC Number: ED425738
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Computer Microworlds in Education: Catching Up with Danny Dunn.
Hogle, Jan G.
This paper describes the characteristics of microworlds and discusses the basis of their use as educational tools. The power of a microworld as a learning tool is based in the philosophy of constructivism, the Piagetian principle of equilibrium, mental models, and intrinsic motivation. Research results of educational microworld studies appear to be divided into two major areas: research oriented and learner oriented. Research oriented studies employ computer microworlds as new tools to develop hypotheses, to predict performance, and to examine strategies and problem-solving. Learner oriented studies emphasize the learners' understanding of conceptual models and their use of debugging to correct errors and reconstruct their own mental models of how the real world functions. The paper defines a Microworld, its use as a learning tool, and two categories of research: research designed for the benefit of the researcher, and that which is oriented towards the learner. Microworld research indicates that although researchers disagree somewhat on definitions, boundaries, and criteria, there seems to be a consensus that well-designed microworlds provide the potential for engaging and rewarding learning. The paper discusses research-oriented studies; learner-oriented studies; general concepts and problem-solving; the procedural programming language, LOGO; and integrated concepts. (Contains 14 references.) (Author/AEF)
Descriptors: Constructivism (Learning), Educational Philosophy, Educational Research, Educational Theories, Instructional Materials, Learner Controlled Instruction, Learning Processes, Models, Piagetian Theory, Problem Solving, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A