ERIC Number: EJ1040087
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
What Can Be Learned from a Laboratory Model of Conceptual Change? Descriptive Findings and Methodological Issues
Ohlsson, Stellan; Cosejo, David G.
Science & Education, v23 n7 p1485-1504 Jul 2014
The problem of how people process novel and unexpected information--"deep learning" (Ohlsson in "Deep learning: how the mind overrides experience." Cambridge University Press, New York, 2011)--is central to several fields of research, including creativity, belief revision, and conceptual change. Researchers have not converged on a single theory for conceptual change, nor has any one theory been decisively falsified. One contributing reason is the difficulty of collecting informative data in this field. We propose that the commonly used methodologies of historical analysis, classroom interventions, and developmental studies, although indispensible, can be supplemented with studies of laboratory models of conceptual change. We introduce "re-categorization," an experimental paradigm in which learners transition from one definition of a categorical concept to another, incompatible definition of the same concept, a simple form of conceptual change. We describe a re-categorization experiment, report some descriptive findings pertaining to the effects of category complexity, the temporal unfolding of learning, and the nature of the learner's final knowledge state. We end with a brief discussion of ways in which the re-categorization model can be improved.
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Scientific Concepts, Change Strategies, Concept Formation, Research Methodology, Science Laboratories, Models, Classification, Experiments
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A