Module Overview top

We began CEP 800 with the assumption that learning is an active, socially-mediated construction of knowledge in school, home, community, and work settings.

After completing Module 3 and reviewing several theories of learning, I hope it is clear that the above assumption is relatively new. Specifically, it is only during the past 30 years or so that scientists have begun to integrate Watson and Pavlov (behaviorism, reinforcement), Piaget (active learning as adaptation), Vygotsky (social construction), and most recently, cognitive perspectives on situated learning. This integration informs the assumptions that learning involves an (a) active, (b)socially-mediated, (c) construction of knowledge.

As suggested earlier, two important ideas follow from this assumption.

  • First, it follows that what is learned, how something is taught, and what learners bring to the setting interact dynamically to result in a “relatively permanent change in behavior.”
  • Second, a change in any one of these variables – e.g., changing what learners bring to a setting or changing how something is taught – will be associated with changes in what is learned.

The goal of Module 4 is to think more deeply about this second assumption, namely that
(a) changing what learners bring to a setting, or (b) changing how something is taught will be associated with changes in what is learned.

Assignments top

The following reading assignment provides two example of researchers’ efforts to integrate the various theories of learning presented in Module 3. Both models (i.e., “cognitive apprenticeship” and “overlapping waves theory”) may also serve as launch-points for your Module 4 project using digital storytelling.

  • Collins, Brown, & Holum, 1991 –> here
  • Siegler, 2000 –> here

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