How the construction of mental models improves learning

Mind and Society 6 (1):67-89 (2007)
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In this paper, I present a framework where possible relations between learning and mental models are explored. In particular, I’ll be concerned with non-symbolic gestures accompanying discourse and their role in inducing the construction of models and therefore deep comprehension and learning in the listener. Also, I’ll be concerned with cognitive and socio-cognitive conflicts and their roles in inducing construction of alternative models of a problem and therefore in learning to reason. Human ability to learn is of great importance for individuals interested in change. Indeed, to learn both declarative and procedural knowledge means to change, and in order to be able to intervene on change in a desired way it is necessary to have a theory of the mental representations and processes involved in learning and a theory of the communication and contexts that favour learning



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