Of all topics within the psychology of education, learning is one of the most crucial. Yet in terms of practical texts likely to be of use to teachers, it is one of the most neglected. This book is a short, down-to-earth account of learning by children of the kinds of knowledge and skills they acquire at school. Though it does not aim to show teachers how to teach, it gives a highly practical account of learning, remembering and related processes. (...) Some recent developments in mainstream psychology promise to be of enormous potential benefit for classroom work: increasing attention is given to the ways in which people use their knowledge and skills to acquire new information. Psychologists have come to grips with practical questions about the determinants of effective remembering and we are now much better informed about what children need to do in order to learn. This book is the first to present this material in a form suitable for those training and working as teachers. (shrink)
Understanding causal structure is a central task of human cognition. Causal learning underpins the development of our concepts and categories, our intuitive theories, and our capacities for planning, imagination and inference. During the last few years, there has been an interdisciplinary revolution in our understanding of learning and reasoning: Researchers in philosophy, psychology, and computation have discovered new mechanisms for learning the causal structure of the world. This new work provides a rigorous, formal basis for theory theories of concepts (...) and cognitive development, and moreover, the causal learning mechanisms it has uncovered go dramatically beyond the traditional mechanisms of both nativist theories, such as modularity theories, and empiricist ones, such as association or connectionism. (shrink)
Studies on learning have tended to endorse the importance of knowledge rather than the significance of the cultural contexts embedded in the different histories and biographies of learners. In order to investigate the relationship between these contexts and students' conceptions of learning, this study focuses on South African distance students' accounts of their personal experience and understanding of learning, using Giorgi's phenomenological psychology method to explore the learners' histories and aspirations as they construct and negotiate the meaning they attach (...) to learning. The findings indicate that the social environment, the culture, the political milieu and economic conditions are the most important determinants of conceptions of learning, with all these multiple contexts interacting to influence students' beliefs about learning, which in turn affect their approach to learning and hence their learning outcomes. It is thus argued that, in order to facilitate distance learning, the lifeworld of the learner needs to be both understood and brought to bear on the educational process. (shrink)
This report outlines the findings from a Delphi study designed to establish consensus on the definitions of cognitive style and learning style amongst an international style researcher community. The study yields long-needed definitions for each construct that reflect high levels of agreement. In a field that has been criticised for a bewildering array of definitions and a proliferation of terms and concepts, this study represents an important step to address confusion in the meaning of the two terms. New researchers interested (...) in styles are encouraged to draw on these definitions when developing new research agendas aimed at deepening our understanding of style as a core construct in educational psychology. (shrink)
Critical consideration is given the empirical evidence for psychological models of religious development, its supposed relationship to other domains of psychological development, and especially, moral development. Significant problems with stage conceptions in these models augur a fundamental rethinking of religious development as a construct in developmental psychology. Model of Hierarchical Complexity has demonstrable promise for enabling greater precision in constructs and methods. This may resolve some central problems and advance research in the field.
Using four examples of models and computer simulations from the history of psychology, I discuss some of the methodological aspects involved in their construction and use, and I illustrate how the existence of a model can demonstrate the viability of a hypothesis that had previously been deemed impossible on a priori grounds. This shows a new way in which scientists can learn from models that extends the analysis of Morgan (1999), who has identified the construction and manipulation of models (...) as those phases in which learning from models takes place. (shrink)
The result is a one-dimensional, economistic and bleakly utilitarian conception of the educational task.In Mindfulness and Learning: Celebrating the Affective Dimension of Education, Terry Hyland advances the thesis that education stands in ...
Through a collection of contributions from an international team of empirical researchers and philosophers, _New Philosophies of Learning_ signals the need for a sharper critical awareness of the possibilities and problems that the recent spate of innovative learning techniques presents. Explores some of the many contemporary innovations in approaches to learning, including neuroscience and the focus on learners’ well-being and happiness Debates the controversial approaches to categorising learners such as dyslexia Raises doubts about the preoccupation with quasi-mathematical scrutiny and the (...) neglect of ethical reflection about education Discusses the possible grounds for concern, without exaggerating their similarities or offering sweeping judgements Includes contributions from empirical researchers and philosophers, including Usha Goswami, Howard Gardner, Julian Elliott, David Bakhurst, John White and Christopher Winch. (shrink)
On the centennial of the death of William James (1842-1910), I approached faculty members at eighteen major theological centers of learning requesting them to identify the twelve most important books in the field of the psychology of religion written between James' 1902 classic The Varieties of Religious Experience up to Peter Homan's 1970 Theology After Freud. The request was for each faculty member (by agreement to remain anonymous) to identify the twelve books during that time period (1902-1970) which, in (...) their opinion, constituted major contributions to the development of the discipline of psychology of religion. By mutual agreement, James was credited with being the purported founder of the psychology of religion and Homans the quintessential culmination of the discipline's respectability. Though obviously subjective, the survey did register a consensus of scholars teaching in the field and what follows is a critical assessment of the merits of those books which they selected. (shrink)
We propose that the crucial difference between human cognition and that of other species is the ability to participate with others in collaborative activities with shared goals and intentions: shared intentionality. Participation in such activities requires not only especially powerful forms of intention reading and cultural learning, but also a unique motivation to share psychological states with others and unique forms of cognitive representation for doing so. The result of participating in these activities is species-unique forms of cultural cognition and (...) evolution, enabling everything from the creation and use of linguistic symbols to the construction of social norms and individual beliefs to the establishment of social institutions. In support of this proposal we argue and present evidence that great apes understand the basics of intentional action, but they still do not participate in activities involving joint intentions and attention. Human children's skills of shared intentionality develop gradually during the first 14 months of life as two ontogenetic pathways intertwine: the general ape line of understanding others as animate, goal-directed, and intentional agents; and a species-unique motivation to share emotions, experience, and activities with other persons. The developmental outcome is children's ability to construct dialogic cognitive representations, which enable them to participate in earnest in the collectivity that is human cognition. Key Words: collaboration; cooperation; cultural learning; culture; evolutionary psychology; intentions; shared intentionality; social cognition; social learning; theory of mind; joint attention. (shrink)
The thesis of this bk is that the brain is innately constructed to initiate behaviors likely to promote the survival of the species & to sensitize sensory systems to stimuli required for those behaviors. Intended for behavioral & brain scientists.