Chapter 7

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Ed Psych & Couns (Psychology)
EDPE 300
Camelia Birlean

7: KNOWLEDGE CONSTRUCTION AND HIGHER-LEVEL THINKING Constructive Processes in Learning and Memory sometimes retrieve parts of information but not all & construct the rest of our memory by combining tidbits of knowledge/assumptions reconstruction error: constructing a logical but incorrect memory by using information retrieved from long-term memory plus ones general knowledge and beliefs about the world individual constructivism: a theoretical perspective that focuses on how people, as individuals, construct meaning from the events around them o memory storage processes (organization, elaboration, visual imagery) & Piagets theory & explanations of language development Knowledge Construction as a Social Process social constructivism: a theoretical perspective that emphasizes that an individuals meaning- making (or learning in general) is mediated by adults or more knowledgeable peers, even though it is ultimately constructed by the individual learner inquiry-based instruction: teaching based on social-constructivist principles, in which students learn tasks as well as answer questions, and especially characterized by learning based on student interests and role exchanges between teachers and learners Benefits of Group Meaning-Making in the Classroom students clarify & organize their ideas well enough to verbalize them to others students have opportunities to elaborate on what they have learned students are exposed to the views of others students discover flaws & inconsistencies in their own thinking students discover how people from different cultural & ethnic backgrounds may interpret the world in different yet valid ways distributed cognition: a process whereby people think about an issue or problem together, sharing ideas and working collaboratively to draw conclusions or develop solutions Organizing Knowledge concept: a mental grouping of objects or events that have something in common o undergeneralization: an overly restricted meaning for a word that excludes some situations to which the word does apply; an overly narrow view of what objects or events a concept includes o overgeneralization: an overly broad meaning for a word that includes some situations where the word is not appropriate; an overly broad view of what objects or events a concept includes positive instance: a specific example of a concept negative instance: a non-example of a concept schema: in contemporary cognitive psychology, an organized body of knowledge about a specific topic o some same information in long term memory organized in schemas o influence how we interpret new situations o script: a schema that involves a predictable sequence of events related to a common activity o personal theories: a self-constructed explanation for ones observations about a particular aspect of the world; it may or may not be consistent with generally accepted explanations of scientific phenomena o misconception: previously learned but incorrect information When Knowledge Construction Goes Awry: Origins and Effects of Misconceptions children tend to have misconceptions about the world and how it works elementary grades = assumption living creates & nonliving natural objects exist for a particular purpose misconceptions have variety of sources o result from how things appear to be o encouraged by common expressions in language o infer incorrect cause-effect relationships o fairy tales & cartoon shows o own well-intended efforts to make sense of what they see meaningful learning & elaboration mean students may spend a lot of time learning the wrong thing Promoting Effective Knowledge Construction providing opportunities for experimentation o let kids work hands on to discover characteristics & principles o may not be effective to teach clearly delineated, step by step procedures presenting the ideas of others o knowledge is socially constructed o students more likely to construct productive view when they experience the world firsthand emphasized conceptual understanding o conceptual understanding: knowledge acquired in an integrated and meaningful fashion o organize units around few core ideas/themes o explore each topic in depth o explain how new ideas related to students own experiences & past learning o show students conceptual understanding more important that knowledge of isolated facts o ask students to teach what theyve learned to others using authentic activities o authentic activity: a classroom activity similar to one students are likely to encounter in the outside world o these activities require scaffolding o students discover reasons why they are learning the material & will actually use the information & skills later on promoting dialogue o help students gain a conceptual understanding of material o help teachers identify & address misconceptions creating a community of learners o community of learners: a classroom in which teacher and students actively and collaboratively work to help one another learn o online discussions, group work, etc. Promoting Conceptual Change students stubbornly hold their misconceptions even after instruction contradicting the misconceptions due to: o learners likely to interpret new information in ways consistent with what they already know o learners look for information that confirms their existing beliefs & ignore others o existing beliefs consistent with everyday experiences so hard to relate to abstract informati
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