Interaction of Media, Cognition, and Learning

Interaction of Media, Cognition, and Learning

Interaction of Media, Cognition, and Learning

Interaction of Media, Cognition, and Learning

Synopsis

The educational use of television, film, and related media has increased significantly in recent years, but our fundamental understanding of how media communicate information and which instructional purposes they best serve has grown very little. In this book, the author advances an empirically based theory relating media's most basic mode of presentation -- their symbol systems -- to common thought processes and to learning. Drawing on research in semiotics, cognition and cognitive development, psycholinguistics, and mass communication, the author offers a number of propositions concerning the particular kinds of mental processes required by, and the specific mental skills enhanced by, different symbol systems. He then describes a series of controlled experiments and field and cross-cultural studies designed to test these propositions. Based primarily on the symbol system elements of television and film, these studies illustrate under what circumstances and with what types of learners certain kinds of learning and mental skill development occur. These findings are incorporated into a general scheme of reciprocal interactions among symbol systems, learners' cognitions, and their mental activities; and the implications of these relationships for the design and use of instructional materials are explored.

Excerpt

Gavriel Salomon first produced this book through a decade of dedicated intellectual work. It provided a theoretical language -- a system of concepts -- for the study of a field of problems that had long been without an adequate conceptual base. Its citation record since first publication shows clearly that his toil was not in vain -- the book has been accepted as providing a new base for research.

Much of cognitive psychology's focus in this century, and that of many related sciences as well, has been concentrated on the power of verbal processes. Verbal learning and verbal behavior in a print-based society has seemed to dominate our conception of human intellect. But verbal language evolved from earlier forms; from pictures, through pictographic denotation, and ideographic symbols, to polysyllabic construction and discourse. Its evolution took different forms at different rates in . . .

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