Foundations for a Psychology of Education

By Alan Lesgold; Robert Glaser | Go to book overview

education cannot go far unless the individual acquires values for the products of learning. The ways in which successful instances of learning take on value for an individual are only imperfectly understood, but there is reason to think that some of the basic processes are similar if not identical to those of classical conditioning. It is important not only to value the products of learning, but to form habits of doing the things necessary to bring learning about. The way incentives operate to influence the needed kinds of performance is understood in part by way of the theory of basic processes in trial-and-error learning and in part by recent extensions of the theory to aspects of more complex human learning.

The main reasons why learning is often difficult appear to be twofold. Firstly, learning is of little use unless the knowledge or skill acquired is retained and used in relevant situations. A substantial body of theory now offers some insight into the way retention depends on the relationships between the context in which learning occurs and the context in which the results are used or tested. Problems of retention must be solved primarily by finding ways of organizing information in memory so that it can be accessed efficiently when needed. The other principal reason for difficulty of learning lies in the fact that learning material of any complexity depends on comprehension and thus in turn on the way the learner is equipped by previous experience with the concepts basic to comprehension. The intensive research of the early 1980s has begun to provide some insight into the form in which concepts and categories come to be represented in the learner's memory system. The major problem remains of developing similar insight into the way these representations take form in the course of experience.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The preparation of this chapter was supported in part by NSF Grant BNS 80-26656.


REFERENCES

Anderson J. R. ( 1976). Language, memory, and thought. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Anderson J. R. ( 1980). Cognitive psychology and its implications. San Francisco, CA: Freeman.

Anderson J. R. ( 1981). Concepts, propositions, and schemata: What are the cognitive units? In J. H. Flowers (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation, 1980: Cognitive processes (Vol. 28, pp. 121-162). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

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Foundations for a Psychology of Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Contributors vii
  • Preface ix
  • Learning Theory 1
  • References 43
  • 2- Intellectual Development 51
  • References 78
  • 3- Motivation 87
  • References 126
  • 4- lntellectual Abilities and Aptitudes 137
  • 5- Learning Skills and the Acquisition of Knowledge 199
  • References 239
  • 6- Problem Solving and the Educational Process 251
  • References 286
  • Author Index 295
  • Subject Index 307
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