Learning, Creating, and Using Knowledge: Concept Maps as Facilitative Tools in Schools and Corporations

By Joseph D. Novak | Go to book overview

8
The Context for Education/ Management

THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTEXT

Education is an event that always occurs in a specific context. The context includes emotional, organizational, physical, and cultural characteristics, and each of these include other factors. One of the reasons education is too often ineffective or even destructive results from a limiting context. Some of the complexity of the context for education is shown in Fig. 8.1.

As with all other concepts in my theory of education, each of the concepts shown in Fig. 8.1 interrelate with all the others, some in more significant ways than others. For example, the audio-tutorial lessons we developed for elementary school science lessons, described in the previous chapters, created a special context (an equipped carrel unit) in a traditional classroom in a traditional elementary school in a representative New York State school system. Our primary motivation for developing these lessons was to exercise careful control over the knowledge presented, but important secondary goals were to utilize a wide range of hands-on materials, apparatus, and visual aids to allow some learner control over the pace of instruction and to use examples that were emotionally neutral or positive for students, and also culturally sensitive. Certainly we fell short of the ideal, but the significant, enduring, positive effects on students' achievement indicated that we had a measure of success exceeding that of typical elementary school science learning. An anecdotal comment made by one of our cooperating teachers was, "About the only time George really seems to pay attention in class is the 15 to 20 minutes a week he spends in the science carrel." Our evaluation interviews indicated that George was indeed engaged in learning in the carrel because his performance exceeded that of most of his peers. Kahle and her colleagues ( Kahle, 1976) found that the most striking

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Learning, Creating, and Using Knowledge: Concept Maps as Facilitative Tools in Schools and Corporations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • List of Tables xv
  • Preface xvii
  • Acknowledgments xviii
  • 1 - An Overview of the Book 1
  • 2 - The Need for a Theory of Education 8
  • 3 - Meaningful Learning for Empowerment 19
  • 4 - The Construction of New Meanings 35
  • 5 - Ausubel's* Assimilation Learning Theory 49
  • 6 - The Nature of Knowledge and How Humans Create Knowledge 79
  • 7 - The Effective Teacher/Manager 112
  • 8 - The Context for Education/ Management 153
  • 9 - Evaluation and Rewards 180
  • 10 - Improving Education in Schools and Corporations 202
  • Appendix I: How To Build a Concept Map 227
  • Appendix II: Procedures for Teaching VEE Diagramming 229
  • References 231
  • Author Index 240
  • Subject Index 244
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