with reference to a model that is widely accepted in decision-making theory. It provides students the opportunity to actively put forth creative hypotheses at each step in the decision-making process. These hypotheses are then criticized through group experimentation until students arrive jointly at a conclusion. After this, they then have yet another chance to criticize their ideas as they compare them to the printed feedback which gives them the opinions of both other students and professionals.
Cognitive process educators are discovering how students actually think. However, if they are to educate, they must know in addition how students ought to think--what constitutes good habits of thought--as well as how to develop these habits. Identifying good habits can be accomplished by studying "ideal" thought patterns. I have argued that the critical fallibilist, trial-and-error, approach is a more appropriate model of learning from experience than that of the inductivist.
After an ideal pattern of thought is identified, the cognitive process educator should use it as a guide to evaluate possible alternative approaches which might be used in education. I have tried to illustrate how this can be accomplished by focusing on Guided Design. Programs of this nature are consistent with the epistemology of critical fallibilism, and there is some evidence that they can improve students' ability to learn ( Wales, 1977, 1978).
Feyerabend, P. "Problems of Empiricism, Part II." In The Nature and Function of Scientific Theories, edited by R. Colodny, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1970.
Kuhn, T. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.
Popper, K. Conjectures and Refutations. New York: Harper and Row, 1959.
Wales, C. E. and Stager, R. A. Guided Design. University of West Virginia, 1977.
Wales, C. E. and Stager, R. A. The Guided Design Approach. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications, 1978.