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On Collaboration in Learning

For several decades, cognitive scientists and anthropologists have been studying two opposing hypotheses to explain of the anatomical and behavioral differences between the brains of humans and the brains of other primates. According the social brain hypothesis, social factors are the primary force driving the development of the human brain; according to the ecological brain Read More

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On Design in Education

On occasion, one finds a piece of writing that brings captures and consolidates their thinking about important ideas. This post shares such a discovery for me. The concept of design has captured my attention in recent years. Specifically, I have come to understand that planning is an inadequate approach finding solutions—effective solutions—to most problem we Read More

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On Perceptual Learning

As learners become more skilled at observation, they become more capable of perceiving and interpreting important aspects of situations. When presented with a new situation, strong perceptual learners are able to understand it by attending to important and relevant elements. Those who have more deeply developed perceptual learning will be able to identify relevant patterns Read More

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The Realities of Teaching

It is assumed the instructional methods are known to result in the intended lessons being learned. We have all seen many teachers act with authority in the front of a classroom (or a clinic or a laboratory or shop or another place where school happens) and tell students what and how to learn the curriculum. Read More

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A Brief Post on Standards

In manufacturing, the expected performance of the product is well-defined; we know how to measure performance and our methods can usually be tested. We build prototype systems, compare the outcomes with the standards, then discard those systems that don’t work. The prototyping and testing can be done in highly-controlled circumstances as well. Further, manufacturers who Read More

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On Teaching for Learning

Learning scientists have identified several strategies whereby individuals can improve their memories, however. While these can be used effectively when adopting a content-only approach to teaching, they can also be incorporated in other ways. For example, faculty can recommend students use these outside of class in homework situations and design activities that facilitate these; this Read More

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On Observation as Learning

One of the most commonly used methods of learning in informal settings is observational learning. Learners watch those who are experienced do and listen to those describe what they want to learn, then they repeat and practice what they observed. Beyond trial-and-error, observational learning is a highly guided method of learning, and learners assume greater Read More