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Understanding authentic learning : a quasi-experimental test of learning paradigms

Authors
Publisher
McGill University
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Learning.
  • Problem Solving.
Disciplines
  • Psychology

Abstract

This thesis is about "authentic learning": learning from life-like contexts. The construct derived from the social situated approach (Lave & Wenger, 1991), has surprisingly no counterpart in cognitive psychology. The first objective of this thesis is to develop a cognitive formulation of authentic learning from classical cognitive works and recent neuroscience studies findings. The characteristically cognitive feature posited is "n-coding", the encoding of multimodal input (verbal, visual, kinesthetic, social...). To test quasi-experimentally the effectiveness of this cognitive definition, a review of the instructional literature identified Collaborative Group Problem Solving (Heller et al., 1992) as an appropriate candidate for authentic instruction in physics.

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