Epistemology, situated cognition, and mental models: 'Like a bridge over troubled water'

Seel, Norbert M.
July 2001
Instructional Science;Jul-Sep2001, Vol. 29 Issue 4/5, p403
Academic Journal
Over the past two decades important educational implications have been drawn mainly from two movements of epistemology: Constructivism and situated cognition. Aside from a meta-theoretical use of constructivism, the concept 'situated cognition' refers to a conception of situational context bound to a historically and socially determined situational logic. Focusing on educational processes, situated cognition is considered to be a central construct for instruction, as is the closely related concept of the construction of mental models. There are various kinds of the construction and change of mental models in a situational context: self-guided inductive construction is one example; another is the processing of a conceptual model provided to the learner. An emerging question is how the preconception changes and if the effects of such a model transition are stable. An exploratory study will be sketched which investigates the significance of a conceptual model provided at the beginning of the learning process; it has been hypothesized, that such a conceptual model significantly impacts the stability (i.e. the successful reconstruction) of mental models built in the course of learning. Also considerable intraindividual differences and changes between two points of assessing the learners' causal explanations were found. Similarities of the individuals' reconstructions could be explained with regard to similarities of the structures of the learning situations and the related instructional intervention. In general, the results of this exploratory study support the assumption that mental models are constructed in dependence on the demands of learning situations.


Related Articles

  • APRENDIZAJE DE MATEMATICA BAJO UN MODELO CONSTRUCTIVISTA. Chávez Vera, Kerwin José // Revista Internacional PEI;ene-feb2013, Vol. 2 Issue 4, p117 

    In the search of realizing improvements of a constant way in the educational practice in the mathematical subject, the investigator uses the methodology of the investigation action as approach to achieve by means of a critical and reflexive process changes that allow a better performance of his...

  • Perspectives Constructivism: Implications for postsecondary Music Education and Beyond. Morford, James B. // Journal of Music Teacher Education;Spring2007, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p75 

    The article discusses some fundamental aspects of the constructivists theory. It also explores the implications of constructivism for educational design to illuminate existing and proposed application in postsecondary education. Constructivism is defined as a theory of knowledge and learning...

  • Engineering Design in Scientific Cognition. Rozov, M. A. // Journal of Russian & East European Psychology;Nov/Dec2010, Vol. 48 Issue 6, p45 

    An attempt is made in the article to reveal the relationship between classic positions of the theory of knowledge-"knowledge that" and "knowledge how." Engineering design aims at the "artificial" creation of something new that does not exist in nature. Design represents the "knowledge how" type...

  • Constructivist pedagogy in strategic reading instruction: exploring pathways to learner development in the English as a second language (ESL) classroom. Zhang, Lawrence // Instructional Science;Mar2008, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p89 

    The study explored English as a Second Language (ESL) learner development. In particular, it focused on investigating learners� understanding of reading and their willingness to be engaged in strategic reading in participatory classroom activities. It also examined possible effects of such...

  • New Learning Environments and Constructivism: The Students� Perspective. Gijbels, David; Watering, Gerard; Dochy, Filip; Bossche, Piet // Instructional Science;May2006, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p213 

    Research into students� perceptions of their learning environments reveals the impact of these perceptions on the way students cope with these learning environments. Consequently, students� perceptions affect the results of their learning. This study aims to investigate whether...

  • Assessing Pre Service Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge Using A 'Bricolage' Approach. Rahman, Fadzilah Abd; Scaife, Jon A. // International Journal of Learning;2005/2006, Vol. 12 Issue 10, p81 

    Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is increasingly recognized as an essential component in understanding ‘quality teaching’ and in assessing the teaching of pre-qualified teachers. Shulman (1986a, 1987) suggests that in order to teach a subject, one needs breadth and depth of PCK;...

  • Towards a Delightful Critique of Pure Reason. Theo Hug // Constructivist Foundations;Jul/2015, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p414 

    The author comments on the article "Amusement, Delight, and Whimsy" by Edith K. Ackermann related to the rational aspects of knowing in constructivism. He mentions the use of humor and various ways of making sense in constructivist discourse and epistemological status of oblique forms of...

  • The Wishful Thinking Problem for Non-cognitivism: Does It Really Make Sense? CHENGYING GUAN // Kriterion;2014, Issue 28, p30 

    This paper concerns the Wishful Thinking Problem for non-cognitivism, which has recently been raised by Cian Dorr. Contrary to Dorr's claim that the Wishful Thinking Problem is a new crucial objection to non-cognitivism in addition to the well-known Frege-Geach Problem, I argue that recent...

  • 4/29 - The Role and Power of Mental Models. Dallosto, Mino // Integral Leadership Review;Apr-Jul2014, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p92 

    The article offers the author's insights on the power and role of mental models (MM) for learning organizations. It mentions the elements of mental models including interprets, disguises, and determines and the four distinct types of MM which includes identity, individual, and collective. He...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics