The Computer as a Tool for Learning Through Reflection
A unique aspect of computers is that they not only represent process but also naturally keep track of the actions used to carry out a given task, so that the process with its trace can become an object of study in its own right. One effect of this can be seen vividly in the sciences, where computers and computational languages have improved our ability to develop and test process theories of complex natural phenomena. Before powerful computers became readily available as scientific tools, process models were expressed in mathematical languages, such as differential equations— languages primarily effective in capturing a static “snapshot” of a process. Computation provided formal languages that are more flexible than mathematics but just as precise. In part because computation is itself dynamic, it provides an ideal medium for representing and testing richer, more varied, and more detailed theories of process. The use of this medium for process modeling has radically changed the nature of many current theories in both the physical and social sciences. Particularly in the arena of the cognitive sciences, computational techniques have proved to be powerful tools for both experimental and theoretical investigations of the mind.
KeywordsProblem Space Solution Path Metacognitive Strategy Audit Trail North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Anderson, J. R., Boyle, C. F., Farrell, R., & Reiser, B. J. (1984). Cognitive principles in the design of computer tutors. In Proceedings of the sixth annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2–19). Boulder: University of Colorado.Google Scholar
- Bereiter, C., & Scardamalia, M. (1985). Cognitive coping stategies and the problem of “inert knowledge”. In S. F. Chipman, J. W. Segal, & R. Glaser (Eds.), Thinking and learning skills (Vol. 2). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.Google Scholar
- Brown, A. L. (1978). Knowing when, where, and how to remember: A problem of metacognition. In R. Glaser (Ed.), Advances in instructional psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 77–165). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.Google Scholar
- Bundy, A. (1983). The computer modeling of mathematical reasoning. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Collins, A. (1986). Teaching reading and writing with personal computers. In J. Orasanu (Ed.), A decade of reading research: Implications for practice (pp. 171–187). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.Google Scholar
- Collins, A., & Smith, E. E. (1982). Teaching the process of reading comprehension. In D. K. Detterman & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), How much and how can intelligence be increased? (pp. 173–185). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Google Scholar
- Flower, L. S., & Hayes, J. R. (1980). The dynamics of composing: Making plans and juggling constraints. In L. W. Gregg & E. R. Steinberg (Eds.), Cognitive processes in writing (pp. 31–50). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.Google Scholar
- Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar