Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Bottom-Up Learning and Top-Down Learning

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_387

Synonyms

Definition

Bottom-up learning refers to learning implicit knowledge first and then learning explicit knowledge on that basis (i.e., through “extracting” implicit knowledge).

Top-down learning refers to learning explicit knowledge first and then learning implicit knowledge on that basis (i.e., assimilating explicit knowledge into an implicit form).

Theoretical Background

The idea of two systems in the human mind (implicit and explicit) that are rather separate for representing or learning different types of knowledge or skills can be traced back to early work in psychology, for example, on classical and instrumental conditioning (without subjective conscious awareness) and so on.

In particular, Arthur Reber demonstrated very early on (in the 1970s and 1980s) that subjects could memorize letter strings that followed...

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References

  1. Sallas, B., Mathews, R., Lane, S., & Sun, R. (2007). Developing rich and quickly accessed knowledge of an artificial grammar. Memory and Cognition, 35(8), 2118–2133.Google Scholar
  2. Stanley, W., Mathews, R., Buss, R., & Kotler-Cope, S. (1989). Insight without awareness: On the interaction of verbalization, instruction and practice in a simulated process control task. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1215(41A), 553–577.Google Scholar
  3. Sun, R. (2002). Duality of the mind. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  4. Sun, R., Merrill, E., & Peterson, T. (2001). From implicit skills to explicit knowledge: A bottom-up model of skill learning. Cognitive Science, 25(2), 203–244.Google Scholar
  5. Sun, R., Slusarz, P., & Terry, C. (2005). The interaction of the explicit and the implicit in skill learning: A dual-process approach. Psychological Review, 112(1), 159–192.Google Scholar
  6. Sun, R., Mathews, R., & Lane, S. (2007). Implicit and explicit processes in the development of cognitive skills: A theoretical interpretation with some practical implications for science education. In E. Vargios (Ed.), Educational psychology research focus (pp. 1–26). Hauppauge: Nova.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cognitive Science DepartmentRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA