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Title: Technology for Learning: Moving from the Cognitive to the Anthropological Stance
Authors: Eisenberg, Michael
Issue Date: Jul-2012
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Citation: Eisenberg, M. (2012). Technology for Learning: Moving from the Cognitive to the Anthropological Stance. In van Aalst, J., Thompson, K., Jacobson, M. J., & Reimann, P. (Eds.), The Future of Learning: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2012) – Volume 1, Full Papers (pp. 379-386). Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Most current research in educational technology proceeds from a philosophical stance based upon cognitive science. Typical questions implied by this stance include: How do we help students develop more accurate or fruitful knowledge structures? How do we overcome misconceptions in science or mathematics? How do we train skills more efficiently, employing what we know of human memory and learning? How do we encourage the growth of metacognitive skills? While such questions are interesting, this paper argues that they are ultimately peripheral for the purposes of designing effective educational technology. Indeed, the "cognitive science stance" tends to ignore or take for granted issues that are, in fact, much more central and productive in guiding design. These are questions rooted in anthropology, not cognitive science. They include: How and why do children make friends? What features of physical settings encourage (or discourage) the development of children's interest? Why, and in what situations, do children develop intense intellectual passions and obsessions? This paper discusses the sorts of questions that designers of educational technology need to ask in order to make progress beyond the confines of cognitive science research.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2012

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