I'd like to second this recommendation. I've been to visit Schank's group
and have been quite impressed with the quality of this work.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: purves at THUBAN.AC.HMC.EDU [SMTP:purves at THUBAN.AC.HMC.EDU]
> Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2000 7:49 PM
> To: plant-ed at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk> Subject: LEARNING - a great source book
>> Sorry to be consuming so much bandwidth this week, but here
> is yet one more topic I want to address: How people learn,
> and how we can help them learn. I want to recommend a book.
>> For the last 17 years, I have been associated on and off
> with Roger C. Schank. He's one of the founding figures of
> the disciplines of artificial intelligence and cognitive
> science. For the last decade he's been director of the
> Institute for the Learning Sciences at Northwestern
> University, where he is professor several things. He
> is also president of a company called Cognitive Arts.
> He's extremely bright and articulate, and he's written a
> string of interesting books. His ideas have been
> the strongest influences on my teaching.
>> I recommend the following book to ALL participants in
> plant-ed. Its focus is on how machines and people learn,
> and why schooling as we know it doesn't teach people
> effectively. It's very engagingly written.
>> Schank, Roger C. 1999: Dynamic Memory Revisited.
> Cambridge University Press.
> paperback ISBN 0 521 63398 2
> hardback ISBN 0 521 63302 8
>> Not to be confused with its predecessor, Dynamic Memory,
> published in 1983.
>> Let me quote at some length from the preface to the
> 1999 book:
>> "In the first _Dynamic Memory_ the main points were
> that learning depends upon expectation failure and the
> attempt to explain that failure, and that remindings
> that come from our store of memories are instrumental
> in helping us create explanations and are therefore
> critical to learning. We process new experience in
> terms of prior experience, and our memories change as
> a result. To translate this into a teaching environment,
> we must set up situations in which students can have
> their expectations fail and can either be reminded or
> be instructed about how not to fail next time. To
> put it another way, learning takes place if, while one
> is attempting to do something, something else inhibits
> the doing and causes one to wonder why what one thought
> would work, didn't.
>> ... <turning to material since the earlier book> ...
>> "The key idea here is doing. John Dewey and others have
> noticed that most learning occurs in the context of doing.
> While I was considering how computers might learn, I came
> face-to-face with the realization that computers weren't
> doing much of anything. ...
> ... For that matter, although children learn by doing all
> the time in their daily lives, they hardly do it in school
> at all. ...
> ... Thus, both for computers and for people, environments
> would need to be created that allowed them to do something
> they wanted to do and allowed learning to take place in the
> context of that doing."
>> Do seek it out--you won't be sorry.
>>> William K. Purves Vice President/Editorial Director
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