The problem of acquiring knowledge in cognitive psychology
At the heart of the cognitive activity of the subject, according to cognitivists, is the notion of internal mental structures and processes. Learning is considered in cognitive psychology as a search for rules, patterns of behavior and activity, or an optimal generalized solution to a group of problems. All this is based on the use of the information received. Cognitivists have their own terminology, they usually use "knowledge acquisition", "development of competence" instead of the term "teaching", quite common among behaviorists. The learning, so understood, is represented by cognitivists as the formation of mental models of the surrounding world, objects of their mutual relations, possible operations with them and their consequences (IO Aleksandrov, II E. Maksimova). Perfection of models raises efficiency of their application to problems and expands a circle of such problems.
The concept of cognitivists about the acquisition of knowledge (teaching) most fully illustrates the concept of J. Anderson. It describes the acquisition, representation and use of knowledge in a person. In the special literature, it is abbreviated as the ACT (adaptive control of thought ) model.
The Anderson model allows us to describe information flows in a cognitive system that includes three types of memory:
1. A working memory that contains the information necessary for the current activity.
2. Declarative memory containing propositions, i.e. proposals, statements, judgments about the world around us.
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3. Product memory.
The action of this mechanism, according to J. Anderson, is described as follows. Initially, information about the surroundings enters the working memory. It can be stored in long-term declarative memory and, if necessary, extracted from it. In contrast, products enter the working memory from the production memory and are selected according to the degree of their applicability to the solution of current problems.
The structure of knowledge is formed in two stages.
The first stage is declarative. Declarative knowledge may be suitable for oral answers, but not suitable for solving problems. But during the declarative stage a compilation of knowledge can occur. As a result, its declarative knowledge is transformed into a procedural one. Procedural knowledge is focused on the use of knowledge. In other words, "knowledge is what"; converts to knowledge-as (IO Aleksandrov, NE Maksimova).
At the heart of the compilation of knowledge is the replacement of the universal variables by the values needed to solve a particular task, called "proceduralization", or the merging of private products - their "composition". At the second stage, called procedural, knowledge is coordinated through generalization (generalization) - expansion of the field of application of products. This is done by dividing - converting the universal products into more specialized ones, or through strengthening - the elimination of insignificant contradictions in products and the replacement of constants by variables. Ultimately, this reduces the total number of products.
Declarative and procedural knowledge
J. Anderson's model, differentiating knowledge on declarative and "procedural" is associated in the representations of a number of specialists with the separation and opposition of the "arbitrary - involuntary", "conscious - unconscious", and in the traditions of the IP Pavlov school - the "first signal" - the second signal. " With this understanding, declarative memory lies at the heart of explicit forms of learning and, accordingly, explicit knowledge, accessible to awareness. Obviously, such explicit learning occurs quickly (sometimes in the form of insight). It occurs under the control of consciousness. On the contrary, the procedural memory is identified with implicit learning. It usually proceeds slowly, because it requires numerous repetitions. In addition, the speed of learning is reduced due to the need to form associations between events, fixing causal relationships between them.
Cognitivists have made an important contribution to pedagogical psychology already by describing the features of implicit learning. As a result of the research of E. R. Kandel and R. D. Hawkins, it was revealed that the results of implicit learning are difficult for reflection and the subject may not know for himself what he learned. This training takes place on an unconscious, intuitive level. Studying the role of intuition in learning, D. Berry and D. Broadbent, based on experiments and observations, came to curious conclusions. With implicit (intuitive) learning, a person is guided at once to many variables and fixes on the subconscious level the connections between them. These links are strengthened in a concrete form and are not generalized. Knowledge generated as a result of such training is non-verbal and can be used to construct a real, practical action, but it is not suitable for verbal answers.
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It was also shown that, on the contrary, in training based on analytical thinking, a person takes into account only a limited number of variables between which generalized relationships are established. The knowledge thus obtained has, as a rule, a verbal form. The latter method is usually used in educational practice, because it does not require special time and is externally effective. However, it is applicable in relatively simple situations, in the presence of many irrelevant variables, it is unacceptable.
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