The Dunning-Krueger Effect is a cognitive bias that provides people with limited competence the illusion that they are better than they actually are; in other words, people naturally overestimate their own lack of ability (one is blind to their own foolishness) in “Mount Stupid.” Originators: Social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger (1999) Summary: A […]
Confirmation Bias (Wason)
Summary: Confirmation bias is a cognitive error that people make when they are only willing to accept new information when it confirms what they already believe (i.e., aligns with their existing beliefs and values). People who fall into the trap of confirmation bias tend to purposefully seek out evidence that supports already solidified beliefs and […]
Situated Learning Theory (Lave)
Summary: Situated Learning Theory posits that learning is unintentional and situated within authentic activity, context, and culture.
Originator: Jean Lave
Key Terms: Legitimate Peripheral Participation (LPP), Cognitive Apprenticeship
Situated Learning Theory (Lave)
In contrast with most classroom learning activities that involve abstract knowledge which is and out of context, Lave argues that learning is situated; that is, as it normally occurs, learning is embedded within activity, context and culture. It is also usually unintentional rather than deliberate. Lave and Wenger (1991) call this a process of “legitimate peripheral participation.”
Knowledge needs to be presented in authentic contexts — settings and situations that would normally involve that knowledge. Social interaction and collaboration are essential components of situated learning — learners become involved in a “community of practice” which embodies certain beliefs and behaviors to be acquired. As the beginner or novice moves from the periphery of a community to its center, he or she becomes more active and engaged within the culture and eventually assumes the role of an expert.
Other researchers have further developed Situated Learning theory. Brown, Collins & Duguid (1989) emphasize the idea of cognitive apprenticeship: “Cognitive apprenticeship supports learning in a domain by enabling students to acquire, develop and use cognitive tools in authentic domain activity. Learning, both outside and inside school, advances through collaborative social interaction and the social construction of knowledge.”
Stereotype Threat (Steele, Aronson)
Summary: Stereotype threat is a phenomenon that occurs when people are at risk for living up to a negative stereotype about their group. For example, a woman may fail to reach her career goal of being a scientist because of how she changes her behavior in response to perceptions about her own gender. Originators: Claude […]
Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer)
Summary: A cognitive theory of multimedia learning based on three main assumptions: there are two separate channels (auditory and visual) for processing information; there is limited channel capacity; and that learning is an active process of filtering, selecting, organizing, and integrating information.
Intrinsically motivating instruction (Malone)
Summary: Intrinsically motivating instruction takes place in computer gaming software when it provides players with choice around three key categories: challenge, curiosity, and fantasy.
Positive Psychology / PERMA Theory (Seligman)
Summary: Positive psychology is the study of happiness, flourishing, and what makes life worth living. Seligman points to five factors as leading to well-being — positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose, and accomplishment. Originators and key contributors: Martin Seligman (1942-the present), American psychologist, founder of positive psychology Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1934-the present), Hungarian-American psychologist, co-founder […]
21st Century Skills (P21 and others)
Summary: Skills necessary for students to master in order for them to experience school and life success in an increasingly digital and connected age; includes digital literacy, traditional literacy, content knowledge, media literacy, and learning/innovation skills. Originators & Proponents: Groups – United States Department of Education, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, MacArthur Foundation; Individuals – Henry […]
Bloom’s Taxonomy (Bloom)
Bloom’s Taxonomy is a model that is a hierarchy — a way to classify thinking according to six cognitive levels of complexity. Contents Contributors Key Concepts Resources and References Contributors Benjamin S. Bloom (1913-1999) Key Concepts Bloom’s model consists of six levels, with the three lower levels (knowledge, comprehension, and application) being more basic than […]
Andragogy – Adult Learning Theory (Knowles)
Summary: Andragogy refers to a theory of adult learning that details some of the ways in which adults learn differently than children. For example, adults tend to be more self-directed, internally motivated, and ready to learn. Teachers can draw on concepts of andragogy to increase the effectiveness of their adult education classes. Originator: Malcom Shepherd Knowles […]