Learning as Coordination

Schwartz, D. L, & Goldstone, R. L. (2016).  Learning as coordination: Cognitive psychology and education.  In L. Corno & E. M. Anderman (Eds.) Handbook of Educational Psychology, 3rd edition. New York: Routledge (pp. 61-75).

The chapter follows a central thesis: A major task of teaching and instruction is to help learners coordinate categories of cognitive processes, capabilities, and representations. While nature confers basic abilities, education synthesizes them to suit the demands of contemporary culture. So, rather than treating categories of learning and instruction as an either–or problem, the problem is how to coordinate learning processes so they can do more together than they can alone. This thesis, which proposes a systems level analysis, is not the norm when thinking about teaching and learning. More common is the belief that learning involves strengthening select cognitive processes rather than coordination across processes. Our chapter, therefore, needs to develop the argument for learning as coordination. To do so, we introduce findings from the field of cognitive psychology.

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