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1. Cognitivism

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2.0 Jerome Bruner

We can start with Bruner's conception of the learning process (Bruner, 1997, pp.48-49).
  1. According to Bruner the first stage in the learning process consists of the acquisition of new information and this new information is at odds with what a person previously knew. Now imagine that that the process of learning stopped at this point. The learner would have new information and if the learner has memorized the new information then we might say that the new information has become knowledge. This holds because - in philosophy at least - knowledge is justified true belief. However, that knowledge is bare knowledge for the learner; the learner may be able to say "I know" but until something else happens the learner will not be able to do very much with that knowledge beyond repeating it or mulling it over or recalling the knowledge.
  2. The second part of the process of learning is, according to Bruner, transformation. This process involves ordering knowledge so that we can "go beyond" the knowledge. In other words we can do something with the knowledge. In this case we might say that "deeper" learning has occurred. The learner does not just know something. Now the learner can relate the knowledge to existing knowledge and the learner can apply the knowledge to new situations.
  3. The third part of the learning process is evaluation; evaluation involves determining whether the way in which we have applied the knowledge is correct. With respect to Bruner's theory of learning we might say that this is the deepest level of learning.


books.gifBruner, J.S. The Process of Education. The Process of Education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1977.