The goal of your application paper is to apply the theories we have learned about in class to a real-world example. First, we’d like you to find a discussion class or any group of people having a discussion. Try to conduct a minimum of 30 minutes of observation and take notes describing the activities, interactions, context, and other components of the discussion. You may also analyze this class and the interactions and discussions within it. After observing this discussion, we’d like you to analyze this experience from each of the layers we discussed in class. You must include distributed cognition, discourse, situated cognition, information processing, narrative, expertise, and embodied cognition. To what extent does the discussion you observed build on ideas from theories? In what ways might the thinking and interactions be described as layered?
In general, your paper should be 1000-1500 words and include:
- an introduction that describes the discussion your paper is exploring;
- an in your own words definition for each layer of thinking as you address those ideas;
- a description of the kind of information or observations you are going to use to support your analysis;
- a discussion of what that suggests about each theory you were exploring; and
- a conclusion that describes the implications of what you found — that is, what, if anything, someone would do with this information.
Cognition, Information processing, and Narrative: Application Paper
The paper focuses on applying learning theory to cognition, narrative, and information processing as critical layers of thinking. Learning theories portend the approaches of human interaction with experience and knowledge. Cognitive processes support learning through events that coordinate experience, interaction, memory, and outcome. In most cases, learning theories indicate how individuals make rational decisions to learn in a continuous and life-long process. An individual can learn and thereby demonstrates their intelligence. Different layers of thinking emphasize the relationship between cognitive, social-cultural, experiential, and mental learning elements. Therefore, learning theories provide a practical framework for analyzing the situation and providing solutions to the problems. The emerging situations in education determine the structure for the organization, analysis, and decision making.
Defining Layer of Thinking
Distributed cognition embodies a process through which a person utilizes their cognitive abilities and resources in accomplishing a task. The layer emphasizes the individual’s ability to relate to people, use resources, and other things beyond their capacity to act more intelligently.
Discourse is the ability of individuals to appreciate themes that emerge in images, symbols, talks, and writings constructing psychological phenomena. An example of discourse is two students in a group discussion engaging each other over their psychology project.
Situated cognition is a learning model which shows that human beings learn best in both actual and abstract forms. The learning activity depends on the physical, cultural, and social contexts and the conceptual imagination that the student builds.
Information processing is the change process that occurs when individuals acquire information, record, organize, retrieve, and disseminate information from the subconscious to conscious minds. Information processing depends on how an individual analyzes, perceives, uses, and remembers information.
The narrative is the human conduct that determines how individuals deal with experiences by listening to stores and observing them.
Expertise is the process that includes high achievement in specialized skills or areas of the profession. Expertise occurs through training and practical experience.
Embodied cognition refers to the idea that an individual’s mind connects to the body, which extensively influences it. For example, when students in a class take out their pens, they are likely to start writing even if nobody tells them. The connection between the mind and the body is what creates the involuntary activity of writing.
Information and Observation
The general scope of learning included interaction, collaboration, role play, and synthesis of information. The class of forty-five students primarily relied on behavior to allow students and teachers to relate with one another. From the principles of observational learning, most learners paid attention to their learning activities, memorized what they learned through retention, and produced the information within the framework of information processes. However, there was the motivation for learning with the teacher using role-play to engage the students.
Learning occurs in context and culture. Learners orchestrate the learning process by drawing from the available resources and interact with their environment consciously and subconsciously (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2018). For this reason, learning theories reflect the general approaches to portraying how learning and experience related. The learning process relies on metacognition, self-regulation, and executive function. All these criteria shape the ability of the learner to regulate their cognitive processes and behavior. Regulating thinking is an executive function that helped the learners in the class plan, initiate, sequence, and sustain their behavior depending on their experience in class. When the teacher provided feedback, affirmation, and negative reinforcement, students made necessary adjustments. Applying the principles helps explain different learning processes (Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989). The observation of a learning environment offers a critical perspective in defining what socio-cultural learning is, describing the learners, and identifying the goals and boundaries for learning in a social context.
Learning takes place in a structured, rational manner. The experience of learning involves making decisions and changing these decisions over time (Pinker 1997). In the learning environment, learners predict and explain the phenomenon that informs their experiences. Belief and desires are essential tools of the intuitive psychology of the learners. Through intuition, the learners expect different actions and activities depending on what they are learning. Shared communication is a channel that learners use to make errors and learn from those errors. The distributed cognition creates a scenario where a learner’s mind allows for changes to occur during their learning process and modify these changes to achieve their intended results (Dewey 1997). For this reason, most learners imitate their environment and process in their minds what they are observing. As a result, these students formed different layers of thinking, helping them appreciate the rules of engagement and realize the extent to which their behavior would reach.
Theories of Leaning
Cognitive, observational, and socio-cultural learning theories correlate to impact the learning process. Cognition relies on the approach, which provides the framework for learning through experience. Growing intellectually is a developmental process that involves learning (Dewey 1997). Therefore, experiences do not just occur but rather depend on cognitive function, stimuli-response, and information processing. Every experience has a cognitive side which changes depending on the conditions of learning. Applying the science of cognition leads to understanding disembodied intelligence. Humans operate within the physical environment throughout experiences. These experiences are sources of cognitive development that engage in information processes to help the learners design their memory cues, develop their own knowledge system, and shape their reasoning (Pinker 1997). People operate on distributed intelligence, where their behavior results from their mental processes interacting with constraints and objects in the physical world.
The theory of stimuli response is effective in learning. It accounts for the pedagogical practices that inform efficacy in learning. Pedagogical praxis relates to cognition creating new opportunities and challenges for learners. Since learning occurs in communities, different communities have their epistemologies that define knowledge and learning practices (Shaffer 2004). Observational learning effectively allows the child to retrieve their knowledge and creatively solve problems in their environment. Learning institutions should develop structured ways of classroom communication to encourage socio-cultural frameworks of learning. According to the pedagogical practice, learning is a stimuli-response mechanism that can help the learner develop different layers of thinking individually.
Theories of learning play a leading role in cognition, information process, social interaction, and observational learning. The efficacy of learning depends on the ability of the learner to develop systems of knowledge and reasoning. Given that learning equips human beings with the opportunity to shape their intelligence, observation and experience plays are critical. Cognitive development occurs at all-time depending on the environment that the learner exposes. For all these reasons, learning theory aim at allowing teachers to apply pedagogy to practical problems and solutions in the world. The post-industrial world calls for renewed approaches in education. Observational learning is an opportunity that helps learners to tap into the technological opportunity that exists.
Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational researcher, 18(1), 32-42.
Dewey, J. (1997). Criteria of experience. Nativism and Interactionism, 174.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2018). How people learn II: Learners, Contexts, and cultures. National Academies Press.
Pinker, S. (1997). How the mind works. Penguin UK.
Shaffer, D. W. (2004). Pedagogical praxis: The professions as models for post-industrial education. Teachers College Record, 106(7), 1401-1421.