Cognitive Model Printed 1/22/2010 1 ACognitiveModelforLearningChemistryandSolvingProblems Implications for Curriculum Design and Classroom Instruction David M. Hanson Department of Chemistry, Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400 A cognitive model for learning is a representation of the mental processes associated with acquiring new knowledge. In order to be maximally effective, teaching needs to be consistent with a valid model for the learning process. A cognitive model for learning chemistry and solving problems is derived from Johnstone's information processing model, the tenets of how people learn, and research on problem solving. The implications of this model for the development of curriculum materials and instructional strategies are described. Introduction Over 25 years ago Frederick Reif, a physicist at the University of California Berkeley, described a gap that existed between two groups interested in learning: cognitive scientists and educators. He characterized the cognitive scientists as thinking analytically, striving to develop theoretical models, and conducting experiments to test and validate the models, but not being concerned
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