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juxtaposition principles to be used as a guide in preparing sets of examples:
1) Wording principle: To make the sequence of examples as clear as possible,
use the same wording on juxtaposed examples.
2) Set-up principle: to minimize the number of examples needed, juxtapose
examples that share the greatest number of possible features.
3) Difference principle: to show difference between examples, juxtapose
examples that are minimally different and treat the examples differently.
4) Sameness principle: to show sameness across examples juxtapose examples
that are greatly different and indicate that the examples have the same label.
5) Testing principle: to test the learner, provide examples that have no
predictable relationship to each other.
These principles have been used to construct the set of examples in Figure 8.3 for
teaching students the concept of “parallel.” In behavioral terms, the column labeled
“Model” is the stimulus and the wording is the desired response. Now we’ll take a closer
look at how these principles are used by examining the set of examples presented in
Figure 8.3 (appears at the end of the chapter). 16
The Wording Principle. We’ll begin by looking at the wording principle. Notice
the similarity of wording on examples one through five. Each example in Figure 8.3 is
clearly labeled as positive (these lines are parallel) or negative (these lines are not
parallel) with the least possible variation in the phrasing. This application of the wording
principle reduces the possibility of confusion on the part of the learner due to differences
in the words used or the structure of the sentence.
The Set-up Principle. By following the “set-up principle” the number of
examples needed to communicate the concept is keep to a minimum. Imagine if Figure
8.3 had been composed of examples of strings of parallel lines, parallel strings of beads,
or airplanes flying in parallel formation. To avoid confusion, and clearly communicate
the concept parallel, we would need a positive and negative example of parallel lines,
beads, and airplanes in various orientations. By just using one common set of objects
(lines) we are able to keep the number of examples to a minimum.
The Sameness Principle. Examples one through three in Figure 8.3 show the use
of the “sameness principle.” Comparing examples one and two the parallel lines are
rotated from horizontal to perpendicular. By labeling these two examples as the same the
learner will understand that the overall orientation doesn’t matter. By using the maximum
possible difference in orientation, the learners will come to understand that any example
with a lesser amount of rotation will also be a positive example. Comparing examples
two and three, the students learn that the lines need not be the same length to be parallel.
The purpose of the first three examples is to show the range of possible variations that
can still be labeled parallel. In other words the learners are learning to generalize across
positive examples. 17
The Difference Principle....
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- Spring '08
- Procedural knowledge, Mary Eddistone