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Unformatted text preview: knowledge is
represented in the mind. Knowledge that allows us to describe or recognize objects and
events is called declarative knowledge, while knowledge that allows us to actually
perform some physical or mental action is called procedural knowledge (Ryle, 1949,
Declarative Knowledge is the way our mind represents facts, ideas, and
concepts. It gets its name because it is knowledge we can declare orally or in writing. We
hope that you gain some declarative knowledge from reading this text. Some example of
the things your new declarative knowledge should allow you to do might include: Manuscript 9/28/03 7 • State how cognitive learning theorist define learning. • List the learning principles of this chapter. • Discuss the difference between cognitive and behavioral views of
learning. Declarative knowledge is important because it allows us to interpret our
experiences by recognizing how they are similar to past experience. Also, declarative
knowledge combined with our powers of deduction and inference allow us to understand
the present and predict the future.
Procedural Knowledge is “how to” knowledge that guides the performance of
physical and mental skills. Procedural knowledge allows us to do things like bake
cookies, do a front somersault, or solve a long-division problem. An important
characteristic of a skill represented by procedural knowledge is its automaticity.
Automaticity refers to the degree to which a skill can be performed without consciously
thinking and deciding about each step of the performance. This occurs when a skill is
well practiced. For example, if you are taking notes while you are reading, you really
don’t have to concentrate on the skills involved in letter formation or writing. Thankfully,
those skills have reached a level of automaticity so that they can be performed without
your conscious attention. Some psychologists estimate that only 5% of our learned
behaviors are consciously controlled; the other 95% function without conscious control
(Bargh & Chartrand, 1999).
The distinction between declarative and procedural knowledge is important for
teachers, because it roughly corresponds to the types of information that define an
academic domain. For example, a science curriculum might include certain facts, such as
the values of natural constants like the speed of light, as well as concepts such as the Manuscript 9/28/03 8 conservation of energy and matter. These facts and concepts are examples of information
that would be represented as declarative knowledge by the learner. There are also likely
to be science skills included in the curriculum. Examples of these skills might include
analytical techniques, techniques for the preparation of specimens, or the operation of
special equipment. The skills would need to represented in students’ memories as
procedural knowledge. Teachers, therefore, need to understand these different types of
knowledge and how they are learned.
Representations of Declarative Knowledge in Memory. Whenever we think
about what people know, it seems natural to think in terms of th...
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.
- Spring '08