The inductive category formation framework, an influential set of theories of learning in psychology and artificial intelligence, is deeply flawed. In this framework a set of necessary and sufficient features is taken to define a category. Such definitions are not functionally justified, are not used by people, and are not inducible by a learning system. Inductive theories depend on having access to all and only relevant features, which is not only impossible but begs a key question in learning. The crucial (...) roles of other cognitive processes (such as explanation and credit assignment) are ignored or oversimplified. Learning necessarily involves pragmatic considerations that can only be handled by complex cognitive processes.We provide an alternative framework for learning according to which category definitions must be based on category function. The learning system invokes other cognitive processes to accomplish difficult tasks, makes inferences, analyses and decides among potential features, and specifies how and when categories are to be generated and modified. We also examine the methodological underpinnings of the two approaches and compare their motivations. (shrink)
Rules of conversation are given that specify what can follow what. A system for deciding what makes a reasonable subject for a conversation is shown. Topics are discussed and rules for topic shift are presented.
We present a theory of conversation comprehension in which a line of the conversation is “understood” by relating it to one of seven possible “points”. We define these points, and present examples where it seems plausible that the failure to “get the point” would indeed constitute a failure to understand the conversation. We argue that the recognition of such points must proceed in both a top down and bottom up fashion, and thus is likely to be quite complicated. Finally, we (...) see the processing of information in the conversation to be dependent upon which point classification the user decides upon. (shrink)
This paper outlines some of the issues and basic philosophy that have guided my work and that of my students in the last ten years. It describes the progression of conceptual representational theories developed during that time, as well as some of the research models built to implement those theories. The paper concludes with a discussion of my most recent work in the area of modelling memory. It presents a theory of MOPs (Memory Organization Packets), which serve as both processors (...) and organizers of information in memory. This enables effective categorization of experiences in episodic memory, which in turn enables better predictive understanding of new experiences. (shrink)
In the author's words: "This book is an honest attempt to understand what it means to be educated in today's world." His argument is this: No matter how important science and technology seem to industry or government or indeed to the daily life of people, as a society we believe that those educated in literature, history, and other humanities are in some way better informed, more knowing, and somehow more worthy of the descriptor "well educated." This 19th-century conception of the (...) educated mind weighs heavily on our notions on how we educate our young. When we focus on intellectual and scholarly issues in high school as opposed to issues, such as communications, basic psychology, or child raising, we are continuing to rely on outdated notions of the educated mind that come from elitist notions of who is to be educated and what that means. To accommodate the realities of today's world it is necessary to change these elitist notions. We need to rethink what it means to be educated and begin to focus on a new conception of the very idea of education. Students need to learn how to think, not how to accomplish tasks, such as passing standardized tests and reciting rote facts. In this engaging book, Roger C. Schank sets forth the premises of his argument, cites its foundations in the Great Books themselves, and illustrates it with examples from an experimental curriculum that has been used in graduate schools and with K-12 students. Making Minds Less Well Educated Than Our Own is essential reading for scholars and students in the learning sciences, instructional design, curriculum theory and planning, educational policy, school reform, philosophy of education, higher education, and anyone interested in what it means to be educated in today's world. (shrink)
In this book, Roger C. Schank sets the stage for sparking conversations and innovative changes in schools to help make school experiences relevant to students and prepare them for the future. By implementing new literacies, globally connected technology, and career-based curricula, teachers can provide students with the tools they need to succeed during and after high school.
Based on his experience as an educator, the author criticizes current methods and philosophies of learning and teaching. Learning should be geared towards practice ; teaching should be about exciting students and helping them perform meaningful tasks, rather than having them passively absorb knowledge that they cannot see the use of. Feedback from former students allows the author to posit a few simple rules for teaching and learning, and identify some of the major misconceptions about the role of the teacher (...) and the nature of the learning process. A pragmatics of learning starts from naturally occurring learning situations and emphasizes teaching that is based on the learner’s own experiences, where mistakes are seen as a major source of insight into what is needed in order to achieve success in education and to remake the broken educational system that we are trying to cope with in today’s schools. (shrink)