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The Learning Conference 2003

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An Attempt to Uncover the Limitations Behind Cognitive Apprenticeship: Using a Reflective Methodology that Engages Experienced Teachers of Post-16 Education in Discussing their Role in the ‘Master-Apprentice’ Relationship

NeedhamD Needham.


In recent years theories of situated cognition sharing the idea that learning and doing are inseparable as part of a process of enculturation, largely based upon the work of Vygotsky in developing a model of ‘cognitive apprenticeship’, have received much attention in education (Vygotsky, 1978) as an insightful model underpinning forms of learning and teaching. The master-apprentice relationship using techniques of apprenticeship such as modelling, scaffolding and reflection has since been used as a base for considerable research helping researchers and practitioners to understand teacher-student action across a range of different teaching situations (Collins et al 1989, Hennessy, S.1993, Jarvela, S.1995, Rojewski et al 1994). The focus of much of this research has explored the efficacy of the model when set against the question of how to improve forms of learning and teaching in particular settings.

In the UK, within the context of a post 16 teaching environment in business education, assessment processes are based upon students developing higher ‘levels of response’ (Needham, 2003). This process of assessment developed from Bloom’s Taxonomy, first published in 1956 and subject to more recent revision (Anderson and Kratwohl, 2000) assumes that learners can develop higher order cognitive skills within the context of the taxonomy. This paper summarises the findings from a small-scale research project which analyses the reflective diaries of a group of experienced business studies teachers who discuss how they have each developed teaching pedagogies that enable them to the raise marginal levels of response of their students. Subsequent analysis exemplified through this paper helps us to understand the limitations of the Vygotsky model as well as the efficacy of learning and teaching techniques. The paper’s sting in the tail links cognitive processes to Heidegger’s technological enframing (Heidegger 1962,1977)!

Anderson, L. W. and Kratwohl, D. R. (eds) (2000), Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, London, Longman Publishing
Collins, A., Brown, J. S. & Newman S. (1989), Cognitive Apprenticeship: Teaching the Craft of Reading, Writing and Mathematics. In Resnik (Ed), Knowing, Learing and instruction: essays in honor of Robert Glaser (pp 453-494). Hilldale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
Heidegger, M. (1962), Being and Time, Trans. Macquarrie J. and Robinson E., Oxford, Blackwell
Heidegger, M (1977), The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, Trans Lovitt W (Ed), New York, Harper Torch Books
Hennessy, S. (1993), Situated Cognition and Cognitive Apprenticeship: Implications for Classroom Learning, Studies in Science Education Vol 22 pp 1-41
Jarvela, S. (1995) The Cognitive Apprenticeship Model in a Technologically Rich Learning Environment: Interpreting the Learning Interaction, Learning and Instruction Vol 5 pp 237-259, Oxford, Pergamon
Needham, D. (2003), The ‘Cogs of Cognition’: Developing a Model for Learners within a Business Classroom that Raises their Levels of Response, Melbourne, Common Ground Publishing
Rojewski, J. W. & Schell J. W. ( 1994), Cognitive Apprenticeship for Learners with Special Needs, Remedial and Special Education Vol 15 No 4 pp 234-243
Vygotsky, L.S. (1978) Mind in Society: The Development of the Higher Psychological Processes, Cambridge , MA, Havard University Press

David Needham, The Nottingham Trent University

Formerly at the University of Stirling, David Needham has worked in both schools and further Education. He has many publications in national and international journals, has written more than 40 curriculum and academic texts, was the founder of The Times 100 and is Editor of Vocational Education Today.

Kevin Flint, The Nottingham Trent University

With more than 20 years of teaching experience in secondary education, in recent years Kevin has worked both at the University of Durham The Nottingham Trent University. Kevin’s research into power relations and empowerment at a school workplace has brought to light the phenomenon of technological enframing within the context of the work of teachers.

Presenters

NeedhamD Needham  (United Kingdom)
Senior Lecturer
Department of Secondary and Tertiary Education, Faculty of Education


Keywords
  • Cognitive apprenticeship
  • Enculturation
  • Vygotsky
  • Bloom's taxonomy
Person as Subject
  • David Needham, The Nottingham Trent University Formerly at the University of Stirling, David Needham has worked in both schools and further Education. He has many publications in national and international journals, has written more than 40 curriculum and academic texts, was the founder of The Times 100 and is Editor of Vocational Education Today. Kevin Flint, The Nottingham Trent University With more than 20 years of teaching experience in secondary education, in recent years Kevin has worked both at the University of Durham The Nottingham Trent University. Kevin’s research into power relations and empowerment at a school workplace has brought to light the phenomenon of technological enframing within the context of the work of teachers.



(30 min Conference Paper, English)