This study is a psychologically-based, practical approach that uses “visual phenomena” as a means to help develop science literacy for junior high school students. Specifically, by using “visual illusions” as the basis of our resource materials, we (i) developed a teaching method; (ii) conducted classes incorporating a visual experiment tool (experience-based education); and (iii) measured the effects of the classes (educational evaluation questionnaire). The results of this approach have shown that students developed a greater understanding of the workings of the brain and mind, while simultaneously gaining an increased interest in humans and science, through the process of experiencing the visual phenomena, by measuring about their own visual reactions, and by thinking about causal relationships. Visual phenomena, as a sensory experience, aided the students in gaining a deeper understanding of the unique characteristics of human biology through their experiences. Students also understood that scientific study is not limited to the physical world (natural sciences) but can also comprise human reactions and behavior. An additional benefit of this research is that our approach enabled us to develop a visual illusion experiment tool that can be used on the computer. By using these types of IT applications, we expect to be able to positively affect science education towards the development of science literacy in students that can be realized through increased student motivation to learn, and by providing teachers with a visual experiment tool that enables direct instruction to students.
This study proposes a new framework for teaching programs, introducing the practice of “Reciprocal Observation of Thought”, and subsequently examines its effect on fostering children's practice of observing others' thought reciprocally, we used the “Digital Pen” system, an ICT (Information and Communication Technology) system used to share information between all children in a classroom. Using this system, we conducted a five-day program for 35 fourth-graders. In each class, lectures about how to read and write critically were provided first; then, students worked independently on the given questions, presented their ideas to the others, and observed others' work using the Digital Pen system. After the program, it was found that the students who had evaluated others' ideas effectively during the program developed their skills to write essays with more objective and effective arguments, and also to make appropriate counterarguments against others' essay including problems of logical structure. These results were interpreted in terms of the function fo the meta-cognition framework.
The development of students' learning skills is an important topic in the school curriculum. However, the development of these skills has not been a strong point in the traditional Japanese educational system. To address this problem, a cognitive model based on findings from cognitive psychological studies has been put forward as a useful perspective from which students' learning skills can be improved. The new approach based on the cognitive model is “Cognitive Counseling”, in which counselors well-versed in the cognitive model personally tutor students experiencing difficulties in the cognitive aspects of their studies (e.g., memorizing, problem solving, and motivation). Although this activity is basically the same as personal tutoring, it places a greater emphasis on problems that have not been sufficiently examined in previous psychological studies or in schools, and its objectives include the development of new psychological studies and educational practice aimed at solving the identified problems. This paper focuses on one particular problem that has been identified in cognitive counseling: that of students not using diagrams spontaneously even though they receive sufficient demonstrations of diagrams use in class. The paper examines the possibility that cognitive counseling can be used in stimulating new perspectives for psychological studies and in the development of the school curriculum.
COMPASS is an assessment test based on the cognitive model of mathematical problem solving. This test diagnoses components of mathematical ability which are required in the process of understanding and solving mathematical problems. The tasks were selected through the case studies of cognitive counseling, in which researchers individually interview and teach learners who feel difficulty in particular learning behavior. The purpose of COMPASS is to provide diagnostic information for improving learning process and methods of class lessons. Features of COMPASS include: The time limitations are set for each task to measure the target component accurately; questionnaires are incorporated to diagnose orientation toward learning behavior. The present paper aims to introduce the concept and the tasks of COMPASS to show how cognitive science contributes to school education through the development of assessment tests.
When one starts to learn a new discipline, it is essential to understand the terminology, to the point where one can use it comfortably across many situations. This study shows some effects of collaborative reflection on such learning, or transfer. We devised a two-year curriculum of teaching cognitive science to lower-division undergraduates, including the term of “schema,” and revised it along with our four-level model of collaborative conceptual change into enriching concrete, hands-on experiences and collaborative reflection. By comparing three sets of curricula, we found that ample experience with reflection yields durable understanding and promotes students' spontaneous use of “schema” in their end-term reports or conversations. Detailed analyses of five students' use over one-and-a-half years showed that one's understanding differed from that of others, but was highly correlated with her or his own preceding understanding. These results imply that ample experience provides a “core” to start one's learning and collaborative reflection makes the diversity of such cores explicit, which propels further constructive interactions that promote each one's deeper understanding and cross-situational learning.
We have thus far conducted a special-needs education program using e-learning for students experiencing learning difficulties in regular classrooms. The results for improving cognitive function and an attempt to investigate accompanying changes in brain function are summarized. The learning tasks for and during the education program using personal computers focused on training students in “reading” capabilities and they were designed to focus on training them to attain accuracy and fluency. The learning environment for Japanese students is currently in flux and the development of instructional materials using new technologies is an urgent issue. However, learning systems that can be used in e-learning environments are currently limited to certain conventional classroom activities and the presentation of self-study subjects, and these are not considered to produce adequate learning results. Learning systems designed for e-learning study environments such as our preliminary system will thus be indispensable in the future. In addition, we argue that it is necessary to incorporate knowledge from cognitive-science research into the implementation of such systems. We also discuss the possibility that conducting research on brain function in the process of accomplishing learning will benefit both researchers and teachers in the field.
The paper is aimed at discussing the contribution of cognitive science and the learning sciences to Japanese education. First, the authors describe the emergence of a new educational discipline, the learning sciences, and its methodological approach to educational practice called the design-based research. In particular, the emphasis is placed on how unique the methodology is by explaining the progressive refinement of classroom practices based on design principles. Secondary, the author's design-based research project is given as an example of how the learning sciences contributes to the classroom practice in Japan. Furthermore, the design-based research is discussed as a new systemic program for teacher education. Finally, the authors propose an approach to new educational reform based on evidence from the learning sciences research.
In this paper, I focused on examining how innovation of school education should be from the viewpoint of situated theory, and focused on how cognitive science should be in the future. Concretely, in one case, I critically examined how Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education has been changing their schools in a top-down style. As a result, I discovered some bad effects. Firstly, writing plans for managing lesson are trivialized as a mere procedure. Secondly, documents for administrating teachers are made meaningless, or changed to something other their original expectation. Thirdly, leaders who promote collaboration with teachers, and raise students, and are not managerial staffs are hard to foster. Fourthly, this change of the management style lessens the time that teachers and students communicate with each other. That time should have top priority. And Lastly, I insisted that it was necessary for innovation of school education to change from the Top-Down organization to the collaborative organization by everyone who is committed to school education.